Henry Alford wrote an excellent article in the New York Times last week called “The Tyranny of Constant Contact.” It’s a must read on the social etiquette involved in being on social media (i.e., checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat) while working at a job site or spending time with family or friends. [Full Disclosure—Mr. Alford quotes this author in his story.]
HOW DO YOU COMMUNICATE WITH CLIENTS?
This story got me thinking about some frequently asked questions I get from clients: “When is a good time to call to get an update on the status of my case?” “Will you e-mail me the order that resets my case?” “What paperwork have you filed on my case?” “Are you on Facebook or Twitter and can I send you a message about my case through this platform?” These questions–like Mr. Alford’s article—also raise some interesting concerns. So here’s how I am handling these issues.
Clients are welcomed to call anytime between 8AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday—but I prefer to communicate by email because it’s a quick and easy way keep a client up to date on his or her case. I try to respond to emails within 24 hours—unless I am out of the office or on vacation. I am not on Facebook or Twitter and I only communicate with clients by phone, email, or in-person.
I also create an electronic-case file for all cases and am able to send soft copies of certain documents–such as notice of court dates– to clients by email. [Note—some documents, files, and other media are sensitive and for that reason I am not able to share this information by email.]
I understand that being accused of a crime or being involved in civil litigation creates a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety for clients. For that reason, I will make every reasonable effort to respond to a client’s request for information on his or her case. I consider this an important part of building the trust necessary for a successful attorney-client relationship.
GENARO R. CORTEZ