Communication is a serious matter that is often overlooked in the legal practice. Attorney-Client communication should be consistent and secure to keep matters moving forward. If not, it can cause unnecessary tension and delays in a case. There are too many instances when clients cannot reach their attorney or vice versa. There are also situations where the courts and the attorneys do not communicate frequently enough which prolongs litigation.
We can always point the finger and blame one or the other for the lack of communication. However, the proper solution to this issue is improving the channels of communication. Traditionally, an attorney would either send a letter or call their client(s) to provide an update. And, in worst-case scenarios, the client would hound the attorneys for an update if the attorneys were not consistent enough with their status updates. The most impacted area of law experiencing this problem would be any type of Multi-Party Litigation, such as Catastrophic Injury Litigation, Class Actions, Construction Defect Litigation or Multi District Litigation.
In multi-party litigation, the amount of time spent updating each individual client takes about an average of two to five minutes over the telephone. Based on the number of plaintiffs within a case, the amount of time to reach all the clients can take hours, if not days. Please refer to the chart below.
As shown above, the amount of time spent contacting clients is extremely time consuming and counter-productive. Additionally, imagine having to draft and send hundreds of letters to clients, the amount of time and money spent on that would be enormous. One can argue that E-Mail or Fax would resolve the speed of communication, however, it is unreliable and unsecure. Also, judges can rule that the attorney-client privileges have been voided through e-mail due to 3rd party ownership rights and potential security breaches. In order to maintain attorney-client privileges, all communication must be exchanged through a private and secure platform.
With so many professional services becoming On-Demand, the legal industry should be no different. Legal practitioners need to take advantage of the online/mobile platforms to improve the way they communicate with their clients and the courts. Communication can be secure and consistent when utilizing the proper communication platforms, such as Online Client Portals or End to End Encrypted Mobile messaging applications. Avoid unsecure E-Mails and send secure direct messages. Clearly communicate with real-time notifications and maintain private and secure client communication 24/7. The lack of efficient communication needs to stop!