Understanding Your Lawyer’s Representation
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The Client’s Decision
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When an individual seeks out the help of a lawyer, that person is looking for someone to help them solve a problem or achieve a certain result. In other words, you are looking for some legally educated person to give you advice on how to pursue and meet the objectives you are looking to achieve.

When a lawyer gives a client advice, it is then up to the client to make a decision based on that advice. Once the client makes a certain decision, the lawyer has a duty to abide by that specific decision. It is important to note, however, that the lawyer’s duty to abide by such a decision does not then indicate that the lawyer is endorsing the client’s views or activities. Let’s use an example to flesh out this concept.

Let’s say that John seeks out the help of a lawyer to file a civil suit. John was in a terrible car accident, and as a result has suffered from many physical ailments. John wants to sue the other driver for damages in order to pay his medical bills, and for loss of wages due to his inability to work. John’s lawyer files suit for one million dollars and appears with him in court. At court, the other driver makes an offer to John. The other driver offers to pay John one hundred thousand dollars—an amount substantially smaller than the original amount of damages John was seeking. Upon this amount being offered, John’s lawyer sits him down and explains the repercussions of both accepting and not accepting this offer. Based on his lawyer’s advice, John decides to accept the offer for the substantially smaller amount. In this scenario, the lawyer must abide by John’s decision, regardless of whether he thinks it is a good idea or not to go that route.

Next, let’s look at the legal boundaries within which a lawyer must act.

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