Using Appropriate Communication Mediums with Your Lawyer

Once you retain a lawyer, you will need to communicate with him or her from time to time. The lawyer will also need to get in touch with you, for example, to update you on the progress of your case or get your decision on sensitive issues. At any given time, your chosen medium of communication should be appropriate for the occasion.  For example, you should decide how to communicate with the attorney based on these issues.

How Many Questions You Have

Most people call their lawyers when they have queries. The number and nature of your queries should determine the medium of communication to use. For example, a phone call suffices if you just want a clarification or two. However, the same would not be feasible with multiple questions that require lengthy hours, that would increase your hourly bills unnecessarily. In such a case, it's best to use either traditional mail or email.

The Urgency of the Query

Do you want to know whether the lawyer has sent your personal injury demand letter because you have some new information to include? That would be a pretty urgent message that requires a prompt answer. This is not something to put on traditional mail; a phone call would be better. However, if you just want an update of your case's progress, then you can just send an email.

The Need for Future Reference

Do you need to preserve the query and its answer for future reference? If that is the case, then you need to have them (both the question and its answer) down in writing. An example is if you want to know how much your lawyer is charging you for a specific service. You need proof of the answer to avoid potential disagreements later. This is not something to discuss in a phone call or a face-to-face conversation. Fax, email, or traditional mail would work best.

Your Attorney's Preferred Medium of Communication

Communication works two ways so you should also consider your attorney's preferred medium. For example, some lawyers prefer emails over fax and reply faster to emails but do not pick up phones all the time, while others accept emails after hours, but not phone calls. Most lawyers restrict certain means of communication, such as phone calls and faxes, to normal business hours. It's best to adhere to these instructions.

These are general guidelines; the practicality of the situation also matters. For example, it doesn't just make sense to discuss an issue over the phone if it involves a document that needs to be signed by both of you. For more information, see websites like