A common complaint about attorneys is that they never answer calls or emails. At Melling Law, P.C., we will do our best to answer phone calls and emails within two hours of receipt, even if only to let you know when to expect a more detailed response to your inquiry. Further, we will be forthright in our client communications. We will never lie to a client or hide things from a client.
Everything a lawyer learns about a client during the representation of a client is confidential. We will not discuss your case or legal matters with anyone outside the firm. We are strictly prohibited from breaking the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship. What you tell your lawyer is similar to what you tell your priest or doctor. We can’t be effective in helping you unless we know all of the facts, including all of the unpleasant and embarrassing facts. To encourage full disclosure, we are prohibited by ethics and by law from discussing anything about your case with anyone. For this reason we do not even disclose the names of our clients unless we have their permission. We are forbidden even to discuss these confidences with our spouses, or other family members, or in a public place where they might be overheard.
Client Trust Accounts
Lawyers are required to have trust accounts for client funds and may not mix client funds with personal funds and may not borrow funds from the client. We will report deposits and withdrawals for your funds in the trust account to you as rapidly as is reasonable.
Conflicts of Interest
A lawyer cannot ethically represent both sides in a dispute. A lawyer must ethically do the best possible for his or her client. A lawyer is not a judge deciding what is “fair and reasonable.” A lawyer normally is an advocate, out to protect his client at the expense of another other party, if necessary. A lawyer may not represent a client if representation of that client and total loyalty to that client could be impaired by the lawyers relationship with another person or client. On the other hand, the world must be practical. The American public can’t afford to go out and hire a lawyer for every person on every small transaction or deal. Therefore, it is normal and customary in some situations for a lawyer to, in effect, represent multiple people with actual or potential conflicts of interest in order to save legal fees and expedite the delivery of the work. For example, we might prepare all of the estate planning documents for a married couple with noncompeting interests rather than requiring each spouse to hire separate counsel.