WHAT ARE SOME FACTORS YOU CONSIDER TO BE IMPORTANT IN DEVELOPING A STRONG ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP?I think maybe the biggest thing is taking all the time that is necessary. Just like in any relationship, a good relationship, trust, or rapport, develops with time. You’re not going to get a good rapport with someone who is only willing to give you ten minutes. You need to be spending a lot of time at every phase. There has to be great communication, there has to be easy communication. From being able to get a hold of a person, and getting a response within a reasonable time, to them really giving you their time in person or on the phone. Part of building a rapport is having someone who’s really willing to listen. But, there’s a flip side to that too. You also want to find someone who’s going to give you tough love and who’s going to give you strong advice. You want someone who you respect as a client because the attorney gives it to you straight.
When individuals hire a private defense attorney, they are putting their hard-earned dollars towards trying to defend a case and they’re paying for the experience, they’re paying for an opinion, and they’re always entitled to hear the truth from their lawyer. They’re always entitled to hear what the lawyer thinks and sometimes that’s not going to be what they want to hear. But you definitely don’t want someone who’s just going to tell you what you want to hear and at the end of the process, when the outcome is bad say, well, it’s the judge’s fault or it’s someone else’s fault. You want someone who gives you that balance of listening but also using a firm, experienced hand in guiding you.
HOW DO YOU STRIVE PERSONALLY TO BUILD A STRONG ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP?
CONFLICT OF INTERESTVery often, the first hurdle your personal injury lawyer will have to clear is establishing if there is a conflict of interest. In the legal system, conflicts of interest arise when a lawyer has a personal interest in the outcome of a case. This might be because they have direct involvement or because of a third party. An example would be if the defendant is a friend or relative. Or if they have legal or financial ties to a company that is being sued. A good example of this would be in motor vehicle accident-related cases. You wouldn’t want to hire a lawyer that also works for insurance companies! Of course, if a lawyer does have an interest in the outcome of a case, they might not provide the same level of service as they would otherwise. This is why the law requires that they refuse to act. In simpler terms, if a lawyer discovers a conflict of interest, they cannot proceed with the case. This may occur at any stage during the case, although it’s more common to discover these issues early in the process. Conflicts of interest aren’t always obvious early on though. If your chosen lawyer discovers while working on your case that there is a conflict of interest, they will remove themselves from the case. They may also recommend another lawyer or law firm to take over. This is not because they don’t want to work with you anymore. It’s a legal requirement to ensure that your rights as a client are protected.
FIDUCIARY DUTYThe next important part of the lawyer-client relationship in Alberta is a fiduciary duty. This means that lawyers must always be honest and forthcoming in their dealings with their clients. The law requires personal injury lawyers (and all other lawyers and solicitors) to act in good faith. This means that they must make the best decisions possible on behalf of their clients, with the information at hand. It also requires that lawyers be open and honest with their clients. This means your lawyer is required to disclose any information they have that might have an impact on your case or the outcome. In a nutshell, your lawyer is legally obligated to provide the best possible professional service and to always be driven by your best interests.
SOLICITOR-CLIENT PRIVILEGESolicitor-client privilege has had a lot of coverage in popular culture. You’ve probably seen it on countless television shows and in the movies. But, while it’s a very real part of the lawyer-client relationship, it might not be exactly as it is depicted. Solicitor-client privilege protects communications between a client and his or her lawyer. This means that anything you have told your legal representative in confidence cannot be disclosed without your express permission. This allows clients to speak freely and allows lawyers to get as much information about the client and their case as possible. Solicitor-client privilege is not absolute though. There are rules that must be followed. The communication must be between the client and their lawyer and must be related to the case. There must also be the intent of confidentiality. This means that you can’t expect to be covered by the solicitor-client privilege if you choose to have a discussion in a public place, where anyone might overhear the conversation. Solicitor-client privilege also won’t cover any conversations where any intent to commit fraud or a crime is disclosed. Your lawyer has a duty to protect your privacy and rights, but they are also bound by a code of conduct.
