Once an initial client meeting is scheduled, you should prepare for the meeting. In that vein, there are some things that you should bring and be ready to discuss:
- At the beginning of the meeting, you should be prepared to name any and all individuals or companies against whom you believe you may have a claim. This will help the attorney ensure that no conflicts of interest exist before you go into detail regarding the case, and to ensure that the attorney recognizes the role of any potential party in the litigation and how he/she/it factors into the overall picture.
- You should prepare a chronological timeline of factual events related to your matter. At the top of this document you should write “to my attorney” so that it is privileged, (i.e. so that the opposing party cannot view it later in the case through the discovery process). This document should be in your own words, and should contain any and all communications/conversations, meetings, inspections, relevant events, etc. related to your matter. You should be as inclusive and honest as possible. Do not leave something out because you believe it could be “bad” for your case. Your attorney must be apprised of all relevant facts, and is bound, (with minor exceptions related to the anticipated commission of a crime), to keep information in confidence.
- You should bring copies of any and all documents in your possession related to the matter. This could include, for example, your sales contract, seller disclosure form, investigative reports, estimates for repair, photographs, receipts, letters or e-mails with the opposing party, etc. If you make copies in advance, it will save on time during the meeting.
- You should be prepared to ask questions. We welcome all questions, including questions related to your matter, questions regarding our background and experience, questions regarding to anticipated costs and/or pacing of the case and any clarification questions related to items discussed in the meeting.
- Be prepared to discuss potential issues, pitfalls and/or problematic areas with your case. Our job is to advise you given the facts. Sometimes, it is clear from the first meeting that certain facts may weigh less heavily in your favor. When that is the case, we want to be frank with you and discuss those matters openly.
You should bring your retainer fee check to the initial client meeting. Until we have been retained, (i.e. executed a contract with you and received the retainer fee), we cannot commence work on your matter