You and your attorney should have a thorough discussion about all the aspects of your case and agree on your respective duties. Among the issues you should discuss are:
- Who will set a strategy?
- Who will gather info? Who will prepare that info for the court?
- Who will draft documents for the court?
- Who will appear at court and settlement conferences?
- Who will negotiate with the opposing party to try to settle out of court?
- How do I benefit?
There may be many things you can do to help with your own representation. For example, you may be able to gather much of the needed info yourself so you don’t have to pay the attorney to do it. The attorney can then take that info and put it in a form which is useful to the court. In this way, you make the most efficient use of the attorney’s time (and your lawsuit budget) by focusing the attorney’s time on things you can’t do well yourself. By doing this, you will not only save money on legal fees, but have greater control of your case than if the attorney handles the whole process.