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Guidelines for a Successful Attorney/Client Relationship
The Lawyer/Client Relationship
Legal services vary greatly. No two cases are exactly alike.
It is the responsibility of the law firm to prepare court papers, make court appearances and negotiate with opposing counsel as needed, and to represent the client and their interests in the matter.
The law firm will represent the client’s interests and take action within the bounds of the law to protect the client’s rights. When appropriate, the law firm will try to negotiate a settlement of the issues in their case without resorting to or continuing litigation.
The ultimate decision on when, if and for what a case settles is always up to the client.
If the fee agreement calls for a flat fee, that amount is charged to commit the law firm to represent the client and is not dependent on the amount of time actually spent or required to provide representation.
Termination of Representation
If a court case is started, the law firm’s representation of the client will end when a final judgment is entered in the case by the Court.
If a court case is not involved, the law firm’s representation of the client will end when the specific tasks and duties for which the client retained the law firm are completed.
The law firm’s representation will also end if the client chooses to withdraw the matter from the law firm. The attorney may terminate the representation as well, subject to their ethical duties. The attorney will notify the client in writing of the termination.
The law firm makes no promises or guarantees regarding the outcome of a case. Any advice the client receives regarding their case and the possible outcome is based on the experience and professional judgment of the attorneys but is never a promise or guarantee of any particular results.
Generally, a representation agreement applies only to the work to be performed at the trial court level. If any party appeals the trial court’s decision, a new fee agreement and additional payment will be necessary if the client wishes to retain the law firm to handle the appeal.
Cooperation with the Law Firm
1. A client must fully cooperate with the law firm.
2. Clients should not sign any documents related to their case without first giving them to their attorney to review.
3. It is essential that clients promptly notify the attorney of any change of address, employment, email or telephone number.
4. Clients must promptly furnish the law firm with all information and documents as requested.
5. Clients must be absolutely truthful with the law firm. This is in the client’s best interests. The better informed your attorney is, the better able we can assist you.
6. Clients should participate in all legal proceedings according to rules and deadlines established by the court.