CLIENT DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIESThe lawyer-client relationship in personal injury law is designed to protect clients and ensure that they get the absolute best legal representation possible. But clients also have various duties and responsibilities in ensuring the success of their case. These include: Provide as much evidence as possible. This may include photographs, correspondence, and documentation. It can take a long time between when an incident occurs and when a case goes to trial, and this is the best way to ensure that the facts from the time of the event are accurately presented. Be honest with your lawyer. Your lawyer needs to know the facts of the case, regardless of who they might seem to favor. This allows them to build a better case on your behalf. So always tell your lawyer the whole truth. Treat your lawyer and their team politely and with respect. The process of personal injury law can be long and frustrating, but we’re all on the same team. Respect our time. During your case, there will be meetings and legal proceedings. It’s important that you attend these meetings and be punctual. We know that you might not be able to attend every discovery or mediation, but if you can’t, let us know. It may be possible to reschedule, and that really is in your own best interests. Keep your lawyer informed about any changes. If your medical condition changes or new evidence comes to light, it’s important to communicate it as quickly as possible. All these things allow your personal injury lawyer to provide the best advice and service. The more information your team has, and the better the communication between you and your lawyer, the smoother the process will be. Personal injury lawsuits can take some time too. This is why it’s important to maintain a good professional relationship and to work together.
WORKING TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTSWhen a personal injury lawyer takes on your case, they are committing to work to protect your rights. The facts of the case are especially important and will have the biggest bearing on the outcome. But the lawyer-client relationship is a big part of the process too. Many personal injury cases can take months or even years to conclude, which means that you will be working with your lawyer for a long time. Choose someone that has the right reputation, but also that you have a good rapport with. Then support them by providing as much factual information as possible as soon as you become aware of it. Personal injury law is not always cut and dried. The plaintiff’s team will be working just as hard to build their case. That is why it’s so important to work together to ensure that your rights are protected.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT LAW FIRMWorking with the right law firm can have an enormous impact on the outcome of your personal injury case. That, in turn, can determine your quality of life going forward. For that reason, it’s critically important to make the right decision when it comes to legal representation. Your personal injury legal representative should be experienced, and have experience working for clients within the Alberta legal system. They should be compassionate and understand how your accident has affected your life and your livelihood. Most importantly, if you or someone you care about is injured because of negligence, you deserve to be fairly and appropriately compensated. Accidents and the resulting injuries can have a profound and long-lasting impact on your life. Personal injury lawyers work hard to ensure that their clients can offset that impact financially. Make sure that you take the time to find the right fit. Review their credentials and their track record. Make sure that they understand your case and empathize with you. The right lawyer-client relationship could be pivotal in the success of your case. Get as much information as possible, so you can make an informed decision. If you or your family have been injured due to the negligence or actions of someone else, we’d like to talk. Contact our office to discuss your case, to find out more about our personal injury law practice, and to find out if we’re a good fit. We work hard to protect the interests of our clients, and if we’re the right law firm for you, we’ll do the same for you.…
What should I do if I get sued for what I blogged?You should contact an attorney (if you don't know an attorney, EFF may be able to help you find one). If the statement at issue is protected speech, you may be entitled to move to strike the complaint under your state's Anti-SLAPP laws.
How do I know if I am being SLAPPed?SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, and the Anti-SLAPP laws are designed to help people sued for legitimate, protected speech made about public issues. If you are sued because you wrote about an issue of public interest or concern, you may have been SLAPPed. The California Anti-SLAP Project and the First Amendment Project have excellent FAQs on Anti-SLAPP laws. Note that Anti-SLAPP laws don't exist in every state, and they vary quite a bit among states, so this may not be available to everyone.
Can EFF defend me?Maybe. EFF is a small, grassroots legal advocacy nonprofit supported by member contributions. We provide pro bono (free) legal assistance in cases where we believe we can help shape the law. Unfortunately, we have a relatively small number of very hard-working attorneys, so we do not have the resources to defend everyone who asks, no matter how deserving. If we cannot assist you, we will make every effort to put you in touch with attorneys who can. If you're in trouble, you can contact us at email@example.com. We also encourage you to review and use our extensive web archive of legal documents at http://eff.org/legal/cases/. You may download any of our legal filings.
