Many people believe that all they have to do is walk into a criminal defense lawyer’s office and say “you’re hired”. It is not quite as simple as that. There are three factors that go into the attorney/client relationship. First, the client must indeed be comfortable with a lawyer. After all, it is the lawyer who will be representing the client before not only the court but with the office of the state attorney or US attorney. There must be trust and confidence that the lawyer is the right person to represent them. Second, the representation must be affordable. The client needs to understand how much money is involved in the representation. This includes not only the fee but the costs involved in the defense. If it is more than the client can afford, then the relationship will not work. Lastly, the lawyer must agree to the representation. This may seem odd when the first two conditions are met but there is a third condition which also exists. The lawyer must come to believe that he or she can “work with the client”. By that, I mean the lawyer has to feel that the client will follow their advice and believe that cooperation will be forthcoming from the client. Without that trust, problems will undoubtedly arise down the road.
The attorney/client relationship is paramount to a successful defense. When a client listens to his or her attorney’s advice and understands the work that has gone into their case, then they will understand (but not necessarily like) the ultimate outcome.