Practice checklist

AuthorStewart I. Edelstein
ProfessionCommercial trial lawyer
Dealing with Clients
•Compl eteaconflic tscheckb eforeunder takinganyr epresent ation.
•Bewar eofscamsinunder takinganyr epresent ation.
•Dec lineaprospec tiverepre sentationifr edflagsarera ised.
•Ifyoude clinetherepre sentatio n,putitinwritin g.
•Befor edoingsubst antivework,o btainawrit tenretain eragreement .
•Cons ideralternat ivefeearrange ments:
 reducedhou rlywithper formanceb onus
 blendedrate
 fixedfee
 contingentf ee
 retrospe ctivefeeba sedonresult
 straightre tainer
 volumediscoun t
•If youunder taketh erepre sentation, meet promptly withth eclient at
yourclient’spla ceofbusines soryouroffi ce.
•Atthef irstclientm eeting:
 establishrapport
 explaintheat torney-c lientprivile ge
 explainthepurp oseofthemeet ing
 getneces saryinfor mation
 discussthed ocumentliti gationholdreq uirement
 getacommitmen tthattheclientwillde votetheresourc es
youneed (continued)
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400 | How to Succee d as a Trial L awyer
 discussop tions
 don’tpredic toutcomewi thspecif icity
 discussyourf ee
 warnyourclientabou tcommunicatin gaboutthecaseand
preserv ingtheattor ney-clien tprivilege
 askformoreinfo rmation
•Meet w ith all represent atives of your client fro m whom you need
•Earlyinth erepresen tation,obt ainthedocumen tsyouneed.
•Ifyou takethe case,infor mtheclie ntwhatmu stbedo ne;arrange for
thehelpyouwillneedfromsupportstaf f,experts ,andothers;develop
anoverallstrat egy;andfollowt hrough.
•Workcolla borativelyw ithyourclient .
•Managec lientexpec tationsastot ime,cost,an dresult.
•Dealwithdif ficultclien tsbyunderstandin gwhatconcernscausethem
tobediff icult.
•When yo u need to delive r bad news to a c lient, do so pr omptly, be
direct in expl aining the signif icance o f what happen ed, and disc uss
optionsinyourst rategygoingf orward.
•In preparing your client to testif yin cour t, tailor yourpr eparation to
theexpe rience, sophistic ation,and perso nality ofyour client,f ollow-
ingthetipsinthetex t.
•Beconsc ientiousaboutcaptu ringandrecordingyourbillableandnon-
billabletimeeac hday.
•Af teryouhavecomple tedyourrepres entation,se ndalettertot hecli-
ofotherser vicesyourfir mprovides.
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