The following is information regarding Virginia defense attorney Mary Nerino and her thoughts on the attorney-client relationship. To learn more or discuss your case, call and schedule a consultation today.
Two factors are particularly important in an attorney-client relationship: trust and accessibility.
Trust is important because clients need to know that their attorney not only has their best interests at heart, but also that their attorney will not reveal the information that that they’re sharing in confidence. This is really important because a client needs to be able to speak with the attorney about every aspect of his or her case. If a client doesn’t trust his or her attorney, it’s going to make preparation of a successful defense a lot more difficult.
Additionally, an attorney should be available to speak with a client whenever the client has questions. A lot of attorneys are very busy, and sometimes it is difficult to reach your attorney. However, a client should never be left wondering what’s happening in the case. Clients should be able to say with confidence, “I know my attorney is busy, but I know that the case is moving forward.” The attorney should always let the client know that he or she will be in touch as soon as there’s new information about the case.
I think that with trust and accessibility, the attorney-client relationship is more successful.
For me, the first step in building a strong attorney-client relationship is good communication. I’m extremely straightforward with my clients. I set out clearly what their expectations should be of me and what my expectations will be going forward in our professional relationship.
I usually tell my clients up front what they can expect from me and what steps I’m going to take moving forward. I specifically lay out when they can expect me to contact them and how they can reach me if they have questions in the meantime. I let my clients know that they can text me or call me at any time during the day or at night because I am always available on my cell phone. I give out my cell phone number to my clients so that it’s easier for them to reach out to me when they have concerns.
As I move forward in a case, I also check in with the client. Even if the client isn’t specifically concerned about what I’m doing, I still touch base and update the client along the way. That way, the client can remain confident that the case is being taken care of.
Trust between a criminal defense attorney and a client is incredibly important. For one thing, open communication from the client ensures that the attorney can get the clearest picture of what happened in the case and therefore what defenses to build. Additionally, if a client is not going to trust his or her attorney, it’s going to affect the attorney’s ability to effectively represent him or her in the courtroom.
In my cases, I try to make it very clear to my clients that I am somebody that they can trust from the very beginning. This has been a huge help because clients might be embarrassed or worried about what I (or others) might think about certain facts. In order for me to do my job effectively, my clients need to feel comfortable sharing this information with me so that I can have a clearer picture of how to be the most effective advocate.
Another aspect of trust is getting a client to trust your ability to prepare the case and trust you regarding the possible outcomes of the case. A lot of times, my clients are facing time in jail or prison, and they need to have absolute confidence that I can effectively represent their side of the story and fight for their freedom.