Mr. Hunter’s Revised Letter to Clients
Published to: Divorce, Family Law, personal injury, Perspectives of a Small Town Lawyer, Upshur County, WV Lawyer - Tips and Techniques
on March 6, 2018 3:54 pm
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IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS TO NEW CLIENT(S); PLEASE READ CAREFULLY AND SIGN.
Dear New Client:
1. During his representation, there are certain instructions Mr. Hunter and his staff routinely provide and repeat. The core of these instructions is listed here with the hope you will read them, understand them, and agree to follow the standards of the Court and Mr. Hunter’s procedures. Experience shows that your firm commitment to conduct yourself properly and to learn and follow Mr. Hunter’s methods will save you money, time, and heartache!
2. These procedures apply whether your case is a:
a. Personal injury;
b. Civil action;
c. Family Court matter; or
d. Mediation. Note: each of these areas has its own set of specialized intake forms.
3. Please consider anything you post to the Internet to be public. Set your privacy settings to “friends only” but realize any “friend” can share or print, “snag” or take a screenshot of, anything you post, and forward it to anyone they want!
4. Ponder the previous paragraph while realizing the reverse is also true! Without doing anything illegal or even unethical, you can have your good friends or family keep track of our opponents, or you can review public posts, and your own e-mails, texts, and messages. It is truly remarkable what people post and say. To the extent that it is abusive, profane, offensive, or prurient, it likely will help us demonstrate to a court or jury what the other side is really like. Are they a fit parent? An abuser? Addicted? Dangerous? These “puzzle pieces” help us create the true picture, but they could reveal your less than admirable traits also; be careful!
5. By accepting Mr. Hunter as your representative, you are agreeing that your Internet posts will conform to reasonable standards of civility and taste, that you will post nothing on pending litigation, that if children are the subject of the litigation, no photographs of or comments about the children will be posted, and that the standard you will follow is that you will post nothing that she would not want your mother, your children, your spouse, your lawyer, or your minister to see. Note: this rule should be flexible and guided by simple good taste and common sense.
6. Mr. Hunter has a carefully devised method for helping you organize the facts in your case. You are agreeing to follow his methods as best you can, and, most importantly, to ask questions about things you do not understand. Note: especially in cases with lots of facts (puzzle pieces or “objects”), your careful gathering and sorting of those pieces can save you thousands of dollars!
7. While email is a wonderful form of communication, Mr. Hunter cannot absorb your communications unless you will keep your paragraphs short, 1 to 2 lines, numbered, and to the point!
8. To the extent you must use more than one email, do so, but recognize that long rambling emails may contain information that is not fully absorbed.
9. Many Family Court proceedings have very strict rules of disclosure. You will be provided forms for you to summarize “caretaking functions” of your children by you, your child’s other parent, and third parties, your property and debt, and other important information. You will be required to prepare complete financial affidavits and to file tax returns and earning information.
10. AND REMEMBER Family Court proceedings are confidential so do not talk about them, share them, or post videos or transcripts of the hearings. If others break this rule, let us know!
11. It will be your responsibility to “do your homework”, whether it is a family court matter, civil litigation, or personal injury claim or lawsuit, for example, by getting:
a. A duplicate of that credit card bill;
b. Bank account information;
c. Tax returns with schedules attached;
d. Current pay records;
e. Retirement and insurance documents and policies;
f. E-mails, screen shots of text messages, and other digital communication.;
g. Digital copies of photographs, and;
h. All sorts of other critical information.
12. I repeat, the fact you do not have an item in your possession at the time it is requested is no excuse. The success of your case will be determined:
a. By its merits, but also;
b. By the diligence and efficiency of your preparation and your communication with your lawyer.
13. It is critical that you tell your lawyer the truth. By this, Mr. Hunter does not mean simply answering his questions truthfully. If you have:
a. A felony conviction;
b. A domestic violence petition filed against you, whether it resulted in the protective order or not;
c. A drunk driving conviction;
d. A disgusting Facebook page;
e. A pre-existing injury;
f. A psychological problem;
g. A drug or alcohol dependency;
h. Or any other fact that you know in your gut Mr. Hunter needs to know,
You must tell him! In other words, Mr. Hunter hates surprises! If there is “an elephant in the room”, tell him!
14. By signing this document, you are certifying that you have read and understood each of these instructions and will abide by them.
15. If any of them seem unreasonable, or you do not understand them, please speak with a staff member or with Mr. Hunter before signing.
________________________ _____________ ____________________________
Client Signature Date
This post was written by Burton Hunter