Second Opinions

If you have sought the advice of an attorney, then it is likely that you have found yourself in the middle of a highly stressful situation.  When anxiety and emotions run high, and financial pressures and uncertainty of the future abound, it may cause you to become dissatisfied with your attorney or doubt their plan for your case.  

You are the client, and as such, you are entitled to choose your lawyer--the representative who will advocate for you.  Inherent in that right is the right to change counsel if you reach a point where you feel that your attorney’s goals and objectives for your case are no longer in line with your own.

Like any professional service, you are free to get a second opinion on your case.  Much like getting a second opinion from a medical doctor before an important procedure, you can also consult a different attorney to get a second opinion on your case.  You may want to express your concerns and desire for a second opinion with your current Counsel, but you may also obtain a second opinion without informing your attorney if you do not feel comfortable doing so.

Discussing your case with another lawyer doesn’t necessarily mean that you are dissatisfied with your current representation.  It may just provide you with a greater understanding of the issues and outcomes that you can expect.  The second opinion may provide you with new strategies or ideas that you had not been aware of, or it could simply confirm the plan of action your current attorney has developed for you.  In either scenario, the second opinion is likely to provide you with a greater sense of confidence in the plan for your case, and help you feel more in control of your situation.

In certain circumstances, it is appropriate and responsible to get a second opinion.  If after consulting with your attorney, you still feel confused about the legal issues involved in your case, you may want to seek a second opinion.  It is impossible to make the proper decisions in your case if you do not have a thorough understanding of the law that applies to your situation.

You may also want to seek a second opinion if you are not comfortable with your attorneys handling of your case.  If you feel that your legal representative isn’t communicating with you, that your case isn't progressing as you had hoped, or that you don’t understand or agree with the attorney’s plan or strategy, it may be beneficial to seek a second opinion.

It is also may be a good idea to get a second opinion if you feel that your attorney isn’t familiar with the area of law of your case.  Most attorneys focus in one particular area of practice.  The law is simply too complex for even the best lawyer to know the nuances of every type.  If your attorney doesn’t typically practice in the field that your case falls in, it may be beneficial to consider discussing your case with a lawyer who does.

When seeking a second opinion, it is best to be honest with the attorney regarding your current representation.  You will need to provide them with sufficient information to understand the basis and status of your case so that they will be able to provide you with an accurate assessment and valuable advice as to goals and outcomes that you can expect.

Your lawyer is working for your best interest to help you achieve the best possible outcome of your case.  If getting a second opinion will allow you to be more confident in their representation, you should feel comfortable doing so.