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What You Should Expect from Your Attorney

Many people going through a family law case have never worked with an attorney before. They have no idea what to expect of their attorney. This can create problems when one party has a good attorney and the other party doesn't realize their case isn't being handled the way that it should be. Here is a list of basic expectations you should have of your attorney in any case:

  1. Keeping You Informed
    Your lawyer has a duty to keep you informed about what is happening in your case at all times. You should receive copies of all documents filed in your case. If there are conversations taking place with the other attorney you should know about them.
  2. Abiding by Your Decisions
    Your lawyer has to allow you to make all important decisions in your case after explaining the available options to you clearly. The lawyer can strongly recommend a decision and often has reasons for doing so but ultimately the decision is always up to you.
  3. Keeping Matters Confidential
    Communications between you and your lawyer are confidential. Your lawyer shouldn't be discussing your case with anyone else without your consent.
  4. Moving Your Case Along
    You are entitled to have your case move along as fast as the court system will allow. Your lawyer should let you know what that time frame is. If your lawyer is very busy and is unable to get your case to court in a reasonable period of time they have an obligation to let you know that.
  5. Explaining the Bills
    You should be receiving detailed, itemized statements from your lawyer every month without fail. If there are charges you don't understand or that you dispute you are entitled to an explanation.
  6. Courteous Treatment
    You should be treated with respect by your lawyer and his or her staff. Yelling at you, hanging up on you, or calling you names at any time for any reason should not be tolerated.