Steps To Establish An Attorney-Client Relationship

There are two primary elements to keep in mind when it comes to establishing the attorney-client relationship.  The first is seeking an attorney for either advice or assistance, and the second, the attorney will either give or agree to provide the service or guidance requested.

Worth noting is that if the client believes that a relationship exists between them and an attorney, the attorney is bound by professional obligations to assist the client. Attorneys also have limited commitments of a professional nature to those who are non-clients, including both former and prospective clients, even if they never end up retaining the attorney.

For this primary reason, both the client and the attorney must understand if there is indeed the existence of an attorney-client relationship.  Before entering into any form of association, both sides must be mindful of and determine if there may be any possible conflict of interest that may negate the legality of representation.  

Several steps will lead to the forming of an attorney-client relationship:

-         The initial contact with the client

-         Screening by both parties

-         Interview by both parties

-         Declining or acceptance of offered representation

-         Declining or accepting of said representation in writing

The two most crucial steps in the process are the initial contact and screening and the interview with the attorney.

Contact And Initial Screening

In most cases, a client's first contact with a personal injury attorney's office is via telephone. Many may, nowadays, choose to contact the attorney via email over the internet as well.  Essential to remember is that courtesy and respect are to be shown by both parties involved in the initial phase of contact.  Promp responses to any emails received by any parties involved are a basic courtesy.

When either calling on the phone or sending an email, the person who is the point of contact for the firm should make it a point to ask questions that will be contained on a consultation form.  This information is vital in determining ifyou and the personal injury attorney will want to proceed with the next step in the overall process, which includes screening for any possible conflicts.  

Suppose it is determined that the particular individual contacted within the firm feels they do not have the adequate time to devote to your case.  In that instance, they should provide the common courtesy of directing you to another attorney within the firm.

The Interview

Important to remember is that the interview will be going both ways.  It will determine if a prospective client will want to hire the attorney while at the same time allowing the attorney to determine if there may be any conflicts that will prevent them from providing their services.  The interview will also give you insight into whether you feel that the attorney is competent enough to handle your representation.

During the interview, you and your prospective attorney will go over the case's specifics, touching on all the necessary information and details.  Most vital at this phase is that you listen carefully to all questions and answer them to the best of your knowledge.  Also, make sure that if you have any questions you pose them now and that you listen to all the answers.

As with any form of meeting or transaction, you will need to rely not only on your feelings but also on your first impressions, as they play a vital role in making your final decision. Did the firm and its staff members warmly welcome you?  Were you thanked for reaching out to them,and was your time given respected?

The most vital key to any relationship, including that of anattorney-client-based one, is that there is an open line of communication in both directions from both parties involved. Communication should be a major concern in every step of the procedure and part of every conversation or action taken. For there to be proper communication, there are a few areas to keep in mind:

-         The attorney has explained to your satisfaction the scope of the representation they will be providing.

-         The fee arrangement is laid out in simple ,understandable terms up front, including the fees charged, why they will be charged, and what the fees will cover.

-         You have all the information needed to ensure that your representation will proceed based on good faith.

-         What is needed from you, by the attorney, in the way of any necessary documents or legal papers?

-         The attorney has made clear that they can not promise or guarantee the lawsuit results.

If you go into the meeting prepared with the knowledge and materials needed, the process will proceed much smoother for all the parties involved.

The Bryant Law Firm has helped thousands of injury victims in the Greater Houston Area and all across Texas.  Let David A. Bryant, Jr. help you get theappropriate medical treatment and compensation you deserve.

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