THE PRACTICE OF LAW
As an attorney, I am a member of the legal profession, a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system, and a public citizen having a special responsibility for the quality of justice.
To each client, I must provide competent services, act in the client’s best interests, advocate, negotiate, evaluate, act with reasonable diligence, promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the client’s informed consent is required, keep matters strict confidentiality absent consent, and give advice.
As an attorney, I often field the question “do I need to hire an attorney?” My response is unequivocally “yes.” This answer may seem obvious, since I earn a living as a practicing lawyer. My answer has a deeper meaning.
In many circumstances, my potential client believes his or her case or legal issue is straightforward, simple, and obvious. Often, upon closer study and examination, my potential client becomes aware of the many traps, problems, and pitfalls. Science courses teach that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This same principle holds true in the law. Every decision has a consequence often that will not take effect for a period of time. A non-lawyer will not have the resources, training, and knowledge to fully appreciate the consequences of his or her decision. Furthermore, a non-lawyer will not fully know and comprehend local court procedure, substantive laws, procedural laws, legalese, trial laws, and appellate court laws.
In some very limited circumstances, it may make sense for a person to represent himself or herself. In my opinion, this choice is absolutely wrong 99.99% of the time. I am reminded of the famous quote, “a person who represents himself has a fool for a client.” As an example, I often tell my clients I would not represent myself because I would lose objectivity, logic, and reasoning as all decisions would be grounded in emotion and sentiment.
I believe that it is best to take preventive measures rather than be reactive. Making a good decision on the first try is much cheaper and more effective in contrast to correcting a bad decision and outcome. By hiring an attorney, it will encourage the client to make a fully informed decision if given competent advice based upon ethics, knowledge, reason, and objectivity.
The practice of law is an honorable profession.
About the Author:
Patrick G. King, a trial lawyer, practices in the areas of Personal Injury (Automobile Accidents, Bike Accidents, Construction Site Accidents, Dog Bites, Dram Shop, Injuries to Children, Motorcycle Accidents, Negligence, Premises Liability, Products Liability, Trucking Accidents/Semi-Tractor Trailer Accidents, and Wrongful Death), Criminal Defense (Felony, Misdemeanor, DUI, and Traffic), and Driver’s License Reinstatement cases before Illinois Secretary of State at Formal Administrative Hearings. Patrick is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Missouri and actively represents clients in the following counties, Madison County, IL, Jersey County, IL, St. Clair County, IL, Macoupin County, IL, Montgomery County, IL, Green County, IL, Calhoun County, IL, Bond County, IL, and Monroe County, IL. Patrick also represents clients throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.
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