I often am asked, either at home with family and friends, in the community, or while at work, “what can I expect from an attorney.” Through my personal experience as an Assistant State Attorney and now as a Civil Lawyer who specializes in Personal Injury, when people are asking this they seem to want to know how much work and effort they can expect from their attorney.
To dissect this for simplicity’s sake we must distinguish what type of law are we talking about and how much are you paying. For example: a Public Defender who was appointed to you and your case due to your indulgency in a criminal case is unlikely to be able to spend much if any personal time with you. I find the example of a flight stewardess illustrative; a Public Defender like a flight stewardess will get your case off the ground. They will make sure the minimum is done. You will have your seat belts fastened and your seat trays in their upright positions but that’s it. In contrast if you were able to hire a private attorney who takes an active role in his or her cases they would guide you through the process. They will help you to your seat. They will make sure you are comfortable, offer you a drink and nuts, answer questions and reassure you before the takeoff and of course make sure your seat belt is fastened and your seatback is in the upright position.
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Likewise in civil law such as Wrongful Death, Wills and Estates, Business Law, Family Law, Real Estate Law, Slip and Fall, Motorcycle Accident, Truck Accident, or Auto Accidents the attorney’s availability and willingness to participate greatly varies. Much of this depends on what type of payment scheme you have arranged. An hourly billing system encourages the attorney to speak with you and take as much time as you are willing to pay for. In contrast, a contingency payment structure encourages efficiency.
At a minimum regardless of which payment structure is used you should expect a return call or return email. You should expect that an occasional meeting to discuss your case if needed is available to you. You should expect that the attorney will follow through with what they said they would do. You should not feel afraid or intimidated to speak with your lawyer. You should be able to use your lawyer as a counselor in law.
If you feel that you are not getting the help you need, reach out. Speak to your current lawyer and express your concerns. If you are unable to get the representation that you desire and deserve, reach out to me. I will gladly guide you through the process. You are not locked into keeping your current attorney. I will be happy to speak with you over the phone free of charge about your case.
John Watson, Esq.
Bogin, Munns & Munns
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– John Watson is an experienced personal injury attorney with Bogin, Munns, & Munns, a full service law firm with offices in Orlando, Clermont, Kissimmee, Orange City, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Melbourne, Gainesville, and Leesburg, Florida. Mr. Watson works out of the Orlando office of the firm and welcomes questions and comments regarding the above. Mr. Watson can be reached at [email protected].
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.