I'm not in the United States — do these FAQs apply to me?No. This legal guide is based on the laws in the United States, where there is a strong constitutional protection for speech. Many other countries do not have strong protections, making it easier to sue for speech. (See, for example, the BBC's guide, How to Avoid Libel and Defamation.) However, US courts are reluctant to enforce foreign judgments that would restrict your freedom of speech. So if you are sued in the United Kingdom for defamation, you might lose your UK case, but the winner would have a hard time collecting in the United States. If you know of a similar guide for your own jurisdiction or feel inspired to research and write one, please let us know. We can link to it here. We don't have the expertise or resources to speak to other countries' legal traditions, but we'd like to work with those who do.
Do the laws vary from state to state?Yes. While the Constitution and federal laws, such as copyright law or Section 230, apply nationwide, many laws that affect bloggers vary from state to state. For example, defamation, reporter shield laws, and privacy laws are defined by each state (within constitutional boundaries).
What legal liability issues can arise from my blog?Generally, you face the same liability issues as anyone making a publication available to the public, and receive the same freedom of speech and press protections. The main legal liability issues include:
- Intellectual Property (Copyright/Trademark)
- Trade Secret
- Right of Publicity
- Publication of Private Facts
- Intrusion into Seclusion
Enough of your legal mumbo-jumbo, just give it to me straight!If you're concerned that you may have published a statement on your blog that could be false or cause harm to someone's reputation (or someone is claiming you have), check out The Bloggers' FAQ on Online Defamation Law. The Bloggers' FAQ on Intellectual Property will help you understand your rights to link to information, quote from articles and blogs, or otherwise use someone else's creative works. It also addresses situations where you can use the brand name of a good or service in your blog. Here you can also learn about the right of publicity, which is relevant if you want to use someone's name or image in a commercial context. Trade secret law concerns the protection of confidential corporate information; for more information see the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse's FAQ on trade secret law. The Bloggers' FAQ on Privacy covers "publication of private facts" law, which is designed to protect a person's private information, even if the information is truthful. It also addresses "intrusion into seclusion" law, which is designed to protect people's privacy and their interest in being left alone.
Are these the only legal issues for publishers or bloggers?No. In our litigious society, there are many "causes of action" — reasons for initiating a lawsuit — which a creative and determined plaintiff can dream up. Aggressive plaintiffs will sometimes use dubious causes of action in an effort to squelch protected speech (for example, claiming that when they receive an offensive email, it constitutes trespass to the email server (see EFF's Open Letter to Shearman & Sterling). Fortunately, First Amendment protections for publications are strong and can help you defend against unwarranted legal threats.
What if I get sued for something written by another person that I posted on my blog?A federal law known as Section 230 can protect Internet intermediaries from most civil liability for statements by another information content provider. See The Bloggers' FAQ on Section 230 Protections for more.
Do I have a right to blog anonymously?Yes. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the First Amendment right to speak anonymously: "author is generally free to decide whether or not to disclose his or her true identity. The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one's privacy as possible. Whatever the motivation may be...the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry. Accordingly, an author's decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment." (McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm)
Sweet, no one will ever be able to find out my identity!Not quite. If you try to blog anonymously through a third-party service, you may be subject to subpoenas seeking your identity from your blogging service provider. EFF has written a guide to blogging anonymously that may help you, and Reporters Without Borders has a guide to anonymizing technology.
Oh no, my ISP was subpoenaed for my identity!If you receive notice of a subpoena and you wish to retain your anonymity, you should contact an attorney about filing a motion to quash (drop) the subpoena. Many courts have required the subpoenaing party to show a compelling need for the information that outweighs the speakers' constitutional rights to free speech and privacy. For more information, see this list of EFF cases on online anonymity.
