A dispute with your lawyer could significantly affect the outcome of your case. Besides, it could damage the reputation of the solicitor. The excerpt below discusses how to avoid and handle conflict with your solicitor.
Understand The Price Structure
Conflict is bound to arise when the client does not understand the solicitor's pricing strategy. As such, you should ask the lawyer to explain how much they will charge the service. For instance, consultation may or may not be free. Other than the standard fee, you may incur additional charges such as court application, administration or statuary fees. The lawyer should send regular detailed invoices to ensure you know how much you should pay.
Know The Solicitor's Terms
Examine the contract of engagement to understand the terms of your solicitor. Some of your concerns should include:
- What are the solicitor's operating hours? Some professionals may not be available during the weekend and holidays.
- Check the terms of contract termination. There are cases where the solicitor may impose a penalty if you terminate the contract without cause.
- The lawyer should explain how they will ensure confidentiality when handling your documents. Besides, inquire how long it will take the lawyer to return your documents after the case
Be Clear On The Services You Need
Let the lawyer know what services you require. For example, when writing your will, would you like the solicitor to conduct a formal valuation of your assets? If you need compensation for an ongoing personal injury suit, would you want your lawyer to collect additional evidence? Clients with a busy schedule, would want the lawyer to provide services at night, during the weekend and holidays. It is vital to discuss these issues with your lawyer since they might affect their pricing.
Let your lawyer know your expectations
It is especially so when you have an ongoing civil suit. For instance, some people would want a public apology rather than compensation during a personal injury suit. During a divorce, some people are more concerned about child custody as opposed to the equitable division of marital property. In criminal cases, some clients would want a prosecutor's deal as a way to avoid public scrutiny during in court. Once your lawyer knows your expectations, they will know how to plan and argue out your case.
Seek clarification if you have a problem with the lawyer's terms or pricing. It is a sure way to avoid conflicts at later stages. Most solicitors have a friendly conflict resolution mechanism that aims to strengthen client relationships. As such, you should not be afraid to raise an issue with your solicitor.
For more tips, reach out to a local solicitor.