Case Decision Making
It is always important for any client, in our opinion, to be in control of decision-making when there are choices to be made. We require that any client read over any order draft before it is sent to a Commissioner or judge. After all, an order on any case affects the client and if they have any questions or reservations about how it is drafted, those should be addressed before the order is signed and not after.
Even when we are asked about agreeing to a continuance for hearing or trial, we insist on checking with the client before agreeing to anything. Clients are required to meet with an attorney and discuss any settlement options to determine what authority we have as the attorney to make any offers at all. If the client has not given us authority to make a settlement offer, then none will be made.
Not everything though, in the course of the legal process, allows for choices to be selected by a client. On occasion a decision must be made about a case and the circumstances do not allow for any discussion with the client. Sometimes the judge or commissioner does not allow for choices even though the law and the circumstances might require otherwise. The bottom line though is that when the courtroom or hearing doors shut, leaving the attorneys and the judge or commissioner to discuss a case, we will not agree to anything unless we have the very clear express authority of the client to do so. That’s the way it should be.
In every case, we schedule mandatory client meetings to review, with the client, what is anticipated to be dealt with at an upcoming hearing or trial as well as what we will do to present the case. This allows the client to know how their particular problem is to be handled and allow the client’s input about it.