Hey — my ISP took down my protected speech. Did it violate my constitutional rights?No. The First Amendment protects you against government censorship and prevents the courts from enforcing a private-party action that violates the First Amendment, but it does not require a private party (like your ISP) to host speech. Indeed, the First Amendment also includes the right not to speak and that protects your ISP against claims that it "must" host whatever you decide to say.
Should I publicize cease-and-desist letters?You betcha! Unwarranted cease-and-desist letters chill perfectly legitimate speech. The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse is collecting a database of cease-and-desist letters to document the chill. Chilling Effects also annotates the notices to help you understand your legal rights.
Are the legal issues with forums, bulletin boards, chat rooms, web pages and the like significantly different from blogs?No. While Legal Guide for Bloggers is focused on blogs, the legal issues discussed here are broadly applicable to a wide variety of types of online publishing. For example, a web page where you place your thoughts and opinions is similar to a blog. An online forum where people can post comments is similar to the comment section of a blog.
Do the commenters on my blog have a First Amendment right to say whatever they want in the comments?Generally no. Unless you are a government entity operating a public forum, you have a First Amendment right to publish your blog in the way that you want, which includes the right to choose who may participate in discussions on your blog. Nevertheless, we encourage you to allow wide-open and robust debates in the comments on your blogs. Private action to edit or delete comments may be legal, but can also exclude important voices from a debate.
But the forum moderator edited some of my comments, deleted others and is being a jerk! Please tell me all the legal claims I might have against them so I can sue them into the ground.Being a jerk is not a reason to sue someone. Nor is there a claim against blog hosts for exercising their free speech rights to control their forums. Even if there were any valid claims, please remember that lawsuits are expensive, not very fun and should only be thought of as a last resort. If you don’t like what someone is doing, you can start your own blog and express your opinions there.…
Perfect your intake processOne of the most challenging aspects of client service is the intake process. From having that first contact with clients to having them sign a retainer, there’s a lot of scopes for things to go wrong and for them to lose faith in you. Clients are paying money to hire someone to take care of situations that involve delving into their personal issues, and hopefully winning them the rights to something they believe they deserve. Clients need to see and feel that your firm is organized, and that their requests are handled in a timely manner. Follow these four simple steps to make sure your intake process goes smoothly.
- Make sure you know what phase each client is at
- Use standardized templates for the common cases your firm handles
- Make sure the staff know all the ins and outs of your firm’s policies
- Use e-signing
Use text for updates
Use your emotional intelligenceAlways remember that clients are often coming to you when they are going through an emotionally charged situation - a divorce, a criminal charge, an inheritance due to the death of a loved one, unfair treatment at work. You may be seeing this person at their worst, so make sure that you (and your administrative staff) are skilled and sympathetic listeners who know how to comfort clients without escalating their already frayed nerves. Your office environment also matters - make sure it’s welcoming and showcasing why your clients can trust you. For example, soundproof meeting rooms can give peace of mind to the clients who need to discuss personal matters and share their sensitive information with your solicitors. Anticipate the possible triggers of unstable emotional conditions. When you’re dealing with bereavements, photos of happy families and lovers aren’t the best choice to decorate the walls. Offering excellent client care will help grow your firm’s business and reputation. Improving your intake processes, using emotional intelligence to handle clients, and embracing the use of text for updates and appointment reminders can all enhance your firm’s client care. Views expressed in our blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Law Society. …
Managing Partner – Law Firm Job Responsibilities:A managing partner makes the law firm successful by focusing its people and their efforts on serving clients.
Managing Partner – Law Firm Job Duties:
- Accomplishes law firm human resource strategies by determining law firm structure; establishing, communicating, and enforcing values, policies, and procedures; implementing recruitment, selection, orientation, training, coaching, counseling, disciplinary, and communication programs; planning, monitoring, appraising, and reviewing job contributions; establishing compensation strategies.
- Establishes law firm organizational strategies by contributing opinions and substantiation to the firm’s strategic thinking and direction; creating functional strategic thinking and direction; establishing functional objectives in line with organizational objectives.
