May I speak to Mr. Spiva?
Often times a client or new caller to our office wants to “speak to Mr. Spiva”.
Frequently, the request is accompanied with a comment like”we went to high school together” or “I spoke to him the other day at the court house” or “we are friends on face book”. Often folks will get upset if I can’t come to the phone right then and speak to them.
I love being a lawyer. I enjoy talking with clients.
But the truth is if I took all the phone calls I would never accomplish anything for any client. Court appearances, depositions, mediations, drafting a law suit, answering a motion or preparing for trial, that is where I am most valuable for my clients. Routine phone calls of gathering updates are better suited for a staff team member.
A doctor leverages their time with RN/LPN nurses, and physician assistants, lawyers too have to have trusted staff to handle much of the communications with clients.
In the Spiva Law Group, we work as a a team on every file.
We have paralegals, secretaries, legal assistant and investigators to and many of the task on your file.
As a new caller and as an existing client your assigned legal assistant will be speaking with you frequently on routine matters such as your medical problems, payment of medical bills, mileage forms, and he/she will take down any questions you may have for me.
Every action, document, communication is entered into your data base and in an electronic file that everyone on our team has access to. As soon as a document is received or a phone call occurs it goes in your memo field and our soft wear program alerts everyone in the firm of the activity.
This communication is don’t both internally in our network server in the office and through remote access if anyone is out of the office.
We only accept a selected number of cases and all of our team works very closely together on your file.
As I mentioned, my workday generally is tightly scheduled, and I am frequently out of the office taking depositions and appearing in Court. It is for that reason that you have been assigned a legal assistant.
you have no worry, I will remain responsible for your file and I will meet with you and speak with you as may be necessary, but so much of information that is purely “factual”(telling us what is happening in your file, and asking questions which are “procedural in nature” – how to do things). My clients are much better served by having two or more people working on their file for the “price of one”. There is no extra charge for you having an assigned legal assistant.
In fact Clay Davis and I both work on all files and often times there is a 2nd legal assistant and an investigator on your case too. So, especially in litigation cases you may have 3 to 6 of us working on your case at one time.
What Is a Legal Assistant/Paralegal:
Your Legal Assistant is NOT a lawyer. Your legal assistant is trained to assist me in the routine matters of your personal injury claim. Your legal assistant:
- Will prepare memorandums of your telephone calls and questions, so that I can respond to them. This gives me the opportunity to do any research, which might be necessary, and to examine your file (which your legal assistant is responsible for maintaining).
- Has the responsibility to ensure that she adheres to certain professional standards, chief among them is the protection of client confidentiality’s. Your legal assistant cannot discuss your file with anyone but you, and that includes your spouse, or any relative, family members, or friends. You can tell them everything that you want to, and show them any correspondence, which you desire, but we are prohibited by Professional Ethics from discussing your file with anyone except you.
- Will never give out any information on any client without obtaining permission of the attorney who is responsible for the claim.
Clay Davis and I will maintain contact with you as my client. we are ultimately responsible for all instructions to your legal assistant and for the direction of your file.
A legal assistant may perform the following services:
- Interviewing, legal research and drafting, investigation of facts (including discussions with the client as to status of file (factual) and taking down legal questions for resolution by an attorney), scheduling, billing for out-of-pocket expenses, and routine “non-legal” (meaning no “legal advice”) correspondence.
- Your legal assistant may NOT “negotiate” with opposing parties or their lawyer on substantive issues.
What Should I Discuss With My Legal Assistant/Paralegal:
- When you go to your treating physicians, and what they have told you;
- When you are receiving medical bills related to your injury which have not been paid;
- When you are having problems with a medical supplier(doctor, or their office);
- When you have questions regarding any matter;
- When you are having, any other problem related to your personal injury case.
Your legal assistant cannot give you advice, but he/she can repeat what I tell him/her, or have told him/her in the past regarding similar questions. Your legal assistant and your entire team meet frequently to discuss all files, at least twice per month and often every week and this is the best time for me to respond to these questions.
What Will My Legal Assistant/Paralegal Coordinate With Me:
Your legal assistant will:
- Schedule appointments with me for you when you need to see me to obtain legal advice regarding your claim. She knows my schedule, and has access to my calendar so that she can coordinate our conferences;
- Schedule you to see video tape presentations pertaining to your file.
- Meet with you to review medical bills, summaries prepared of facts and medical bills, and provide routine information to you.
- Assist in drafting your evaluation package for the insurance company.Assist in drafting any lawsuit and discovery, admissions, interrogatories, request for production of documents, subpoenas, and deposition notices.
- Assist you answering any discovery from the defendants.
Coordinating the meeting and interviewing of any of your family, friends, co-workers, church members or other witnesses for trial or mediation’s or depositions.
In short, your legal assistant is my “right arm”. Please use him/her to assist me in representing you fully.
If for whatever reason you will not speak with your legal assistant, you will unnecessarily delay my being able to respond to your questions, this is not beneficial to your case.
This is a service to you to ensure the prompt receipt of information to you, and to ensure that your needs are not delayed, by waiting for me to be available to respond.
Please plan on working as closely with your legal assistant as I will be. The payoff will definitely be worth it.