It’s rare that anyone really WANTS to be involved in legal action. For the vast majority of folks, being a party in a law suit is extremely stressful. Your attorney shouldn’t be a source of stress too. Your lawyer should be your advocate and work to get you the legal results you desire. So how do you know if your lawyer is a good one? How do you know if you need to find a new lawyer? This three part blog series will discuss three questions to ask to determine if you need a new lawyer (For to access just the basics of this series, click here.) Be sure to check out part one of this series: Where Is My Lawyer?
Where is my lawyer’s stuff?
Looking around the courthouse, you notice lots of lawyers walking around. Most of the men carry a satchel or briefcase bulging with books and paperwork. Most of the ladies have a big tote bag full of files and papers in addition to a laptop bag and a purse. Some lawyers even have a cart stacked with banker’s boxes of documents or rolling bag too heavy to carry. But, inexplicably, when your attorney appears, his hands are empty. Why does he not have paperwork about your case with him?
In 2017 there was a particular proceeding we went to for a client. We had a thick 3 inch binder full of carefully tabbed and indexed documents along with our proposals ready to give to the court and opposing counsel. Opposing counsel showed up with a yellow legal pad – a blank one. Her counter-proposal was hastily scratched onto a sheet of yellow paper for us and crudely torn from the legal pad. Not to brag, but we mopped the floor with her in court. She is a formidable attorney, but her preparation was no match for ours, and the results were predictable.
At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we routinely get to court before our clients arrive, and we may “park” our bags in the courtroom, or in a small conference room before we see our client. But we would never show up to court without at least our code books and copies of the legal documents that are set for hearing on that day because we are always prepared to make legal arguments for our clients. How can a lawyer argue his client’s case without the relevant documents and legal books?
Even the most intelligent and clever attorney can be caught off guard by a savvy lawyer making an unexpected procedural argument. Likewise, changes in the law can have a dramatic effect on a hearing, so a lawyer who doesn’t have the most recent code book is just not prepared for court in our opinion.
If your lawyer shows up without the documents or code books for your case, he may not be prepared to win for you in court. Even great lawyers with every possible document and a solid grasp of the law can lose in court, but lawyers who don’t come to court armed with the pleadings and law books needed to effectively argue for you are taking a huge risk, and who bears the consequences if your lawyer’s risky behavior leads to a bad court result? You do. Demand a lawyer who comes to court prepared to win. For a discussion of how to find a good family lawyer, click here.)
Youngblood Law, PLLC is a Fort Worth, Texas family law firm focusing on helping working people live the life they WANT to live through divorce and beyond. This essay is intended for educational use only, and is not a replacement for competent legal counsel. If you are facing a family law matter, we recommend obtaining competent legal counsel like Youngblood Law, PLLC. For more information contact us at 817-601-5345, find us on the web at www.youngblood-law.com, or on your mobile device, open your browser and type in lawfw.biz and press Go. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/youngbloodlawPLLC/