The first step toward resolving an important legal issue is to hire a reputable attorney. Many legal matters are too complex for an individual to deal with on their own, so it often makes sense to obtain experienced legal counsel. A lawyer can give you the legal guidance and direction you need to bring your case to a successful conclusion.
Your attorney can handle the important tasks that need to be completed to resolve your legal issue. These may include obtaining the facts and evidence necessary to put together the case, preparing contracts and other legal documents, deposing witnesses, calling in expert witnesses, negotiating on your behalf, and of course, litigating your case. Since your lawyer has handled numerous other cases like yours, you are able to leverage their extensive experience and in-depth knowledge to overcome common pitfalls that you would likely run into on your own.
Although your lawyer does most of the work, this does not mean that you should check out of the process and leave everything up to them. You need to stay involved and do the things you are asked to do in order to ensure a positive result.
There are several things you should do to stay on top of your case after you hire a lawyer, here are some of the most important:
- Reveal everything you know about your case
If you want to get your legal matter resolved, you need to tell your attorney everything you know about the case; this includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. Just giving your attorney a partial picture of what is happening (or worse, giving them false and misleading information) will only hurt your case. The whole truth is almost certain to come out anyway, so the best thing you can do is inform your attorney right away. This will allow them to fully address all pertinent issues well ahead of time.
- Tell your attorney right away when you learn something new
As you go along, new information may come to light. As soon as you find out something new that pertains to your case, let your attorney know about it. Oftentimes, the success or failure of a case can hinge on one or two important details. This is why it is critical that your attorney is informed about any new information as soon as possible. Do not assume that, just because you are aware of something, your attorney is too. Be proactive and make sure your attorney is informed.
- Follow through on everything you commit to doing
At the beginning of your case and often while the case is progressing, your lawyer may ask you to take certain actions that will help move the case forward. Examples may include obtaining a medical exam, obtaining various pieces of information, verifying information, and similar tasks. If/when your lawyer asks you to do something, follow through on it as soon as possible. This will help ensure your case goes more smoothly.
- Follow up with your attorney regularly
You should choose a lawyer who is responsive and provides frequent updates on the progress of your case. But if you haven’t heard from them for a while, don’t be afraid to follow up with them to ask how things are going. You should be able to follow up by phone, text, or email, depending on which mode of communication you are most comfortable with. Keep in mind that your lawyer may be at a hearing or with another client, so you may not always get them on the phone right away. However, you should expect to have your call returned in a reasonable amount of time, generally 24-48 business hours.
- Ask Questions
One of your attorney’s main jobs is to explain things to you clearly so you can understand them. If you are ever confused about something, do not be afraid to ask questions. A responsive attorney will be happy to answer your questions to help ensure that everything is clear to you and you are both on the same page.
- Be careful how much you tell about your case to others
In today’s digital age, information travels fast. And when you are dealing with a sensitive legal matter, the last thing you want is for the whole world to know about it. While your case is ongoing, a good rule of thumb is to speak about it only to your attorney and any close family members that you can fully trust to keep the matter confidential. Do NOT discuss your matter with those who might spread it around. And above all else, avoid posting anything about it on social media.