Communication is key between a client and a lawyer. This allows for the lawyer to receive as much information from the client and for the client to be updated on the progress of their case. The ABA Standard for Criminal Justice 4-3.8 states “Defense counsel should keep the client informed of the developments in the case and the progress of preparing the defense and should promptly comply with reasonable request for information.” (ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct) A lawyer’s obligation is to advise the defendant of case development and to respond to a defendant’s request of information.
A lawyer is there to advise and help you understand the progress of your case. If you are having trouble understanding the advice or documents you are entitle to ask your lawyer for assistance. It is important to know that many lawyers often take more than one case so as a client one should know that your lawyer will not always be available, but as a client one should respond to a calls and messages. A lawyer understands the amount of stress you are under. If you feel you are not receiving progress of your case you may consider calling them and setting up an appointment face to face in order to clear up questions and concerns.
Below there is a list of expectations you should expect from your lawyer and what he/she should expect from you as a client.
Your lawyer should:
-tell you what to expect
-explain when things should happen
-tell you what’s important in your case
-explain delays or date changes
– explain the risks of going to trial versus settling
– prepare you for your deposition, and
– prepare you for your trial
-follow through on what you agree to do
– prepare a written summary and chronology of events
-inform your lawyer of new developments
– respect your lawyer’s time and schedule
-provide requested information promptly
-let your lawyer know if you’ll be unavailable