Retaining an attorney is never an easy decision, but it should also not be a last resort. The reason why timing is so important is that unfortunately the legal system moves slowly. Even if your case is not tangled up in an ineffective judicial system, it can be tangled up in something worse: attorney’s schedules. Despite how it is portrayed on television, most of law is negotiating with the attorneys on the other side to try and work out a resolution. We are opponents on either side, but the best resolutions come from an agree to disagree attitude with a common goal to resolve things for both our clients. With that being said, as a client there are certain timing issues to be aware of before thinking about retaining an attorney.
The first timing issue is when to retain an attorney. An attorney being utilized as a last resort sometimes makes sense if there is some legal matter that cannot be handled without one. However, using an attorney as a last resort in situations that are ongoing will ultimately make it more difficult – and here’s why: if the goal is to get a settlement quickly through an attorney and a lot of very serious issues rely on this “quick” timing, you will be disappointed. The law does not work expediently and rewards those who are patient and can stand to the last day of battle. It’s kind of like playing a game of chicken. You have to prepared to go all the way without swerving. If there is a strict timeline attached because of extraneous issues, then it makes things more difficult because sometimes legal schedules do not always match up with personal timelines. It’s also something the other side can take advantage of.