Open Letter to Client
Thank you for entrusting me with your family law matter. Going through a divorce or any family law case can be very stressful and you are probably unsure of what to expect from your attorney. I thought it would be helpful to provide you with some general information so that you will have reasonable expectations about my role in this process and what I can do to help move this matter along. That way our communications and my efforts can be focused on what we can achieve, not on what we cannot change. Please consider the following:
- I cannot change the facts of your case. You came to me with certain facts about your relationship, incomes, assets, debts, job history and the like. I can take the facts of your case and present them to the opposing party or the Court in the most favorable light to achieve the best outcome that I can for you.
- I cannot change the law. The laws that affect your legal rights were established before you started your action. Even if you do not believe the law applies fairly to the circumstances of your case, I am bound to work with the facts you have presented to me with the existing law.
- I cannot make the opposing attorney respond to me any sooner. While a timely response to my communications would be appreciated, unless it is a pleading or a discovery request for which there are rules that establish deadlines for a response, the opposing attorney is not obligated to respond to my phone calls or letters by any certain date. However, I can reach out to the opposing attorney to request that a response be timely provided.
- I cannot make the opposing party change his or her behaviors. If the opposing party behaved like a narcissist or acted entitled before you filed your action, he or she will likely continue to exhibit those behaviors during the litigation. If the opposing party is dishonest, there may be pleadings filed that you know contain multiple false statements and allegations against you. Although I can file with the Court responsive pleadings denying the false claims or request the Court to prohibit or enforce certain legal behaviors or actions, I cannot change the opposing party’s personality. Just know that eventually you will have your chance to refute all the allegations.
- I cannot make the Court rule any faster. The Judge will issue a ruling or set a hearing when the Judge is ready to do so. Calling the Court staff to ask about the status of a pending matter will not result in the Judge moving your case along any faster. However, I can routinely check the Court record and will advise you immediately once I have received notice of a ruling or a hearing.
Please know that I can and will represent you to the best of my ability. I will do my best to timely respond to your communications. I will do my best to explain to you about the legal process and the law so that you can have a reasonable expectation of what will happen in your case and can make informed decisions. Above all, I will work to achieve the best outcome that I can for you.
About the Author:
Dana Levy (Member, Phoenix) is a certified family law specialist by the State Bar of Arizona. Her practice is concentrated in family law, including dissolution, post-dissolution, paternity, child custody and child support matters. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Please contact Ms. Levy in our Phoenix office at 602-285-5082 and visit her bio here.