By: Linsey Boatner
My mother always told me that sometimes it is better to be nice than it is to be right. Out of stubbornness, I did not want to listen. I used to be the world’s worst about correcting people. It did not matter, to me, if that person genuinely believed they were correct or if they had a good reason for believing they were right. I would argue with them because I knew they were not and I had the proof. Sometimes I would argue with them even when I did not have the proof. Believe me, I ate my fair share of crow because of it.
I have learned that in a community as small and tight knit as the legal community, it is beneficial to apply my mother’s teaching. Attorneys acquiesce when opposing counsel asks for an extension on a discovery deadline or needs to push a hearing to a later date. Not because the attorney is bargaining from a position of weakness, but because they never know when they will need to ask for the same extension. Sometimes it is okay to give a little in certain areas, even where you know you are right or you know the law is on your side, in order to create good will for the future. It makes communication between the parties more fruitful and aids in resolution. It is very rare that attorneys only have one case against each other. The last thing an attorney wants to do is create enemies. Doing so in the professional community could be far more detrimental to your case than showing the opposing side a small amount of mercy.
With that being said, there is a time to know when enough is enough. When it comes to the point where consenting to a deadline extension or pushing a hearing may negatively impact your case, your attorney is not obligated to accommodate such a request. Your attorney is in the best position to determine when it is acceptable to be lenient and when it is not. They will always have your best interest in mind so trusting that your attorney knows the appropriate decision to make is essential.
This blog is written by the law clerks and interns of the Rice Divorce Team. We document our experience working with Memphis Divorce Lawyer Larry Rice and Memphis Divorce Lawyer Nick Rice, as well as other members of the Rice Divorce Team. The Rice Divorce Team represents clients in Tennessee, including Memphis, Nashville, Jackson, Columbia, Johnson City, and Knoxville. We hope these blog posts will be interesting and show the evolution of students as they move towards being divorce and family lawyers and paralegals. The statements in these posts should not be used as legal advice about divorce or family law.
Trying to use the aboutdivorce.com website as a substitute for a lawyer potentially sets you up for a disaster of epic proportions.
By: Price Rudolph
When hiring an attorney, many clients are concerned they may waste their money by hiring an ineffective attorney. This is a reasonable concern. Hiring an attorney that does not conduct themselves in a professional manner or does not exercise diligence in researching the law can be detrimental to the client’s case. However, hiring a good attorney does not necessarily mean your money has been put to good use. You must tell him/her the truth in order to ensure you are not wasting your money.
Trusting your attorney and cooperating with their requests and instructions will ensure that your attorney can perform as effectively as possible. It is important that you trust them with the facts of your case. Throughout my time with the Rice Divorce Team, senior partner Larry Rice has told me about past clients who were not forthcoming about facts that were damaging to their case or misrepresented certain facts about their case during initial interviews and discovery. As a result, Mr. Rice and any other attorney working on the case would formulate trial strategy based on an inaccurate account of the events of the case. Inevitably, during or immediately prior to a hearing or other court appearance, the client would inform the attorney of the inaccuracy. Since the entire trial strategy, pleading, and oral argument have been formulated on inaccurate facts, there was very little the attorneys could do to help remedy the situation. By not being forthcoming about the bad facts of their case, as well as the good, the client hurt their case and wasted resources.
One of the best things someone who is contemplating legal action can do is hire a good attorney. But just how effective this attorney can be will largely be dependent on how truthful and cooperative the client is. Always remember to be truthful with your attorney. Giving them the most accurate account of your case will allow them to advocate your side as effectively as possible.
In the 2016 Mid South Super Lawyer edition, Larry Rice answered questions on a few of his favorite things. Click the link to read what he said on page 10: http://digital.superlawyers.com/superlawyers/taslrs16?pg=10#pg10