Q:Can my attorney speak for me in this case? I’m not so great with words.
A:An attorney, and their staff, can be hired by you as a client to complete certain tasks and assist in specific areas of your case. Attorneys understand family laws, have experience working with families like yours and can provide guidance based on the aforementioned factors. However, an attorney cannot speak for you. Decisions to be made should be made by you with the advice of counsel assisting you. Additionally, if you are called upon to testify in court the attorney can ask questions but will not be put under oath and cannot testify in your place.
Q:What role does my attorney’s staff play in a divorce case?
A:Your attorney is only as good as their staff in many instances. Family law attorneys spend a great deal of their time in court- probably more than any other attorneys across the legal field. As a result, you should expect to interact with your attorney’s paralegal(s), legal assistants, and others a great deal throughout the case. These support staff are guided by your attorney and provide information based on their experience but are not trained to specifically provide legal advice.
Q:What do I need to prepare for as a client of an attorney?
A:Staying up to date on your case is key. Attorneys are busy- but so are you! That means communication with your lawyer will be key. Speak to any of our attorneys and they will tell you that having an open line of communication with the client is critical to a successful case. You can have the most favorable circumstances in the world, but if you cannot communicate strategy, goals and settlement offers with your lawyer then you will struggle. Communication is a two-way street- work with your lawyer to develop an effective means of communication.
Q:Do attorneys get angry if I ask a lot of questions?
A:No. There is so much in a family law case that will be new to you. Your lawyer does not expect you to stay up late each night reading the Texas Family Code. This is very likely to be a new experience for you. However, that does not mean that you can’t read emails, review paperwork, and complete the mini assignments given to you by your lawyer. If you do not understand something- just ask. Better to do that than to make assumptions and then make mistakes.
Q:Do lawyers like to discuss case related matters via email or phone?
A:It all depends on the lawyer. Most busy people prefer email because it allows for reasonably quick bursts of information to be shared. On the other hand, communication is a two-way street and email is a one-way message out to another person. Talk to your attorney at the beginning of the case to see how he or she likes to communicate with clients. You may be able to work out a plan to discuss matters on a regular basis each week either by phone or email.