At this interview I should be able to assess the case, tell you whether to plead not guilty or guilty and what witnesses will be required and what preliminary steps should be undertaken. You should remember that cases are won in the office not necessarily at court. If you need a psychiatrist, a psychologist, an anger management counsellor or an alcohol or drug counsellor this all needs to be sorted out well before court. It is not a good idea to be meeting your lawyer for the first time at 9.30am on the morning of the hearing.
In a lot of cases witnesses can greatly assist. For example, some people are witnesses who can help you defend a case such as eye witnesses and need to be seen by the lawyer early on. Other witnesses are character witnesses who can come to court and tell the Magistrate or Judge what a good person you really are despite what you’ve done. You can’t do all this at 9.30am on the morning of the hearing.
All of the preparation work needs to be done well before the morning of the hearing. At that point Magistrate’s are not keen to adjourn matters and legal fees are mounting up if the case needs to be adjourned again and again.
I believe clients need the opportunity to have their case assessed by a specialist in the required field and be given the opportunity to assess the specialist as to his suitability from the client’s viewpoint.
My legal fees are fair and reasonable. At the first consultation I should be able to give you an accurate estimate of the overall cost. Whatever way at least you will know what your next steps should be.