No Problem. No harm in getting a second opinion.
While many individuals ask for a second opinion regarding a medical diagnosis, some feel hesitant to do so for a legal case. There are several reasons why a client may seek a second opinion. For example, a client may feel confused about a particular legal issue. He or she may not fully understand the rights that he or she has in a particular situation. The client might want to learn about alternative options to the recommendation by his or her primary attorney. Getting a second opinion often allows a client to make decisions from a more informed standpoint.
Benefits of Seeking a Second Opinion
A client who seeks an opinion from another attorney may more thoroughly understand an issue after he or she receives the second opinion. The opinion may be confirmed by another legal professional, providing the client with greater confidence in the decision. Alternatively, the second opinion may result in the client wanting to go in another direction. If a law firm does not have sufficient resources, it may skimp on more expensive charges, such as hiring expert witnesses. However, a lawyer who offers a second opinion may explain whether such expenses are worth the cost or will make a significant difference in the case. Getting a second opinion on a case involving money damages for a settlement can also help the client learn if his or her expectations are in line with the reality of such cases.
When Clients Need a Second Opinion
While clients generally have the right to seek another opinion, there may be certain situations in which their lawyer is not providing the proper representation to the client. In these situations, it is often best that the client learns this information as soon as possible in order to make a change in counsel before too much damage is done.
For example, if the lawyer is giving the impression that he or she is too busy by not returning phone calls, providing rushed answers that do not take into account individual facts and details or always referring the client to someone else, the lawyer may not be prioritizing the case. If the lawyer does not have very much experience in the subject matter or has not conducted enough research to fully understand the legal issues, he or she may not be able to provide competent legal representation.
Another warning sign is if the lawyer has not filed a complaint, answer important motions. Filing deadlines are strictly adhered to and a lapse can result in damage to the client’s case. Another red flag is if the attorney is pushing the client to a decision because that is the fastest way out, such as pleading guilty or accepting a settlement if these are not in the best interests of the client.