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Legal Issues
Apr 8, 2019

How Businesses Can Maximize Their Attorney-Client Relationships

Sponsored Content provided by Deedee Gasch - Attorney, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

Most businesses appreciate they need to get counsel involved if a lawsuit is filed against them or if they need transactional legal work that attorneys provide.  But there are other services, beyond representation, that a business should discuss with its attorney about possibly providing.  These “extras” allow your attorney to truly get to know you and your business and can provide invaluable training, accident response, and increased efficiency for your legal work.

            Below you will find five “extra” services that you should consider discussing with your attorney:
 
1.         Seminars, Continuing Education, and Training
 
            If you work in an industry that requires continuing education, or if your managers, staff, or employees could benefit from training, your attorney can be a wealth of knowledge on industry specific topics.  From training on policies, to teaching employees about accident and claims prevention or preservation of evidence following an accident, your attorney is likely willing to present to your company on these relevant topics. 
 
2.         24/7 Catastrophic Accident Response
 
            If there is a catastrophic accident at your business or with an employee who is on the road driving for your business, do you know what to do after reporting the incident to law enforcement?  Ask counsel if they provide this service, and if so, make sure you have after hours contact information.  Having counsel present for the investigation from the start ensures evidence is properly preserved and critical witnesses are interviewed, typically under the protection of the attorney-client privilege. 
 
3.         Face-to-Face Time at the Your Business
 
            If you think a personal visit would help further your attorney’s knowledge about what you do and how you do it, invite your counsel to come to your business.  This is a great time to allow counsel to meet employees, discuss strategies and goals, and formulate a mutually beneficial plan for both the attorney and the client in working together on files. 
 
4.         Pre-Matter Planning and Transparency During the Legal Process
 
            Be open with your attorney about what you/your business hopes to achieve (or avoid) throughout the legal process.  Perhaps you are a client who is risk adverse and would like to resolve legal matters quickly.  Perhaps you are a client that is often a target for frivolous claims, and you wish to zealously investigate and defend matters.  These are key components in determining strategy, and you should let your attorney know if you have a preference on how claims are handled.    
 
5.         Involving Associates & Paralegals
 
            While your direct relationship may be with a partner at the firm, it is okay to ask that associates and paralegals be involved where possible.  Specifically, for less complex cases or more form driven work, it is perfectly acceptable to ask that an associate handle the file or work under the supervision of a more experienced attorney.  Discuss with your attorney whether this arrangement is suitable for you, or whether you prefer to have one attorney handling your file.   
 
This does not constitute legal advice. Please seek counsel from a legal professional to assess your specific situation.

Deedee Gasch has over a decade of experience litigating catastrophic claims involving serious injury or death. While Deedee’s practice is primarily focused on the defense of premises liability, trucking and commercial vehicle accidents, and medical malpractice, she also has a wide range of civil litigation experience. She spent approximately half of her career representing injured plaintiffs before returning to her first love of civil litigation defense work. This experience on both sides of a case uniquely situates her in negotiations and at trial if settlement is not possible. Deedee is a third-generation Tar Heel and attorney, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, a North Carolina Resident Superior Court Judge (deceased), and her father, a career trial lawyer. She has dual degrees in Journalism and Political Science and earned her law degree cum laude from Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida, where she attended on a prestigious merit based scholarship. She is licensed to practice law in both North Carolina and Florida.

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