Client Interview Memo to Attorney

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					  Final Drafts of
the Closed Memo

    Final Drafts of the Closed Memo
   Papers are due this Monday, October 7, in the box
    outside my door no later that 7:50 a.m.

   You will be penalized for failure to follow any of
    the formatting requirements or for turning in your
    paper late. Review your syllabus for these
    requirements and penalties.

   Be sure to attach (staple or clip) your first drafts. I
    will only grade final drafts if the first draft is
            Additional Comments
I   will answer all emails I receive before 2:30
    p.m. on Saturday.

   Class Monday 8/7 is a research class at 3:00. You
    will receive an assigning memo that you will use to
    help you prepare for a client interview.

   Class next Thursday will be a combined class at
    11:00 a.m. (Room 273). You and your law firm
    (groups of 8) will prepare for and then interview
    your client who will be in class on that day.
The Client Interview
      Preparing for
      the Interview
   The best way to develop a client’s confidence in
    you is to research the law.

   Having a full understanding of the dimensions of
    the law that applies to your client’s problem
    assists you in the preparation of the case by
    making it possible for you to ask the relevant
    questions and gather the necessary facts.
The Interview
   Begin your interview of the client by meeting the
    client in your waiting room.

   Make your client feel at ease by offering the
    client something to drink and by discussing some
    non-legal issue.

   Start off with open-ended questions to get a
    sense of the legal issue but narrow to specific
    questions where needed to determine legally
    significant facts.
The Interview
   Trust may be established by explaining to your
    new client the rules of professional conduct
    which protect their interests such as

   The rule of client confidentiality

   The rule that the client is the ultimate decision-
    maker when it comes to deciding whether to
    settle or go to trial.
      the Facts
   In the closed memo, you were given a list of facts in
    a logical order. How might the process by which a
    lawyer obtains facts be more complex?

 Clients may omit critical facts
 Characterize facts in the best light for them
 Misstate facts
 Give facts in an idiosyncratic order
      the Facts

   The best way to obtain the relevant facts is with
    effective interview skills. You should not only ask
    intelligent questions but listen carefully.

   Another way of obtaining facts which may be more
    neutral or provide you with information which your
    client leaves out is to ask for any relevant documents,
    emails, tapes of other available physical evidence.
             Give  only a tentative
 End the      legal assessment or
Interview     none at all.
             Tell the client what you
              are prepared to do.
             Formalize the attorney-
              client relationship
             Establish a goal or a
              follow-up meeting.

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