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Generally, a client’s communications with their attorney are confidential.
For this reason, it’s important to be truthful with your attorney at all times, even with embarrassing or unfavorable information.
However, there are some exceptions. For instance, an attorney cannot engage in communications in furtherance of a crime.
Also, if the communication is shared with a third-party who is not the client’s attorney, it may not be confidential.
1) Are my communications with my attorney confidential?
At a minimum, the client should expect to hear from their attorney any time there are major decisions involving your case.
This varies at different stages, and it can be difficult to predict.
If in doubt, the client should give their attorney a call or shoot them an email, and the attorney should respond within 24 to 48 hours.
2) How often should I expect to hear from my attorney?
Generally, an attorney is not allowed to ignore their clients, and at Wheale Law Firm we pride ourselves in being directly accessible and responsive to each client.
We will never intentionally ignore a client’s call or email.
It’s important to remember that attorneys are often very busy researching, drafting and writing legal documents, attending depositions and court hearings, and performing other important work for each of their clients. Be patient with your attorney, and don’t be afraid to send a follow-up call or email – you won’t hurt our feelings.
3) Is my attorney allowed to ignore my calls?
The best way to contact an attorney at Wheale Law Firm is by email.
We can access our emails remotely, even when we are away from the office.
Emails also create a permanent record of the client’s attempt to contact the attorney, which the attorney will see each time the mailbox is opened.
Finally, the attorney can review the client’s questions and concerns and spend time providing a thoughtful and concise response.
With that said, do not be afraid to call – we gladly answer telephone calls or call back within 24 to 48 hours.
4) What is the best way to contact my attorney?
You may technically reach out to consult with another attorney even though you are already represented.
But, attorneys are prohibited from communicating with represented parties, especially about their case.
So, it'll likely be difficult to consult with an attorney unless or until you have terminated your current attorney-client relationship.
If you have a dispute or are unhappy with your current representation, communicate this to your current attorney. More often than not, any problems can be explained and resolved through a simple telephone call.
Most times, clients are unhappy because they don't understand something about their case. And, your attorney can usually clear up any confusion pretty easily.
5) Can I consult with another attorney if I'm already represented?
Yes. BUT, in the strongest terms possible, we recommend that you never reach out to an insurance adjuster or defense attorney if you are represented by an attorney.
Doing so could jeopardize your entire case, and it can ruin all of the work the attorney has done. It also destroys trust between you and your attorney.
6) Am I allowed to call the adjuster if I'm represented by an attorney?
An attorney (plaintiff or defense) is never allowed to contact a represented party directly.
The attorney is only allowed to contact the party's representative, whether that be an adjuster or an attorney.
The same rules apply to insurance adjusters. If the insurance carrier has been notified that you are represented by an attorney, the adjuster cannot contact you directly.
Similarly, if the defendant is represented by a defense attorney or insurance adjuster, you are not allowed to reach out to the defendant, individually. You must communicate only through their representative. Failure to do so could result in sanctions from the Court.