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Washington D.C. Legal Resources

A quick FAQ to help guide you through the legal maze.


Here are some generally useful tips for retaining counsel. Remember that not all advice fits every situation, and we therefore strongly encourage you to seek the advice of an experienced attorney for consultation on your legal questions.


Q. When should I contact an attorney?

A. Act without delay. If you find yourself in a situation wherein you need legal advice, make contacting a skilled, experienced attorney your priority. The sooner you seek legal advice, the easier it will be for your attorney to build a strong case in your favor, whatever your circumstances. You may also have to allow some time for your attorney to review the case, file paper work and start formal proceedings.


Q. What Can I Expect From My Lawyer?

A. As a client, you have certain rights. They include the following:

Confidentiality. Your conversations with your lawyer and any documents or information you give your lawyer are required to be kept private.

Competence. You have a right to expect your lawyer to handle your matter competently. This means your lawyer should know where to go to find the answers and devote the attention to your matter that it deserves.

Honesty. You should expect your lawyer to tell you the truth and to handle your funds in a completely trustworthy manner.

Loyalty. Your lawyer should not have any conflicts of interest that would cause his or her loyalty to be divided between you and another person with an interest in the outcome of your matter.

Information. You have a right to be kept informed of the progress of your matter and to have your questions answered

Responsiveness. Your phone calls should be answered in a timely fashion.


Q. How much should I say?

A. Be open and honest. Gather as many helpful documents as you can: receipts, bills, letters, drawings, tax returns. Your attorney can only help you insofar as you help him or her to understand your case. Keeping details or information from your lawyer not only makes his or her job that much more difficult, it may be detrimental to your case. Your attorney will in most cases ask questions that may seem very personal in nature, or might upset you. Remember that their only concern is to ensure the best results possible, and as such you should answer your attorney's questions fully and honestly.


Q. Should I ask questions?

A. Ask questions and make sure you get answers. Your attorney, if skilled, qualified and experienced, should expect you to have many questions about your case, background, the cost of the proceedings and other aspects of the law. Make sure you are comfortable with your attorney and that he or she can explain matters to your entire satisfaction before deciding to hire counsel.