Client Communications – Keeping the Client Informed
A recent article out at Lawyerist.com tells lawyers that lack of communication is the number one complaint by clients about attorneys. No surprise there, I wouldn’t think.
At our firm, we do our best to communicate with you when you need information. We are committed to providing initial in-person meetings with attorneys, not staff. We are committed to making sure that your communications with us are confidential, and will not be discussed with others. I send my clients monthly updates on their cases whether the case has been active or whether we are simply waiting on a court ruling before we can get the case moving along.
Of course, we are not perfect. We are blessed to have hundreds of clients, and sometimes it can be a struggle to keep up. That’s why we use the wonders of modern communication, e-mail, web intakes, and even text messages to improve our client communication. And we are always available for in-person meetings. Our attorneys set aside certain days of the week solely for meetings with you to update you on your case.
After our initial meeting for a personal injury case, there is usually a four to six week period of down time where we are working to gather your medical records and investigate your claim. Next, if we cannot resolve your case out-of-court, we must file your claim. After a claim is filed, the defendant has 30 to 45 days to answer your complaint. This results in another period which oftentimes seems slow. After the defendant answers, things start to pick up. Both sides exchange “discovery,” which are usually written questions directed to both parties. Then, each party may take depositions. After depositions are complete, another effort at settlement is usually required by the courts. If that effort is not successful, your case is set for trial.
The court’s trial calendar can sometimes be extremely full, and your case may not be tried the first time it is ready. We do our best to use our experience in the judicial system to make sure that your case is resolved or tried as promptly as possible. We know that you have suffered a loss, and the sooner we are able to get your case resolved, the better off you are. That said, cases will not be resolved on unfair terms simply because of delays in the court system.
Finally, we are ethically obligated to inform you of all settlement offers by the defendant, even if they are extremely low and not acceptable. We always communicate settlement offers to you and make counter-offers that you approve and which are acceptable to you.
The old saying is that communication is a “two-way street,” and as the article referenced above says, both attorney and client can maximize their communication through their best efforts. If you need to speak to one us, make an appointment, e-mail us, or if it is urgent have a legal assistant track us down, even if we out of the office investigating another case. Lawyers are made to serve their clients, and that’s our commitment to you.