Responsibilities of Attorney & Client
You, as the client of our firm, are entitled to expect us to preserve your confidential communications and to prosecute or defend your case to the best of our professional ability.
The facts of your case make your matter unique, and significantly shape the manner in which your matter progresses to its final resolution. While you can agree to settle, the outcome will be in the sole discretion of the court, subject to appeal if necessary. That is to say, even if you and the opposing party reach settlement, the court must still approve your Settlement Agreement.
Frequently, legal aspects of a domestic relations status proceeding necessitate the close involvement of other family members and may involve third parties. After this firm has been formally retained, you will be regarded as having established an attorney-client relationship with the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. Once this relationship has been established, you will be asked not to relay specific settlement proposals and other confidential communications to your spouse or partner, particularly if she or he has retained counsel in connection with the status action.
When you do relay such communications, it abrogates the confidentiality which otherwise attaches to those communications. If counsel has been retained by your partner or spouse, the communication of proposals and other concepts, strategies, or communications poses ethical difficulties for this firm under the Code of Professional Responsibility, as we are prohibited from communicating directly with your spouse or partner; rather, we must only communicate with his or her counsel. For the same reason, you can expect that we will not speak directly with your partner or spouse if he or she is represented.
As the client, your first major responsibility is to work out the manner in which you will continue your personal relationship with your partner or spouse. While your personal relationship with your spouse or partner has undeniably changed, it is in your best interest to maintain cordial communications so as to assist us in assisting you in bringing your matter to a beneficial resolution.
If you have children, this responsibility is even more important as you and your spouse or partner will unavoidably remain in contact as you raise your children together but go on with your separate lives. This does not mean that we will not be available to you to discuss the legal aspects of day-to-day problems, but our fees are based on the time we expend on your matter.
Working to establish good communication in a difficult situation is something over which you have control, and your ability to resolve problems as they arise will help keep your legal fees down. In the event you are simply unable to communicate, we are happy to assist you but we want to make clear that your fees will increase if we need to intervene in an effort to resolve daily problems that arise.
You are also entrusted with the responsibility of keeping us readily informed of any relevant changes in your domestic situation, including but not limited to reconciliation.
When court appearances are scheduled, it will be your responsibility to be present, on time, and at the designated courtroom in the courthouse. If witnesses are required to be present on your behalf, you will coordinate logistics with them and ensure that they will appear in the correct place at the correct time. If necessary, we will issue subpoenas to secure their appearance; however, if the witnesses are your friends and family, we ask that you embrace this responsibility in an effort at reducing your legal fees and ensuring that your witnesses will appear to assist in your matter.
You will also need to produce records substantiating your income from any source or sources, be it from wages, fees, and/or investments. We will also need documentation of all of your assets and debts. If you have claims for separate property, we will need any and all documents substantiating those claims. You will also need to furnish a complete list of all debts and liabilities, together with supporting documentation. It is prudent for you to begin to keep detailed notes regarding living expenses for yourself and for any children or other dependents. If you are unable to state exact expenses, please make your best reasonable estimate based upon information and documentation available to you. If discovery is served, you will need to provide us with all of the information and documentation necessary to serve a response.
We will ardently undertake our representation of you. However, for us to best represent you, we also need you to uphold your responsibilities, keep us apprised of developments in your matter, and provide us with the financial and personal information necessary for us to competently and creatively seek settlement and pursue litigation.