At one point or the other in life, we all need the services of an attorney. Part of a lawyer’s work is to give you legal advice, take instructions on what you need done, discuss the options you have and to help you understand how the law applies to your case. If need be, your lawyer can represent you in court. With this job description, you need a reputable attorney who will enhance your peace of mind even as you handle the case at hand. Some of the roles of a reputable attorney include:
Your attorney should listen to you, advise you accordingly and take instructions on the way forward with your legal problem. Once given instructions, he/she should follow these instructions. This will, however, only work if you are completely honest with your attorney. This way, they are better placed to properly advise you on the next step to take while handling your legal matter. You should note that as much as your attorney has a duty to carry out your instructions, he/she cannot break any laws while doing so. They are also not allowed mislead the court or waste the court’s time while at it.
Most of the conversations you have with your lawyer are confidential and should remain confidential. Your attorney is, therefore, not at liberty to discuss these conversations with anyone; not even the police or the court unless you grant them permission to do so. Needless to say, there are situations when your lawyer has to reveal some information on you or your case such as when a particular law requires them to do so, if it will prevent the occurrence of a criminal offence and when your safety or that of another person is at risk.
Avoiding conflicts of interest
Your lawyer should not handle your legal problem if they have a conflict of interest which arises when they acted for the other party in the past and have confidential information about the other party that could negatively affect their interests. A conflict of interest can also occur when they are also acting in the interest of the other party involved and he/she will not be able to act on the best interest of both parties involved. Such a situation may also arise when your interests and those of your lawyer clash.
Communicating efficiently and in a timely manner
Your attorney should communicate to you clearly and efficiently and always keep you updated on the progress of your matter.
Acting honestly and in your best interests
Your lawyer should always be mindful of your best interests and be honest with you. Even as they do this, they must not do anything illegal or unethical. They should clearly communicate the strengths and weaknesses of your case and inform you if you stand any chance of winning your case. If you think your lawyer is not being honest with you and that they have not been acting in your best interests, you can make a complaint.
Acting with skill and diligence
Your attorney should not take your case if they are unskilled in the area of the law in which your case falls within. To find out if they are skilled in such matters, you can ask them how long they have been practicing in the area and how many cases they have handled that are related to yours.
Finding a reputable attorney is very important in ensuring that you are properly represented and that the lawyer acts in your best interests. To do so efficiently, they must uphold all the points discussed above.
Written by Kellie Bertels, an attorney at Bandre, Hunt and Snider in Jefferson City, MO. Bandre, Hunt and Snider are the best attorneys Jefferson City MO have to offer.