- Establishes law firm operational strategies by evaluating trends; defining critical measurements; establishing production, productivity, quality, and client-service strategies; evaluating service results; defining systems objectives; accumulating resources; establishing change strategies.
- Establishes law firm financial strategies by forecasting and anticipating requirements and trends; distributing monetary resources; evaluating results.
- Creates understanding and positive image of the law firm by building relationships; maintaining credibility; providing information to the legal community, media, government, and the public; building legal staff and employee commitment to the firm and the community; providing the firm’s fair share of pro bono representations; following other American Bar Association suggestions and guidelines.
- Generates revenues by attracting and pleasing clients; obtaining new referrals from existing and past clients.
- Increases revenues by exploring new and additional services; developing and presenting cost-benefit analyses of new and additional services to Senior Partners.
- Maintains law firm stability by establishing and communicating a law firm value system; enforcing ethical legal practices; inspiring service excellence.
- Prevents disruptive conflicts by observing and resolving disagreements among specialty groups and between service areas; remaining objective; identifying root causes of internal problems; implementing pragmatic solutions; promoting harmonious work relationships.
- Updates job knowledge by creating state-of-the-art practices within the firm; providing leadership in educational and professional organizations; being sought as a subject-matter expert; contributing to professional publications; maintaining personal networks.
- Enhances law firm reputation by doing anything and everything legally, ethically, and morally appropriate to assist the firm in helping clients and potential clients. Skills/Qualifications: Legal Compliance, Financial Planning and Strategy, Decision Making, Customer Focus, Building Relationships, Managing Profitability, Planning, Process Improvement, Verbal Communication, Informing Others, Written Communication
Managing Partner – Law Firm Skills and Qualifications:Legal Compliance, Financial Planning and Strategy, Decision Making, Customer Focus, Building Relationships, Managing Profitability, Planning, Process Improvement, Verbal Communication, Informing Others, Written Communication …
- Does your lawyer think you committed the crime?
- Whatever your lawyer's opinion is of your innocence or guilt, can he or she set that aside and defend you properly?
HOW CAN A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER DEFEND SOMEONE WHO THEY THINK IS GUILTY?The answer is two-fold. First, there is a difference between "legal guilt" and "factual guilt." Second, lawyers have a legal responsibility to their clients that they must uphold.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN A TRIALThe job of a criminal defense lawyer is to defend you against the charges that are presented. When charges are brought, there only has to be "probable cause" that you might have committed the crime. At trial, the prosecuting lawyer's job is to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that you've committed the crime for which you're being charged. "Beyond a reasonable doubt" is a high standard intended to make conviction difficult - and rightly so, as the U.S. country operates by the idea "innocent until proven guilty," an idea that, although not explicitly expressed in American law, originates from ancient law and is supported by the 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments to the Constitution. The government cannot deprive you of your life, liberty, or property until they've established your clear legal guilt. Putting the burden of proof upon the prosecution means the point of trial is all about either proving or failing to prove that you're guilty of the crime that's been charged - not knowing whether or not you're actually guilty.
WHAT "GUILTY" MEANSIn court, we distinguish between "factual guilt" and "legal guilt." The issue of "factual guilt" is not being discussed in your trial - the question of whether or not you are actually guilty. What's being discussed at trial is legal guilt: can the prosecution offer enough evidence to prove the charges presented against you "beyond a reasonable doubt"? The reason most criminal defense lawyers won't ask you if you're actually "guilty" is that it's not relevant to the case. Also, it's not their job to find out. Their job is to defend you, and put up a fair case. As one attorney put it, their job is to "keep the system honest." The way our legal system is structured, the court - judges and juries - find people responsible. Judges, not lawyers, hold the gavel.
