Client’s Rights & Responsibilities
Knowledge is power
You are entitled to quality services from your lawyer. In this article, you’ll find out what you have a right to expect from your Arizona lawyer.
Communication problems create problems in all relationships – business or personal. Communication failures can go both ways – for both the lawyer and the client. If you don’t know what happened in your case, you may think you have the wrong lawyer. On the contrary, your lawyer may be doing a good job, they are just terrible at communicating with their clients. This failure to keep the client informed during the course of the case will always increase, not reduce, your stress. On the other side of that communication coin, if you are not responding to your lawyer it results in unnecessary stress for your lawyer. Also, it probably results in you paying higher fees because the lawyer is spending unnecessary time trying to get you to respond.
For most people, the big shock is that there is no guarantee your lawyer will do a good job. That is why it is important you check out the lawyer’s reviews, history, and status at the Arizona State Bar (www.azbar.org). If your lawyer is not communicating with you or is doing a bad job, you can file a complaint with the Arizona State Bar. The Arizona Supreme Court and Arizona State Bar can prosecute lawyers who violate certain rules of conduct.
Sometimes “good work” is relative. For example, a client may expect to be acquitted in criminal proceedings. However, other private criminal attorneys might consider a reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor charge a job well done.
The number one bar complaint is “my lawyer will not communicate with me”. Insist that your lawyer communicate with you, or find another lawyer.
I also recommend understanding a “Lawyer’s Creed of Professionalism”. This is how I try to conduct myself daily.