The Benefits to Hiring a Lawyer
Some people may assume that hiring a lawyer and working with
a lawyer during a legal issue will be comparable to the client/attorney
relationship portrayed on television. However, the reality is that the
proceedings are often very different.
While most television proceedings are highly charged and full
of courtroom actions, your lawyer will probably doing more research, paper
filing and phone work behind the scenes than actual courtroom litigation.
Because motions and research that you will not see will make up most of your
legal case, it is important to understand exactly what you should expect from
By hiring a lawyer you will have access to expert legal experience, knowledge
of uncommon laws, legal advice, support and open communication. This type of
service is especially valuable for individuals with no prior knowledge of the
law they are trying to fight. Experience can also help clients avoid costly
legal mistakes that they might have made on their own.
Aside from the regular service provided by an attorney, you can also expect
certain rights to be upheld during your client/attorney relationship. These
rights include confidentiality, protection of your interests, diligent
representation, and competent representation.
The right of confidentiality means that the lawyer cannot talk about or
compromise any information that you pass along to them during the course of
business. This information can include such mundane things as business ideas or
operating secrets, but can also include such things as facts concerning your
innocence or guilt.
The right of protection of your interests involves more than just
confidentiality. It also means that your lawyer cannot represent any other
client that has business that may be adverse to your business while representing
you. This does not mean that a lawyer cannot represent both you and your partner
in legal business matters, it just means that he or she cannot represent both of
you if your interests in that business become a conflict, for instance, during
the sell of your business. It also means that your lawyer cannot represent both
you and the defendant in case, but they can, however, represent you and the
owner of your competition as long as neither of you has legal business with each
The right of diligent representation means that your lawyer must put a fair
amount of time into your case and use all of his or her available talents and
knowledge to defend your side of the argument. Diligent representation also
means that your lawyer has a duty to keep you informed of all aspects of your
legal issue in a timely manner. If you find yourself conversing more with a
legal aid than your own attorney, it may be time to rethink your relationship
and look into hiring a lawyer that has more time to devote to your case.
The right of competent representation means that your lawyer must do all that
he or she can to represent you in the best possible manner. If he or she is
unfamiliar with an aspect of your case, then they must educate themselves on the
issue or recommend you to another lawyer that can better handle your issue.
Although your attorney has the right to take a reasonable amount of time to
educate themselves on your case, some cases will be to complex to learn in a few
days or weeks and your attorney should be professional enough to admit when they
are in over their head and refer you another lawyer.
By understanding your rights as a client and the expectations of an
attorney/client relationship you will be better able to choose a lawyer that is
right for you. You will also be better prepared to aid your lawyer in your case
and understand the legal aspects of each step along the way.
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