BUT WHAT IF THE "TRUTH" COMES OUT?An important condition to this issue is that even if a client admits "guilt" to his or her lawyer, a lawyer may never truly be certain the client's guilty. The client could be lying to cover up for someone else, or other factors may be at play. There are standards in place to keep lawyers honest: they cannot lie if they do know information pertaining to their client's legal guilt, and they also cannot offer evidence they know is false. But attorney-client privilege does protect communication between attorneys and clients. The critical thing to remember is, again, that it's not the lawyer's job to discern true guilt. The court decides this.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS MUST PROVIDE "ZEALOUS" REPRESENTATIONAnother reason that lawyers can defend people regardless of guilt is that our society gives each citizen the right to be vigorously defended in a court of law. The U.S. Constitution assures every citizen due process and the right to legal counsel. Lawyers are bound to deliver this legal right to their clients. According to Canon 7 in the ABA's Model Code of Responsibility, a defense lawyer's duty to his client is to "represent his client zealously within the bounds of the law" because of his inclusion in a profession whose goal is to "(assist) members of the public to secure and protect available legal rights and benefits." Although popular culture may detest the work that criminal lawyers do, their function is vital in order to maintain justice and ensure fair outcomes for anyone up against legal charges. Criminal defense lawyers are simply doing their duty to defend a citizen whose rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution and cannot be easily taken away.…
1. TeamworkBy no means exclusive to law, the ability to work in a team is essential to any job. In a team, basic skills of respect and empathy become essential and those who lack the ability to listen and take on board the opinions of others will find themselves out of step. If people enjoy working with you, they will want to do so again and recommend you to others; undoubtedly the best way to progress in your career. How to develop this skill: Getting involved in teams and societies at school and university are a great way to have fun and make friends and you will gain valuable teamwork skills without even noticing it!
2. Initiative and IndependenceWhile teamwork is fundamental to success, it is also essential that you can be decisive when the situation demands it. As a trainee lawyer, you will be given responsibility and you must rise to that, devising your own solutions to problems rather than relying only on others. That does not mean that you must struggle alone, taking initiative includes the ability to know when to ask questions or to ask for help. How to develop this skill: This is a skill that can be developed at any point – think about a time when you’ve had to make a difficult decision on your own, whether it be due to coursework or a conversation with a friend.
3. Creative Problem SolvingPeople often consider the law a profession void of creativity but the opposite is true. The answer to a client’s problem may not be obvious and your job will be to explore new avenues, arguments and ideas to achieve the desired result. How to develop this skill: Work experience of any kind will work wonders in developing problem-solving skills, it needn’t only be in the legal field. Problems are unavoidable wherever you work and the more experience you have of the issues which arise, the better prepared you will be.
4. Written Communication SkillsA lot of your work as a lawyer will involve writing, it’s unavoidable. You’ll draft documents, write letters to clients, draw up contracts among other things. Typos and Grammatical errors will undermine your work, while a fluent and articulate writing style will give clients confidence in you. How to develop this skill: You will naturally develop your own writing style as you write essays for school or university but if you don’t study an essay-based subject, then it may help to get some practice writing for a school or uni magazine or even running your own blog! You can also write for The Lawyer Portal, which looks great on the CV. Learn more about writing for TLP here >>
5. Verbal Communication SkillsIf you’re hoping to become a barrister then verbal communication is perhaps the most vital element of your job. Your role is to communicate your arguments in such a way as to persuade your judge or jury of the merits of your case. It’s also not something you can avoid as a solicitor; client meetings, phone calls and presentations will make up your day-to-day. How to develop this skill: Speaking in public is something that a lot of people struggle with but there are all sorts of ways to practice and combat fears. Getting involved in theatre or debating will develop skills like projection and pace while techniques such as meditation can help deal with nerves. You can also take part in one of TLP’s mock trials to improve your advocacy skills. 10 Public Speaking Tips Straight From the Experts >>
6. Work Under PressureA legal career is by no means an easy one and you will often be expected to turn around large amounts of work under tight deadlines; being able to stay calm and focused is critical. How to develop this skill: Setting yourself personal deadlines before the official ones will ensure that you complete tasks on time and factors in time to handle any issues which may arise. Make timetables and plans so you’re able to manage your time effectively and can prioritise the most important tasks. These are all tricks you can practice on essay deadlines too!
