In a lot of the questions & comments that I get, a lot of my viewers are being represented by a family law attorney. They are looking at my videos just to supplement what they are doing with an attorney.
But what I am also hearing is that people are either dissatisfied with the communication with their attorney or they are not happy with the work the attorney is doing. The point I want to get a across to you today is you have to communicate with your attorney. You have to tell your attorney what it is you expect & what it is you want. Furthermore, you must be open-minded where your attorney is concerned.
Remember you hired your attorney for a reason and the attorney is the expert & presumably knows how to manage & handle a divorce or custody case. So to a certain extent you have to let the attorney to his or her job but you need to talk about it. If you have a problem with your attorney, communicate with him or her. Let them know how you are feeling and how you would like to change things.
Now if you have already had one or more conversations with your attorney and things have not changed or you are still not satisfied, you don't have that connection or your phone calls are not being returned, things aren't being filed or not being filed in a timely mater...maybe it is time to make a change.
What you have to know is that you are in charge of your case and you do have a choice about who you hire to help you and if you are not satisfied then you are free to get another attorney. Also there are many different ways you can work with an attorney. You don't have to hire an attorney to represent you fully.
As an example I have a couple of clients who came to me and their resources were really limited but they still needed my help in responding to a couple of motions. So even though they could not afford to hire me to represent them fully, I could still help them in a limited way. So we entered into an agreement for me to just help them respond to motions. This is called a limited scope representation in Arizona.
So you are somewhere where you need an attorney's help but can't afford them fully on your case, find out if there is an option where they can help you do a couple of things such as preparing or filing a motion, helping you to get your discovery together or pre-trial statement, or just show up for one hearing. If that is available in your jurisdiction then that might be a good option for you.
Another way I work with people is on a as needed basis. When they need me they make an appointment, come into the office and consult with me and pay me for the time that we spent in the office.
This is not my preferred mode of helping somebody because obviously I"m not fully informed about what's been going on in their case, I haven't read all the motions, pleadings and minute entries so it's hard for me to be 100% about the direction I'm pointing them in.
But I really can give them good advice generally speaking about getting them prepared for hearings & trial advocacy. So if you want help with just trial strategy or just reviewing a document that you prepared, then consulting with an attorney on an as needed basis may be the way to go.
Again, if you are not happy you have a right to fire your attorney and find someone else. But also remember that your attorney can fire you if you are not being the best client you can.