WHAT KINDS OF THINGS SHOULD I TELL MY ATTORNEY?
The short answer is everything. Most importantly, a client should discuss with their attorney certain facts that predate the circumstances leading up to their case. They may include the following:
- Prior injury claims and lawsuits in which you have been involved, including workers’ compensation claims and cases that were not filed.
- Prior criminal charges, arrests, and convictions.
- Past injuries and medical treatment you may have received, particularly to the parts of the body injured in the current case.
- Past communications with witnesses and parties to your case, including verbal discussions, social media private messages or text messages.
CAN I TELL MY LAWYER EVERYTHING?
Yes. You should discuss everything with your lawyer for numerous reasons. Most significantly, open and transparent communication helps your case. You may think a topic is unrelated or irrelevant, but when you give your attorney all of the information, you are helping them to make fully informed decisions on your behalf.
You hired an attorney to help you navigate the court system. They are with you to assist and strategize on how to obtain full justice for you. You may consider discussing certain facts to be unimportant or bad for your case. When you give your attorney all of the information, you are allowing them to start strategizing early on how to counter any aspect that may negatively impact your case. This gives the case the best chance for success!
In today’s digital age, your life details are increasingly accessible to both the public and the defense counsel. Defense counsel can legally obtain information about you without your knowledge or consent. Anything from simple traffic violations, deleted social media private messages, to your childhood medical records may all be stored electronically and therefore available. By disclosing the full facts about you to your attorney, you are helping to proactively protect your information before defense counsel obtains it. Various rules apply when determining what information is discoverable by a defendant and what information is admissible as evidence in your case. Even if a defendant is able to gather information about you, advising your attorney on the existence of these matters will enable them to seek the Court’s assistance in preventing the information from being considered by any of the parties or experts in your case.
WHY TRUST YOUR ATTORNEY WITH SUCH PERSONAL INFORMATION?
Remember your attorney holds a special relationship with you!
All of your communications with your attorney and legal team are protected under attorney-client privilege. Your attorney is only required to disclose to others under court rules and only to the extent is discoverable under those rules. Otherwise, all information stays between you and your legal team under this privilege.
If the information and facts are hard to discuss or private, ask for a private face to face meeting with your attorney.
Finally, you and your attorney are on the same side. Talk to your lawyer. Trust that your interests in a successful case and full justice for your harms are aligned with your legal team.