Plans and Preparation: Meeting with Your Lawyer

September 28, 2015
Plans and Preparation: Meeting with Your Lawyer

When preparing for a meeting with your lawyer, there can be a lot to think about. It’s important to plan ahead and prepare what you’ll need to have in advance, in order to make the most of the time you have with your lawyer. In this blog, we’ll outline some key information and paperwork you should make sure to take with you to your first meeting with a legal team.

First, there are basic details about yourself that your lawyer will need to know.

  • Home address
  • Work address
  • Home phone number
  • Work phone number
  • Cell phone number
  • Email address

This information will make it easier for your lawyer to get in contact with you to share information about your case.

Next, you will want a written narrative of the events and facts that lead up to your decision to meet with your lawyer. 

Think in terms of answering the who, what, where, when, why” questions. These facts could include the following:

  • The names of the key people in your legal concern
  • Background information about your relationship with people
  • The date the concern started
  • The type of the concern (harassment, contract, divorce, adoption)
  • Significant events and the dates they occurred (use a marked calendar for reference)

Then, any documents or paperwork concerning your legal concerns should be gathered and organized for your meeting.

  • Contracts
  • Correspondence, including emails
  • Photos
  • Accident reports
  • Employment materials, such as an employee handbook
  • Witness statements
  • Other important documents related to your concern

Your lawyer may send you a questionnaire prior to your meeting to make the meeting more efficient, and in that case, it’s important to have it filled out properly with all necessary details.

Additionally, include a list of people who may be witnesses or defendants. If the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm represents anyone on the other side of the fence, he or she will have to take steps to ensure your case is not a conflict of interest and all parties are properly represented. 

Next, make a list of goals you want to accomplish during your case.

Here are some examples:

  • To get a contract or other legal document reviewed or to form a new partnership, corporation or other business
  • To respond to a legal complaint, lawsuit, or threatening letter
  • To find out if you have a legal case worth pursuing against someone else

Finally, prepare questions you want to ask your lawyer during the meeting. 

Having these written ahead of time will ensure you do not forget to ask them in a meeting, when conversation can get sidetracked. Some questions you might have are:

  • What are the essential deal points? How should you respond?
  • What are the areas of concern?
  • How have other clients had similar issues in the past?
  • How is the other side of the dispute likely to respond?
  • What would the lawyer like to see in order to evaluate your case?
  • What are your options, both legal and nonlegal?
  • How many similar cases has he or she handled?
  • What percent of his or her practice is in the area of expertise that you need?
  • What problems does the lawyer foresee with your case?
  • How would the lawyer go about handling your situation? What is the process?
  • How long will it take to bring the matter to a conclusion?
  • How would the lawyer charge for his or her services?

While it may seem like a lot to consider, having the details all ironed out prior to your first meeting will help the discussion of your case go much smoother. Preparing for a case can be stressful, and knowing you have prepared everything you can and passed it on to your lawyer will give you peace of mind. For more information or answers to questions, contact us at Ball Eggleston.

It's important to plan and prepare before meeting with your attorney.

Ball Eggleston is located at 201 Main Street, Suite 810 P.O. Box 1535 Lafayette, IN 47902. Contact Ball Eggleston by phone at (765) 7429046, by fax at (765) 7421966, or by email atinfo@​ball-​law.​com. For additional information, find Ball Eggleston online at ballegg.local. You can also find us on Facebook.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.