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.
By: Linsey Boatner
One of the first things that I learned as part of the Rice Divorce Team was preparedness. After just one week on the job, I learned the first and possibly the most important lesson Memphis divorce attorney Larry Rice could teach me. BE PREPARED! Know everything there is to possibly know about your case and your client. Larry Rice taught me that if you are 80-90% prepared then you only have to improvise 10-20% of the time. It is a lot easier to come up with 10-20% than it would be to come up with 50% or more.
I know what you’re thinking… “Linsey, you should already know this by now.” Of course we are taught this all through school and life. We learn this from parents, teachers, scouts, and many other people and places. But to really know what being prepared is doesn’t come from a life lesson. It comes from an experience. I’m sure you have all been in class waiting anxiously as your name is called to present a report or to give a presentation. It is nerve-wracking because you have spent so much time on it (hopefully). You’re sitting there praying that everything you know doesn’t disappear from your mind as soon as you walk up to the podium. For those who went to law school, you know what I am talking about. The culmination of everything you have learned in an entire semester boils down to one three hour test. Imagine that same feeling, but magnified. You aren’t dealing with just grades out in practice. You are dealing with people’s lives. When the result of a person’s life is in the balance, when the course of a case is determined by what happens at that hearing or trial, it means so much more to be prepared. The Rice Divorce Team spent many hours preparing for the day that I learned this important lesson and because we knew as much as we possibly could about our client and our case, we were able to control the outcome of a crucial step in that case. It is often said knowledge is power. I believe that now more than ever and will always be thankful that I learned that lesson after my first week as a clerk for the Rice Divorce Team instead of my first appearance in a court room as an attorney.
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.
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