What Is The Ideal Lawyer - Client Relationship

By: Manuel Salvacion

How do you establish a good working relationship with your lawyer?

The moment you enlist the services of a lawyer, you are bound to obey certain rules under the retainer agreement. The agreement expresses the responsibilities you have to perform to complement the lawyer’s efforts. These duties may include:

• Being truthful with your lawyer
• To be cooperative and responsive to your lawyer
• To be available to your lawyer if requested
• To attend hearings as scheduled
• To pay legal bills in timely manner

On the other hand, your lawyer is also bound by strict standards of the legal profession. The state bar association has established codes of conduct, privileges, and ethics which your lawyer must follow while performing his duties to you as a client.

These are some of the basic ethical rules that your lawyer must follow:

1. He must represent you ethically, faithfully within the bounds of law.
2. He must competently analyze issues and exercise knowledge of the law applicable to your case.
3. He must communicate to you properly and effectively.
4. He must be loyal to his client. He cannot represent simultaneously two clients with conflicting interests.
5. He is required to obey your directions in handling the case unless those directions are illegal.
6. He is required to keep communications between the two of you confidential.
7. Lawyers are prohibited from having personal relationships with their clients.
8. Without your written consent, your lawyer is prohibited from taking on clients who is adverse to your interest.

Sanctions

When a client disobeys and makes rampant violations of his duties, a lawyer has no other option but to terminate his services.

On the other hand, if the lawyer fails to abide by the rules, he can be disciplined by the bar association where he belongs. For serious violations, he may be disbarred or criminally charged. A client can also file a written complaint against a lawyer in state disciplinary counsel. The complaint letter should contain the details of the lawyer’s violations including the name, address, phone number, circumstances under which the lawyer was hired and a description of the problem.

Finding the Right Lawyer

Lawyers have different working styles. Some lawyers handle a wide range of matter; others focus on their specializations.

Finding the right lawyer who can best handle your case will depend on how well you know your issue or problem. Before selecting a lawyer, you have to determine your case first. In this way, finding a knowledgeable and competent lawyer who can match your case may not be difficult.


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