How to Communicate Effectively with Your Lawyer
Our Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Offers Free Consultations
The Law Offices of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates has spoken to thousands of people who came to our office when they are in a situation where their life is in peril or their freedom is at stake. We can see the distress and the angst in their eyes about what could possibly happen. Most of these people are good people that have made a mistake or are truly accused of something they didn’t do. There are, however, people in this world that are just non-repentant and don’t care about others and find themselves in situations where they are charged with crimes.
What we have learned is that how a lawyer and a client communicate is extremely important. Communication is key but not always effective! Most lawyers tend to talk “at” clients and many clients are disgruntled and really don’t have a lot of faith in what their lawyer is doing.
When your freedom is on the line, you deserve to work with a law firm that cares. Our Baltimore defense attorney understands the art of communication and the role it plays in your case. Speak with our team during a free consultation by calling (443) 709-9999 today.
Mastering the Art of Communication
The art of communication is probably one of the most difficult portions of representing clients. Whenever a lawyer has done something noteworthy or good for the client, many times the client doesn’t realize that something significant has occurred. That’s the lawyer’s fault. They have to explain what is happening in detail, without assuming that the client understands.
Most clients have no idea what is truly going on in their case. They just know that someone is handling the outcome, but the rest can be a blur. They are scared, have other issues in life, and sometimes can’t focus properly. Lawyers have to understand that. It is crisis time for many of these folks and they deserve to have you treat and represent them properly during this time period.
A lawyer should communicate the following to their clients:
- Bend over backward to make sure they understand the process
- Let them know you are fighting hard for them
- Tell them how good you are
- Give some semblance of an idea about where they are going to land
How Do Lawyer & Clients Effectively Communicate?
There’s no question that most of the process lies with the lawyer taking control. That doesn’t mean that clients aren’t responsible as well. A lawyer may speak to a client about the details of the case, interpreting the facts and the possible outcome. Of course, clients want to know what the law is all about and how it works. But when speaking to these clients later on, they really don’t even really remember what was said, sometimes having selective hearing because they desire a particular outcome. In general, clients just want to know what the final outcome is.
It is very similar to someone going to a doctor and receiving news about a medical prognosis. Many times the patients don’t remember the details, only the end result. It is very important to temper what is said to a client. It’s important to give a fair and accurate representation as to what could happen.
It’s also very difficult for an attorney to tell clients bad news. There are cases where clients are facing jail time and it’s the lawyer’s job to communicate effectively and be direct. It’s also the lawyer’s job to give perspective as to what can be accomplished with those possible results.
Starting with a Case Consultation
One of the first things our law firm does is discuss who can sit in on the consultation. Sometimes it’s good to have support present, but many times these friends, family members, and others have no idea what’s going on. As their potential Baltimore criminal defense lawyer, we are still bound by the laws of ethics and confidentiality. In other words, what they say is privileged and confidential but those same ethics and confidentiality laws do not apply to their support in the room.
Communication with a client, in the beginning, can be a tricky thing. A lawyer must be allowed to “paint” the conversation the way they need to. The rules of professional conduct prevent a lawyer from allowing a defendant to lie on the stand. If a lawyer has a good idea that the client is not being honest or is telling them something contrary to what they discuss in the office, then the lawyer is not allowed to let the client testify or promote false information. In some situations, the lawyer is required notify the court.
That is one reason why when our law firm speaks to clients about their case, we sometimes make it clear we don’t want to know the facts from their perspective. What’s really important is whether or not the government can prove their case against a client and not necessarily what kind of case the client can put together. Sometimes that changes and it needs to be discussed as the case proceeds.
How Our Baltimore Defense Lawyer Communicates
All lawyers at the Law Offices of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates make sure there’s effective communication via writing, email, and sometimes even texting. There’s nothing better than having a face-to-face with a client and we insist that the client come into the office every once in a while just to make sure that we are on the same page.
We also advocate telling a client about the great things being done in their case. Many lawyers make the mistake of doing good work, handling a client’s matter, and just informing them of the outcome. Clients want to know what the procedure is and also want to know what the lawyer is doing. If the client doesn’t know that it happened, they don’t know anything occurred. That equals poor communication and sometimes a bad outcome.
When you are facing legal action, work with the law firm that knows what you need. We provide free case consultations and keep you updated every step of the way. Call (443) 709-9999.