How to Prepare For An Initial Call With a Lawyer

It is a good idea to tell the lawyers who you call that you saw them on the website, so that the lawyers know the source of your call.

We suggest you spend as much time as you need to prepare for your call. Jot down on paper, or on your preferred device, some of the following information:  

If there was an accident,  list the locations, dates, times, and witnesses, and others involved. If you are buying a house, inform the lawyer the location, price, and whether you are applying for a mortgage. If you are forming a new , jot down how many other people are involved, how you wish to divide ownership, and your specific goals and plans. 

Having a note in front of you while making the call to a lawyer will make it easier for you to communicate to the lawyer what is important, and will also enable a staff member to know how to direct and advise you. Most importantly, it will make it easier for you to choose the right lawyer for you. 

Information That You Would Rather Not Share

You should avoid keeping information from the lawyer that you would rather not talk about. Doing so could put your legal situation at a disadvantage. It is best that the lawyer knows in advance of possible difficulties that could arise in your case. This will make it easier for the lawyer to be prepared to handle them in your favor. Also, discussing these matters during your call will let you know what the lawyer is prepared to do about them – and will help you in choosing the right lawyer for you.

Ask Questions

During your discussions with the lawyer or a member of the law firm staff, do not be reluctant to ask questions about anything that you do not fully understand. Lawyers and their staff know that they may use legal terms that are not generally known to people who are not lawyers. So, there is no reason for you to hesitate to ask questions.

Prior Actions Taken By You

If you have taken any actions in your case before consulting the lawyer, be sure and tell the lawyer. It is best to tell the lawyer of this, so that they can better advise you in advance about whether or not that is a problem and what can be done about it. It will also help you in choosing the right lawyer for you. 

Confidentiality of Your Conversations

 If there is information that you are worried about telling the lawyer, it is best to ask the lawyer if your conversations are confidential. Confidentiality of communications between a client and a lawyer means that the lawyer can not tell others about what you tell them. The confidentiality of what you tell a lawyer arises when you enter into a legal relationship with the lawyer. If you are not sure of this, or have any concerns about this, be sure and ask the lawyer about it. 

The purpose of the lawyer-client confidential relationship is to enable you to freely communicate with the lawyer without fear that the information you tell the lawyer can ever be used against you. There are some common exceptions to the lawyer-client confidentiality relationship. For example, the confidentiality privilege that applies to a person may not apply to that person's corporation. The confidentiality privilege is also broken if there is another person present during your conversation with the lawyer. This situation can be overcome if the other person and you both retain the same lawyer. 

The confidentiality privilege also does not apply if a person tells a lawyer about plans to commit a crime. However, if a person is talking to a lawyer after having committed a crime, for example, in consulting a Criminal Defense lawyer, that conversation is privileged and can not be used against them.  

One common mistake people often make about confidential communications is that they assume that the information they provide to an accountant is confidential. That is not so, unless, for example, the accountant is working in conjunction with your tax lawyer.

Lawyer Fees

You should inquire about fees and fee arrangements. Make sure that you can afford to pay for the lawyer's services. For accidents and personal injury cases, the lawyer's fee is usually taken from the money recovered in the case. The percentage is usually governed by state law or custom. 

Time Limitations on Filing Cases

Do not wait too long to find a lawyer. Statutes of Limitations are laws that prevent you from bringing a lawsuit after the legal time to do so expires. So, it is best to look for a lawyer as soon as possible. 

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Business,commercial litigation & dispute resolution,employment litigation,general business counsel,insurance law,securities law
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