One, Type up a Narrative Timeline of All the Relevant Issues in This Case
Video Transcribed: Three things your attorney would love you to do at the beginning of your case. I’m Oklahoma attorney James Wirth and I’m about to talk about three things that I tell all my clients to do when we’re starting their case. So we’re at the beginning of the case, we’ve got a client that’s signing us on. We’ve got objectives that we want to get accomplished and there’s information that we need from our client.
So I generally tell them three ways are the efficient ways to get that to us. The first one is a timeline and I call it a narrative timeline. And I would tell my clients, I want you to type up a narrative timeline of all the relevant issues in this case, in chronological order, paragraph form.
Each paragraph begins with the date and time and what occurred on that day. And then we go to the next one and we go back all the way to the beginning of when this is relevant. And then it gets more detailed as it’s more current. So we may start on, the parties met on this date, if we’re talking about a divorce or custody. That they began living together this date, they got in a marriage this date.
And then, as we get closer in time, we’ll want more specifics regarding those things. So the more serious the event, the more specifics. The closer in time, the more specifics we want. But all of it, we want typed up, paragraph form in chronological order. And in that timeline for anything that’s relevant, we want to talk about who witnessed it and you want put those parties names in there.
And that brings us to the second thing. Second thing I asked for everybody is, witness list with contact information. So when that timeline is done, we should have a reference to all these different people that witnessed things.
And then, in that next document, the witness list, I want you to identify each person by name, contact information, and what information they may have they want to testify about. Have it typed up.
And this is going to be our go-to information regarding the facts of your case so that we can be up to speed with all the important facts quickly and we can refresh our memory as needed before court dates and other things.
Last thing, organized exhibits, screenshots of text messages. So any relevant communications the ones that you have, you want to get those in a format you can send to us electronically so we can print them and use those as exhibits.
So sometimes we have clients that want to hand us their phone and we see the relevant stuff on there, we’ve got to get it off the phone. And there’s actually a blog post on my website that talks about how to get it off there through software or through taking screenshots.
So try to utilize that, get as much information off as possible, have it organized and get it to us. Because ultimately you’re paying us to be attorneys on your case and we can act much more efficiently if the information is already organized for us.
We can handle doing it on our own, if you just want to drop everything off and then we can sort it, figure it out, organize it. We can create a timeline just by getting the information from you verbally, but that’s going to take us a lot more time, which means it’s more money to you.
So to be more efficient on it, if you can get these details to us sooner in the case, it’s very helpful. And that’s not just for me. I can guarantee you any attorney that you’re working with is going to want this information like this. It’s going to be highly valuable.
So those are the three things I ask every client to do in my office that is new. If you’ve got any legal questions about that process or your legal issues, they want to talk to an attorney, you can contact my office by going to makelaweasy.com.