How to Efficiently Communicate with Your Attorney
Communication, likely one of the most important social skills related to the human (and animal) species, is not something a person should take casually or for granted. How to use speech, emotions, and body language to effectively share information between two or more persons becomes a powerful tool, whether for a positive or a negative outcome. Such concerns as taking into account the communication style of those listening, finding empathy with the listener, and hearing what the listener has to say in return are all necessary components of efficient communication. And, efficient communication with your attorney is vitally necessary if your case is to be handled in a manner conducive to a well-managed presentation and hopeful, positive outcome.
While an attorney is well educated and likely to have learned the value and skill of good communication, it is also necessary for the client to try to communicate with his or her attorney in a manner that will enable both attorney and client to understand each other and the issues at hand. As in most cases where one is a professional and the other needing the help of that professional, there are ground rules that will encourage efficient communication.
- Be a good listener: This is true of both attorney and client. Listen to what the other person is saying, letting him or her finish their thought before you jump in with your own.
- Observe body language: The way a person uses their body and tone of voice will tell a lot about how the communication is going. Watch your own body language as well as that of the attorney.
- Be open-minded: Hear what each other is saying without being judgmental. Explain your point of view but listen to the other’s point of view.
- Ask questions: If you have questions regarding what is said, ask them politely.
- Answer questions: Make sure you answer the attorney’s questions in a helpful manner, providing evidence when and where needed.
- Agree to disagree: When, after a reasonable time of communication, there is no agreement, table the issue until later when it can be looked at in perhaps a new light or in the light of compromise.
- Have facts organized: Attorneys are busy professionals and will respond best to communication that is factual, organized, and pertinent to the subject at hand. In other words, don’t waste the attorney’s time or your money.
- Learn the attorney’s preferred method of communication: Right from your first meeting with an attorney, find out what type of communication the attorney prefers. In today’s world of multiple ways to communicate, it is best to communicate how your attorney likes to communicate. Often an attorney will use texting or phone calls for some issues, emails and letters for others, and office visits for others.
- Learn what times are best to contact the attorney: Find out what time of day the attorney prefers to be contacted. Also, find out if contact over a weekend or holiday is acceptable. Too, learn the approximate length of time to expect to wait before the attorney returns communication.
- Are there other staff personnel to help with communication? Most attorneys have paralegals, secretaries, and office managers who can help with needed communication. Find out how to use these assistants effectively.
Effectively communicating with your attorney is vital to the success of your case. An attorney cannot do his or her best if a client is unreachable, unorganized, and not willing to take the time to listen, discuss, and decide. Being a professional legal counsel does not make one a magic dispenser of justice. However, when both attorney and client work together with positive, effective communication, a case will progress with success. If you live in Florida in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Broward, Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, or Orange County or New York or Washington DC and are looking for a Family Law attorney, Grant Gisondo has over a decade of practice and will look forward to meeting you. He offers a free, initial, in-office consultation to answer questions and communicate how he can help. You can call his office in West Palm Beach at (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Saturday from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM, for new clients.