- You are the boss. Your lawyer works for you and doing what you want is more important than what he or she thinks (or wants). Like our doctors, we appreciate the professional training and experience our lawyers have. But it’s our cancer – or our lawsuit or business transaction – and we live with the outcome, and it should be ours even if our doctor or lawyer doesn’t approve. Unlike the Senate, which must advise and consent, the lawyer only advises – the client is the only one whose consent matters.
- Act as if you are the most important client your lawyer has. You are. Your time – and your concerns – are what your lawyer should care about whenever you have a question. And as for questions – you should have them. Is this the best deal for me? How long will a trial take? Have you ever tried a case like this before?
- Relationships are important. If you don’t feel good about how your lawyer treats you, or how you get along, seriously consider whether you have the right lawyer. And most times there are other good lawyers who could do a good job for you and make you feel better about the process, no matter what the result. And believe it or not, lawyers are people too – who have feelings and can be hurt and really appreciate a sincere compliment. A word to the wise – relationships are two way streets – and good lawyers sometimes fire clients too.
The Missouri Supreme Court reminds us, "The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements."