Q: What does my attorney expect from me?
A: Every case is different, but most attorneys expect three main things from their clients.
1. You should always be upfront with your attorney and give him/her all relevant facts. If new facts arise, you should keep your attorney updated so they can prepare your case with the most up-to-date and relevant information. Closely related to this, make it clear to your attorney from the beginning what you want to get out of the case or how you would like the matter resolved so your attorney can strategize in a way to best get the desired outcome.
2. You should also be responsive to requests for documents and information from your attorney. If a case is litigated, there are case deadlines that are important not to miss. If you are noncommunicative with your attorney, it is hard for the attorney to comply with court rules and serve required documents/information timely. The court can impose sanctions on parties that do not comply with court deadlines.
3. Be patient. Cases can take a very long time to litigate. Attorneys cannot guarantee a specific outcome and if you are unable to settle your case upfront, or resolve it in some non-litigious manner, litigation will likely take a year or more from the filing of a petition to a jury verdict. I reviewed trial timetables and options to speed up the process in a previous post.