Individuals often place their trust in attorneys wholeheartedly and believe that a professional lawyer will always steer them the right way. A client sees their lawyer because they have an issue they cannot solve on their own, which puts them in a particular position of vulnerability.
It’s wise for people to learn about their rights regarding using their lawyer’s services. While rules vary depending on the state, they’re all based on the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which dictates the ethical guidelines attorneys must possess across all areas of law. If you seek the aid of a personal injury lawyer in Tucson, he or she must abide by these obligations.
Minimum Obligations for Attorneys
There are basic minimum obligations attorneys must follow as per the Model Rules. They include the following:
- Courteous and respectful treatment: All clients are entitled to be treated with respect and courtesy by their lawyer. Attorneys are also required to discuss the case with the client and decide together the best course of action to take to accomplish the client’s ultimate goal.
- Full fee disclosure: Attorneys must inform their clients of the fees they charge to avoid any surprises when clients receive their bills. Some attorneys charge initial consultation fees and others charge a flat fee to handle a case. Some lawyers charge by the hour and others charge on a contingency, meaning the client pays only if the attorney recovers compensation for them from a successful claim. At Karnas Law Firm, we work on a contingency and provide personal injury clients free initial consultations.
- Competence: Attorneys must be competent enough to provide clients with adequate representation. This means that lawyers must be both experienced and intelligent and should only take cases that pertain to their area of expertise.
- Confidentiality: Clients are entitled to privacy when working with attorneys to resolve their legal issues.
- Conflict of interest-free representation: There should never be a conflict of interest when an attorney represents a client.
- Regular updates and prompt attention: Clients should get regular updates on their cases and immediate attention from their attorney regarding legal matters. The attorney is required to return calls and answer all questions a client asks.
- Holding and accounting of client funds: Attorneys are obligated to inform their clients of any funds they hold on their behalf, including a retainer. They must also return any money or property if dismissed from a case or upon the case’s end.
- Accountability for misconduct: Clients have a legal right to file a complaint with the state bar association if an attorney displays impropriety. It can take several months to a few years to resolve misconduct issues.
If your lawyer violates one of these rules, you have the right to stop using their services. You may pursue legal action to get your money back. Most importantly though, if you need legal services, it’s essential to have someone who you trust and is avidly working to your benefit.
Attorneys with Karnas Law Firm have over 25 years of experience resolving the full spectrum of personal injury claims. Whether you have been hurt in an auto accident, from a faulty product, or due to medical negligence or have a wrongful death case, we’re eager to serve you in your time of need to help you recoup your losses. Call (520) 571-9700 or click here for a free consultation. We are available 24/7.