7. Commercial AwarenessCommercial awareness crops up everywhere and essentially means having a broad understanding of current affairs and business news and how developments are likely to affect the firm and its clients. How to develop this skill: Sign up to our weekly commercial awareness newsletter:
8. Understanding PeopleLawyers first and foremost are providing a service to their clients and your practice should be geared towards their needs. This involves listening and taking time to understand their individual concerns. It is rare that clients will have a detailed knowledge of the law, that is why they come to you, so it is also critical that you’re able to explain matters in terms they understand rather than using overly technical language. How to develop this skill: The more work experience you can get facing customers and dealing with people in any capacity, the better you’ll be at listening and adapting your communication style to suit everyone.
9. Attention to DetailA lawyer will always be faced with large and sometimes unclear documents and the ability to spot key pieces of information is essential. It may be that you’re looking for evidence to support your case or proof reading a contract where missing a detail can derail the whole task. How to develop this skill: Take your time when reading documents, work on staying focused; these are all skills you can pick up simply from reading books or articles!
10. Research Skills/PreparationNothing looks more unprofessional than a lack of preparation and it will always weaken your position. Dedicate time to preparation and use a variety of resources. If you are preparing for an interview, for example, use the firm’s website, but also read news articles and press releases. Using a range of sources will not only broaden your knowledge but will also ensure you have the full picture, increasingly important in an era of ‘fake news’. How to develop this skill: Research, like anything, takes practice and the more you do, the more streamlined and efficient your searches will become. If you are finding a good lawyer, just contact us for more information.…
- The Eleventh Circuit’s pattern jury instruction on good-faith reliance on advice of counsel requires evidence, in part, that the attorney was “competent” to provide the advice at issue and that the accused “reasonably relied upon [the] advice in good faith.” If an individual accused of a federal tax crime, for example, points to tax advice they received from a divorce lawyer as the basis for the defense, there may be questions about the competence of the lawyer to provide such advice and whether the accused could reasonably rely on it—regardless of whether “all material facts” were disclosed to the lawyer.
- Further, the pattern instruction asks whether the accused followed the advice provided. In practice, it may be difficult to determine the limits of legal advice, whether conduct exceeded the bounds of advice provided, and whether a lay client should have known that (or should have known when it was necessary to go back to the attorney for updated advice in light of changed circumstances).
- The requirement that the accused “in good faith followed the advice of counsel” means, among other things, that a client cannot avoid being convicted of bank robbery by saying a lawyer advised that bank robbery was lawful. But even in cases where the conduct is not plainly criminal (e.g., malum prohibitum crimes), and the accused undisputedly disclosed all facts to a competent attorney—not just material facts—we have seen the government challenge the accused’s right to receive a jury instruction on good-faith advice of counsel. The basis for the objection? That the accused and the attorney were in a criminal conspiracy, rendering the legal advice meaningless.
1. SAVE YOURSELF STRESS & WORRY.The law changes frequently and complex issues often arise. It takes years of experience to become a criminal lawyer. Steering your way through a criminal law matter will require you to understand the law, such as that contained in the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedure Act, the Crimes Act, the Misuse of Drugs Act, the Evidence Act, the Road Traffic Act or the Sentencing Act. By engaging an expert for your criminal law matter you will save yourself significant amounts of stress, worry, time and disruption to both your working and personal life.
2. REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE TO RISK.Some people think that engaging a criminal lawyer is going to be too costly. But not engaging a criminal lawyer is likely to cost you more. Being unrepresented exposes you to the risk of disastrous outcomes such as:
- being falsely or incorrectly charged
- being found guilty when you are innocent
- being sent to prison when you shouldn’t
- your DNA being placed on the state police or national database
- being disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence when you can’t manage your life without it
- being disadvantaged in a job application process because you are required to disclose your criminal record
- termination of your employment because your employer has found out have a criminal record.