Communication is Key to Working With Your Employment Lawyer

Anthony Zaller over at California Employment Lawyer Blog put up a good article last week discussing some tips to make working with your employment lawyer easier and more effective. His five tips are:

  1. Ask a lot of questions.
  2. Respond quickly to your lawyer’s requests.
  3. Work with your lawyer before the need arises.
  4. Don’t kill the messenger.
  5. Be adaptable.

Click through to Anthony's blog to read his discussion of each of these points. It is an excellent article. But let me take just a moment to emphasize the importance of good communication. (See Nos. 1, 2 and 3). Communication with your attorney is probably the single most important thing you can do to make your case move more swiftly and arrive at a successful conclusion. As a client, the most important things you can do to help your lawyer are:

  • Make sure your lawyer has all relevant information - Don't hold anything back. If you have a criminal conviction, don't hide it. Got fired 20 years ago, make sure your lawyer knows. Thing there is a witness who has an axe to grind against you because of something unrelated? Tell your lawyer. Your lawyer can adjust and deal with almost anything...as long as he or she knows about it. Say it with me: Surprises kill cases!
  • Don't be difficult to contact - You are filing a lawsuit. If the matter is important enough to file suit over then it is important enough to stay involved and to be available to assist your lawyer in prosecuting. When your lawyer calls, take or return the call asap. If your lawyer requests information or documents, make it your highest priority to respond. If your lawyer needs to meet with you, take the time off from work and make the meeting. If your case isn't important enough for you to make it a high priority item then please don't waste everyone's time be hiring a lawyer in the first place.

Being available and communicating well will assist your attorney and greatly increase the chances of you getting the result you desire.