Make a List of Questions
Unless you have had experience dealing with a lawyer in the past, your first visit to a lawyer’s office can be very stressful and intimidating. Keep in mind that the lawyer is there to help you. The first meeting at PQTLaw is free, with no obligation and the meeting is held in complete confidence.
There is no such thing as a stupid question – we value all questions. Part of our job is to explain not only your rights and interests, but also the legal process that will be followed to assist you with your claim.
In order for us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case, we will ask you many questions at the meeting. You can ask as many questions of us as you like.
We encourage you to prepare your questions in advance and in writing. It is fine to bring a note pad with you at the meeting, with prepared questions.
Good questions to ask are (a) what are your fees? (b) what is a normal time-line for a case such as mine? (c) what can I do to assist my case? and (d) what is the likely outcome or when can you tell me if you think I have a good case?.
Bring all Important Documents You Have to the Meeting
It is very important to bring all relevant documents to the meeting so that the lawyer can review them. It will assist your lawyer in assessing your case and determining some of the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
The documents will also assist the lawyer in understanding the legal issues in your case. Often, the documents you bring makes all the difference and helps relay the needed information that may be missing from poor memory.
Be Open and Completely Honest with Your Lawyer
Anything you tell your lawyer is confidential and protected by solicitor client privilege. Your lawyer cannot be compelled to testify against you. The privilege exists even if you decide not to hire the lawyer. Talk to your lawyer about all facts you believe are good and bad about your situation and case.
All important facts, including those facts that you believe may not be good for your case should be discussed at the meeting with your lawyer. If you want a reliable assessment of your case, you need to be open and honest. Honesty will always place you in a better position.
It is much better for your lawyer to know the facts that are not necessarily good for you at the beginning of the file so that he can prepare to answer that part of your case.
Discuss Fees – What will it cost you?
You are entitled to know what the lawyer will be charging you and how he will be charging you. Is it going to be by the hour or on a contingency fee arrangement? When does the lawyer get paid? When do you receive settlement funds? If the agreement is to pay the lawyer by hours worked, what is the hourly rate and will there be regular bills sent to you – when do they need to be paid?
If the lawyer is taking your case on a contingency basis, which means that he will not charge you until your case is settled and he will take a percentage of any monetary damages you receive, discuss what the percentage will be.