If you are yet to read part 1 of this article, please do so now by clicking here.
In a career that has included building client relationships and winning cases since 1998, I can say with some experience what people need to know when embarking on litigation through the use of a lawyer. By following these tips you may find life is a lot less stressful.
6. Get your opponent out from behind their lawyer as soon as possible.
The best way to settle the case is to meet the other side face to face. You will always get keyboard warriors writing long and expensive letters, telling you how everyone must work together to try to find a way to avoid long and wasteful legal cases and how they have been more than reasonable blah blah blah. Watch out for those who are posturing and treat it as a tick box exercise. Good lawyers will cut through the waffle and will set up a meeting. It may be the best chance to show the other side that their lawyer is now the problem and not part of the solution. All you need are two rooms and some free time.
7. Make notes, never trust a memory.
Memories are like muscles: the more they are exercised the better they perform. Even so, much will be lost as time passes. Effective litigation must involve writing down what you can recall as soon as possible and then reviewing it. If you don’t write your recollections down, your lawyer will have to do it – and will charge you for the privilege of creating something almost certainly inferior to what you could do.
8. Do not pursue what you see as justice for the good of society.
I regret to say it, but society will not thank you for making the world a more just place, nor will it replenish your savings after you have won the case at the cost of your financial security. Your loved ones will be put through almost as much stress as you. It might be worse for them as they are not in control of the case but still face the risk of losing everything alongside you. Ask yourself; what is in the interests of those who depend on you? That is almost always the right answer and will be an answer you can live with. A good lawyer will be one that does not take your money without exploring this point.
9. Is your lawyer accessible?
It might be a little optimistic to expect your lawyer to reply to every email within 5 minutes of it being sent, especially on a Sunday morning, but if they don’t contact you regularly or don’t make themselves available when you call, it might be time to consider if they want your business. If you get the impression your lawyer is hiding from you… they probably are. You need to instruct someone who cares about their service towards you.
10. Tell your lawyer everything from the start – warts and all
We are not mind readers and we are not magicians. We also know that no case is perfect. Tell us what you know, even the stuff you don’t want us to know. You have to assume that most of it will come out in the wash sooner or later anyway. You would be a brave person to assume your opponent (a) does not know these things, and (b) is not planning the best moment to employ it to maximum effect. By not telling your lawyer everything you only hurt yourself, you expose your case to being blindsided. If your lawyer doesn’t know about it they cannot prepare a strategy to deal effectively with it. And it also makes us lawyers fuming mad!
At Griffin Law we pride ourselves on our second to none legal advice in addition to our risk/fee sharing approach.
If you would like advice on any matter which is keeping you up at night, Griffin Law can help to provide prompt, commercially astute and cost-effective advice. Contact us via email or on 01732 525923
Article by Dan Sherlock, Senior Associate, Griffin Law