Three Lies Bad Attorneys Tell Their Clients

Your decision about who will represent you is one of the most important choices you will make for either a civil or a criminal case.  As you evaluate who will be the best attorney for you, you’ll likely consider important factors, such as each attorney’s reputation and experience as well recommendations from friends.  You will want to be sure when you consult as you weigh your options, and meet with potential counsel, you watch out for these misconceptions:

  1. False:  The truth doesn’t matter.

In some cases, a defendant may not choose to testify, but that doesn’t mean that the truth doesn’t matter.  What really happened is often essential information for your attorney to know in your case, particularly if you are facing criminal charges.  Often the best way for your attorney to assist you is for you to be forthcoming with him or her about  everything that was said and done not just on the day in question, but also leading up to and after the event that is in issue.  With that knowledge, you attorney can more effectively prepare your case strategy and anticipate the actions of the opposing party.

  1. False: You don’t need to make decisions about your case.

Your attorney’s role is to guide, assist, educate, defend and help you, but the role of the attorney is not necessarily to make all the decisions for you.  You will initially know the facts better than anyone, because you experienced them first hand.  You will ultimately be the person to pay the price of any result, whether that relates to your finances or your freedom. You should certainly listen to everything your attorney tells you with careful consideration, but don’t be afraid to ask a question or share an opinion.  A good attorney will be willing to help you weigh all the options and will let you make the best decision for you.

  1. False:  You should be as unfair and uncooperative as possible with your opponent.

There are times to fight, there are times to negotiate, and there are times to cooperate. The best attorneys utilize all the tools at their disposal, and will advise you on the best tactic to achieve your desired outcome.  Don’t just assume that an aggressive approach from your counsel is always the best approach.  Avoid attorneys who only know how to fight.  A skillful negotiator can be a very powerful advocate for you, so don’t buy into the common misperception that an attorney’s only role is to fight hard for you.   

You have many good options to choose from when it comes to finding an attorney, but with these tips you will have extra tools to sort the good from the bad and make a great choice.