The attorney-client relationship is one that you've likely not encountered before. Hiring an attorney is almost like dating. You meet the attorney, ask yourself if you can see yourself working with them, you decide whether or not to trust them, go on to have another meeting, and you (at least try to) stick with that same attorney until the end. However, oftentimes your Family Law case is your first time having direct involvement with an attorney. To make the best of that relationship, it is vital that the client follow these set of rules:
I have a unique approach in handling my clients' cases based on our experience with representing over thousands of clients like you. Clients typically like for his or her case to be handled as follows:
You deserve direct and frequent communication with your attorney, not just staff. As attorneys practices grow, the usual reaction is to hire more staff. I've been guilty of the same thing in earlier years. The problem with this approach is attorneys get isolated from clients, and spend most of their time managing their staff (at the client's expense). I've now structured our offices so that you will be dealing with an attorney on almost all matters, not an employee of the attorney.
Many attorneys fail to use the court system to their client’s advantage. This means that many will shy away from a court hearing, and try to convince their clients to settle when a better outcome is likely in court. The reason for this is that a court hearing is stressful for the attorney, difficult to predict, and may expose the attorney’s limitations. I won't pressure you into a bad settlement – in fact, I've often found that my clients get a better outcome when we head to Court.
Attorneys, like everyone, have a tendency to tell people what they want to hear. This is especially true at the beginning of representation. I don’t think this is helpful to clients, and in fact, it harms a client's case. You will get the truth – good or bad – from us at all times.
The most difficult time you will ever have making the right decisions is in the middle of a family law dispute. Many clients either want to rush things and get done or want to avoid conflict with the other side. We are not shy about telling our clients what we think they need to do, whether they want to hear it or not. Of course, what to do is up to our clients, but they never lack for strong, helpful guidance.