The Attorney-Client Relationship
When you hire a lawyer, you should expect professional and ethical behavior from a lawyer who:
- Will treat you with respect and courtesy.
- Will handle your legal matter competently and diligently.
- Will exercise independent professional judgment on your behalf.
- Will charge a reasonable fee and explain in advance how that fee will be computed.
- Will respond promptly to telephone calls and written communications.
- Will keep you informed and provide you with copies of important papers.
- Will preserve client confidences learned during the lawyer-client relationship.
- Will exhibit the highest degree of ethical conduct and deal honestly and truthfully with you, the adversary, other lawyers and the judge.
- Will be guided by a fundamental sense of fair play for the process and
- The participants and will not abuse the system or the profession.
- Will respect your decisions on the objectives to be pursued in your case, as permitted by law and the Rules of Professional Conduct, including whether to settle your case.
Your lawyer will expect you:
- To be honest and forthright.
- To tell your lawyer the truth and promptly notify the lawyer of any change of circumstance.
- To understand that the lawyer has other clients who are equally deserving of the lawyer’s time and efforts.To tell your lawyer immediately if you are unhappy regarding the representation and the reasons why.
- To refrain from asking the lawyer to engage in illegal, unethical or unprofessional activities.
- To be prompt in communications for appointments or legal proceedings.
- To pay your lawyer promptly and as agreed.
- To question promptly billing entries which appear incorrect or which you do not understand.
- To discuss the matter with your attorney immediately if you cannot pay as agreed.
This article is reprinted from The Missouri Bar website - www.mobar.org