Ever heard of the saying that it takes a village to build an attorney? Well, now you have! This saying couldn’t be any truer especially considering the fact that it’s the same attorney who’ll help in representing the same community when faced with some of the most common legal issues. But then again, attorneys need to cultivate trust between them and the people they represent in court. When faced with any type of legal issue, it goes without saying that you’d prefer a highly qualified attorney you can trust.
As a client, you’ll also have a key role to play, giving your attorney access even to your most private information. This doesn’t come easy though. There has to be a healthy relationship cultivated over time or over the short term. It can seem obvious, but knowing how to interact with your attorney is of utmost importance. With that in mind, here’s the importance of a lawyer-client relationship in every case.
1. Creating a Healthy Interaction with an Attorney
Communication plays a vital if not a crucial role in any attorney-client relationship. When dealing with an attorney, one thing to note is that they are the lay witness in your case, an opposing counsel, and your liaison in a court of law. It’s therefore important to cultivate a healthy interaction between you and your attorney or between the attorney and their client. This will allow both parties to be on the same page. You really don’t want the jury to see you and your client having conflicting issues in court. An experienced criminal defense attorney insists that you need to get in touch with a lawyer in good time before presenting your case to court to allow you enough time to get acquainted with them. This will help in forming a strong bond and a relationship with your attorney. But before you do this, you need to identify the best attorney to represent your case. Below are the qualities to look for in an attorney:
- Good rapport
- Extensive knowledge of the law
- Good team player
2. Building Trust
A good attorney-client relationship will help to build trust. This is what helps to build a conducive atmosphere that allows the clients to trust their attorneys even with their most private information. In addition to this, clients are more confident to trust a lawyer’s counsel and plan once they’ve established trust. This means that they are able to trust that their attorney will help them navigate through the painstaking, emotional and financially frustrating legal processes even in their absence. So, when looking for an attorney, ensure that they have your best interests at heart, even when things don’t go as planned.
3. Confidentiality of Information
Lawyers must adhere to a legal code of conduct that prevents them from revealing client information to other sources. This means that they are responsible for any type of information shared with them by their clients. But then again, clients also need to know the specific clauses of the law and situations that may allow attorneys to share specific information as regards to their cases. There are certain exceptions within the law that allow attorneys to share client’s information, they include:
- When establishing defense or claim in a legal dispute between the client and the attorney
- When resolving certain conflicts such as those pertaining termination of attorney employment
- When establishing confidentiality rules about an attorney’s compliance
But before an attorney shares client information, clients must sign a consent form regarding the sharing of information as part of the representation or as other parts of legal situations might require. Establishing a client-lawyer relationship allows the clients to enjoy the attorney-client privileges, but with the exceptions of certain privilege clauses such as may pertain to the death of the client, fraud, crime, and common interest exceptions.
4. It’s a Professional Responsibility Required By Law
Lawyers have a professional duty that requires them to live up to a certain code of conduct. While some rules may vary from one state to another, there remain certain duties that are almost common for lawyers in different parts of the world. These include:
- Representing clients zealously and competently within certain bounds of the law
- Improving attorney-client communication
- Keeping clients informed regarding their cases
- Avoiding certain conflicts of interests
- Maintaining high levels of confidentiality
Failure to your attorney meeting, these requirements could see them sued for legal malpractice or being criminally prosecuted for the same.
When facing different kinds of legal issues, most people turn to lawyers to represent them in a court of law. It’s expected that the attorney will act on your behalf and in your best interests at heart. But as a client, you also have a role to play in establishing a strong client-lawyer relationship. This “give and take” scenario will help to form a formidable relationship that will help in your case.