The Obligations Owed by a Personal Injury Attorney to a Client

A personal injury attorney owes their client certain obligations, not necessarily as a matter of law, but also as a matter of ethics and good practice. Here are some the obligations an attorney owes their client, and which you should demand from your Criminal Defense Attorney Albuquerque .

1. Secrecy. Everyone knows that attorneys are obligated to maintain client secrecy. Ethical rules prohibit an attorney from disclosing any conversation with a client. Further, state laws provide a very strong privilege to attorney-client communications. Under said laws, no person, court, or governmental agency can force an attorney to disclose privileged to attorney-client communications.

2. Truthfulness. Attorneys owe their client, the court, and the public at large a duty of truthfulness. This is required by the ethical rules. An attorney generally must generally be forthcoming and cannot hide material information from the client or the court, unless protected by a privilege.

3. Loyalty. Attorneys owe their clients a duty of absolute loyalty. Ethical rules require attorneys to perform conflict checks before even discussing a case with a potential client. Ethical rules also require attorneys to prevent conflicts from occurring by requiring attorneys to decline representing potential clients in certain situations. Further, in the event a conflict of interest arises during the course of representation, ethical rules require the attorney to withdraw from representing any client in the controversy.

4. Diligence. Attorneys owe their clients an obligation to regularly communicate with their clients and to promptly move their clients’ cases forwarded toward a resolution. Diligence and promptness in this context does not require daily or weekly communications and activities but, instead, what is required or reasonable under the circumstances.

5. Following Instructions. In general, attorneys are obligated to follow their clients’ instructions regarding the goals of the representation. Ethical rules also provide that the client, not the attorney, has the absolute final say regarding settlement. However, the attorney has final say regarding tactical decisions, such as which motions to file and when, what to say in court and when, and the like. Clients are not attorneys and are not permitted to manage the daily activities of the litigation. Similarly if you hire a pilot to transport you to a certain location, you have the right to control the goal, landing at your chosen destination, and the right to change that goal, such as demanding to land at a different destination; however, you have no right to dictate the tactics of achieving that goal, such as air speed, altitude, and the other aspects affecting the safe control of the aircraft.