TALKING WITH AN ATTORNEY:
When you are speaking with an attorney, be sure to remember the following considerations:
1. We are people just like you. We are attorneys for a living and many of us genuinely enjoy helping people in their time of need. When we take time out of our weekends/ time with our family’s after hours to answer your questions, do not be offended if you do not get the answer you want. Instead, be glad to have an attorney who told you the truth.
2. If we charge a consultation fee we do so because we are giving you our time and advice. Your doctor does not work without getting paid and we do not expect you to give up your time for free.
3. If we tell you it is prohibited to accept a divorce case on a contingency fee, that is because in Alabama, it is the truth.
See Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct 1.5(d) which provides as follows:
(d) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge, or collect:
(1) Any fee in a domestic relations matter, the payment or amount of
which is contingent upon the securing of a divorce or upon the amount of alimony
or support, or property settlement in lieu thereof; or
(2) A contingent fee for representing a defendant in a criminal case.
*Just because your prior attorney chose to do things unethically, do not compare them to the ethical attorney and then speak bad about the ethical attorney. Respect an attorney who is ethical and willing to tell you what is proper conduct under the rules and what is not.
4. On public Q&A forums, if an attorney does not offer a full answer to your question, do not assume the attorney answering the question does not care. It may be that the attorney did not feel as though delving into your personal details on a website seen by all, due to privacy was the best course of action to protect you. People tend to forget anything posted to the internet can be used against them and often times it is in criminal matters, child custody and visitation matters, etc. It is not worth it. There is no attorney-client privilege on these Q&A sites and often times it is better to consult an attorney.
I hope this has shed some insight on common pitfalls to avoid that I have recently encountered with people in the general population who were not clients of mine, but wanted legal advice for one matter or another. I strive to treat each Client with respect and consideration and I am blessed to have my Client’s who have treated me the same.