It is important to understand your obligations to a client when taking them on as a lawyer. One of the most important responsibilities of a lawyer is to clearly communicate with a client. This can be very difficult in some cases, particularly since so few people have familiarity with the law.

Failure to communicate is an example of legal malpractice. According to FindLaw, it is vital to keep your client fully informed of all developments in their case, including settlement offers.

How should I handle settlements?

Remember that the end decision always lies with the client. In certain situations, it may be wiser to accept a settlement then try to litigate. It is important to keep your client fully informed of their decisions and offer solid legal advice. However, you can not accept settlement offers on behalf of your client without their full permission.

Additionally, you need to inform your client of any settlement offers that the other party puts forward. It is your client’s ultimate choice to decide whether or not to take the settlement, but you must inform them that the settlement exists.

What else should I know?

It is best practice to communicate frequently with your clients. Litigation can potentially take years, depending on the case, but frequently communicating with your client even if nothing is happening will help protect you against legal malpractice claims.

Generally speaking, it is good practice to communicate with your clients at least once a month. Additionally, if you take an aggressive stance on most cases there should at least be monthly updates to share.