THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCESS TO YOUR ATTORNEY
Access to one’s attorney is critically important, and the difference between success and failure in bringing a claim for personal injury or other wrongdoing. All too often, potential clients select attorneys based on their self-reported reputation and success, and are disappointed to discover their attorneys do not have time for them or their case, that the client interacts with associates or paralegals, and that they clients are not understood and their cases not developed. Potential clients should make sure when they are considering attorneys for their cases that they will have regular and direct access to their attorneys.
The attorney-client relationship, particularly in a trial or adversarial setting, must be akin to a partnership. The result obtained directly correlate to the closeness and extent of the working relationship between the attorney and the client. The client must have immediate and personal access to the attorney, and vice-versa. The attorney and client must think with one mind and develop a case accordingly.
The clearest example of the disadvantages of inadequate access to one’s attorney is in the criminal context, where it is generally known and accepted that a case can be much better developed and defended when a client is out of jail and able to work closely with his attorney to develop his defense. The same holds true in the civil context, where an attorney must be advising the client on a continual basis of developments in the case, difficulties with the case, and questions with the case. The attorney will require the client’s assistance in developing facts, resolving difficulties, answering questions, providing or explaining facts, and securing documents and information.
By the same token a client is entitled and should have ready access to his attorney to advise the attorney of new facts or ideas the client has, or to have his questions answered. It is only in this way that a case can be strengthened, difficulties avoided, and victory assured.