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Working With An Attorney
Hopefully, you will never need an attorney. The truth is, most of us will need one at some point in our lives. When dealing with legal issues, its easy to feel overwhelmed and confused. There are many actions you can take in order to relieve some of that stress. Finding a good attorney suited for your case is your first step in the right direction. Then, knowing what your attorney expects from you when you begin your case will alleviate much of the confusion and can give you back a sense of control over what may be a difficult situation.
First, no matter what type of case you present to your lawyer, he/she expects you to be honest. In order for him/her to do a proper job representing you, he must have all the facts as you know them. It is hard to share personal, sometimes embarrassing, information with anyone. You may have done something wrong, and that is hard to admit to as well. All of the information you give to your attorney is confidential. A good attorney will not judge you, berate you, embarrass you or laugh at you. They are there to represent you according to the law, not to teach you a moral lesson! After you meet your attorney and feel he is the right one, open up and tell him as much as you can. Any small detail, even if you think it means nothing, could have an impact on your case.
Next, be prepared to provide information. Civil cases especially require that litigants provide certain documents to the court. As an example, if you have been injured, you may be asked to provide all of your medical provider and hospital information. This way, records can be obtained and reviewed in order to gather evidence for your case. Be patient, it may be hard to remember every name or place, however, the more thorough you are at providing the correct documents the better your attorney can represent you.
Speaking of patience, your attorney will want you to practice it. Both civil and criminal cases can crawl through the court system. Many times, hearings are cancelled at the last minute, or you may encounter a litigant who is uncooperative and brings the case to a halt. Whatever the problem, you will need patience. Attorneys are used to the way things can work in court, and will tell you if there are problems, or suggest ways to move things along more quickly. Keep the communication lines open in order to prevent misunderstandings.
In order for things to run smoothly, be punctual for appointments and show up for your hearings when asked. Judges will not wait for a late litigant! It is important for you to follow your attorneys instructions, as well as any orders you may receive from the court. Ignoring this duty on your part can cause your case to fail, or at the very least, anger the judge, and make your attorneys job impossible!
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