Place your trust in your Attorney

Attorneys are highly trained professionals who strive to provide the best service possible – and this is why you should place your trust in your attorney.

Attorneys are officers of the court and are bound by the rules of professional conduct.

Trust your lawyerOnce an attorney has agreed to represent you it is of utmost importance that you should trust your attorney as he/she is bound to serve you professionally and ethically.

Trust forms the basis of any attorney-client relationship.

Choosing the right Attorney

Many attorneys specialize in a particular field of the law.

As such it is of utmost importance that you do your research as to secure the best possible attorney to attend to your specific needs and requirements.

In our experience attorneys who specialize have extensive and thoroughly prepared websites with references and details pertaining to references and achievements they have had with similar matters.

Recommendations from close family and friends could also be of value.

Many attorneys offer a free evaluation of your matter and you should take advantage of this opportunity to meet and or engage with a number of these attorneys as to make an informed decision on whom you would be best served with your particular needs.

A good attorney firm relies on their reputation and excellent service to draw the attention of prospective clients.

It is important that your attorney practice due diligence and take care to ensure that you understand the process of claiming and litigating.

An attorney serves as your representative through the maize of litigation and the administration of the process as it progresses to finality.

The attorney serves to protect the client’s interests, upholds the law and ensures that justice is served.

What to expect from your attorney.

The attorney you choose is going to guide you on the legalities of the problem you are having.

It is important that you choose an attorney that you feel comfortable with and have the confidence that he/she will perform and deliver as expected.

All attorneys are bound by strict rules and laws with regards to their professional conduct.

The relevant professional body should be able to confirm whether a prospective attorney are in good standing with the Society and if he or she is a registered practitioner.

Here is what you should know about the ethical rules that lawyers must follow, and how to choose an attorney best suited for your particular needs.

Key responsibilities of an attorney includes the following but are not limited to:

  • Being experienced in the area of law in which you seek representation.
  • Being professional, honest and unbiased in their advice at all times.
  • To treat you with professional courtesy, respect and fairness, regardless of your race, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
  • Being able to at least give you a basic description of your legal matter and the prospects of success.
  • Provide you with a clear understanding of your legal rights and responsibilities.
  • Be diligent in communicating to answer your questions and return phone calls.
  • To keep confidential information between the attorney and the client.
  • Give an estimate on fees and expenses and not expose the client to unnecessary costs.

Once a mandate is given to the attorney, the attorney steps in and effectively represents a shield between the client and the liable person or institution responsible to pay damages.

At Gert Nel Incorporated we pride ourselves in the knowledge and confidence that we tick all of these boxes.

Gert Nel Inc. is a firm of specialised personal injury attorneys committed to ensuring top results, not only by obtaining sterling capital settlements, but also by maintaining the dignity and integrity of their very special clients long after their matters are finalised.  They strive to treat each and every client with the respect and care that they deserve and to make the experience as effortless as possible.

They generally take on matters on a contingency fee basis (no win no fee basis) which means they finance the considerable costs of bringing these matters to trial including the costs of expert witnesses and advocates.

People wanting to lodge personal injury and road accident claims should contact an established‚ reputable law firm.  In RAF cases you need to be particularly alert to misinformation given out by the RAF and rather trust your attorney to do the best on your behalf.

What your Attorney expects from you

Just as your attorney has to follow proper procedures and abide by the rules as a client, you also have some obligations to follow which may include:

  • To provide your attorney with truthful and all relevant information.
  • To treat your attorney with respect, this includes respecting their time and schedule.
  • To inform your attorney of new developments.
  • To provide any information requested from your attorney promptly as to ensure the effective administration of the mandate.
  • To be diligent in your appointments and inform your attorney if you will be unavailable.
  • Once you have accepted your attorney’s advice, trust him/her to perform accordingly.
  • Inform your attorney of any changes or current information.
  • To accept that litigation is a prologued process and can sometimes be slow and frustrating.
  • Accept that your attorney is doing all he/she can to obtain the desired result.
  • To not make contact with the defendant, or anyone acting on behalf of the opponent (or other party) without the consent and knowledge of your attorney as this can seriously prejudice your matter.

We do encounter situations where clients contact the RAF directly to enquire about payments.

More often than not, partial information is given to the client as the RAF representatives are not privy to the administrative process of the attorney resulting in a breakdown in trust between the attorney and the client.

Payment could have been made to the attorney, however, these payments must be subjected to a process of recovery (where doctors have been paid etc.) and reconciliation which may cause delay in payments.

Attorneys are, however, obligated to ensure that monies received on trust are paid to the client as soon as reasonably possible.

The client is best served to contact the attorney to obtain first-hand information on the accounting process and procedure.

Clients can rest assured that in all instances the attorney must provide full disclosure of the reconciliation process.

What to do if your Attorney does not perform

Your attorney is obligated to conduct his/her mandate in accordance with the relevant guidelines.

If, however, you are unhappy about the manner in which your attorney is dealing with your matter, you do have the option to cancel the mandate.

However, we would urge you to have regard to the following:

If you are faced with such a situation, try and secure a consultation with the attorney and discuss your concerns;

If it is a breakdown in communication, there might be a reasonable explanation as it does happen that a client’s address or telephone number changes as the matter progresses (without informing the attorney) and that results in the breakdown of communication.

If you are still unhappy with your attorney and would feel more comfortable in securing the services of someone else, you are allowed to do so.

You should be mindful of the fact that you will be obligated to pay the reasonable and taxable fees and disbursements of the initial attorney for services rendered up to and including the date of cancellation of the mandate.

Your new attorney is obligated to discuss the formalities with you and to ensure that you realise that you might have to pay the bill prior to demanding your file from the erstwhile attorney which may have serious financial implications.

Conclusion

The relationship between the attorney and his client should always be professional and one of mutual respect.

Communication is important and clients should realize that they have the right to have as much insight into their matters as they require.

The course of an instruction may take a few years and it is for this reason that the client should be involved and the attorney diligent in ensuring that his/her client is kept happy and confident, all the while building mutual trust as the matter progresses.

The attorney-client relationship is comparable to a marriage, choose your partner/attorney wisely and cherish the relationship to ensure the desired outcome.

Sources

  • lssa.org.za
  • nolo.com

 

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