Communication Policy & Procedures
As we discussed during our initial conference, excellent communication between us is essential, and much of our contact will be by client portal, email and telephone. We have developed the communications policy below primarily because we know your time is extremely valuable. Additionally, the policy enables our Firm to continue providing the high quality of legal services for which it is well known by providing an efficient time-saving procedure for the making and returning of phone calls and emails.
What is a Client Portal?
- Free & Available to all retained clients
- 24/7 secure access to documents in your case including billing information/invoices.
- Secure document sharing with your Paralegal and/or Attorney
- Real time secure access to case status information
- Client Portal access link is also available on our website at thefirmformen.com
The client portal is the main communication we use to send and receive secure documents and messages. The client portal is set up using your email address you provide to us at the time you retain. You will receive a welcome email to activate your portal and create your password. Once you activate your portal you will have 24/7 secure access to all documents, invoices and case status information related to your case.
If you do not have an email at the time you retain, we highly recommend you obtain an email. If you do not have an email than we will send documents through the mail and communicate via telephone.
Upon closing your file, the Firm is not required to keep your ShareFile client portal in “active” status. We recommend all documents located in your client portal be uploaded to an alternate location (such as: personal computer, protected USB, etc.).
Need help with your Client Portal? View our demos here and see just how easy it is!
The Firm uses receives and transmits electronic mail (e-mail) as a way of communication between you the client, attorney, paralegals and Firm. You acknowledge the following:
- Communication via email is not necessarily secure and therefore may not be confidential. In which the communication via email may be accessed by unknown third parties, including internet service providers. The area of electronic communication and documentation, including email is a new area of regulation and legislation. The laws governing email communication are rapidly changing and expanding. However, at this time, there is no legislation that protects email communications as privilege if the communication is in any way intercepted or accessed by another party.
- Email is still at times an unreliable system of communication and your communication via email may get lost in “cyberspace”, attachments may not transmit properly, or other problems may occur that prevent your attorney, paralegal or Firm from receiving your communications in a timely and complete manner. It is your responsibility to verify that your intended communication was received; if you have not received a response within 48 hours, telephone the office to verify that your email was received.
- Client should not use email for sensitive information such as credit card information, social security numbers, etc. You will use the client portal to securely send documents and all sensitive information pertaining to your case.
- You agree you will not use email for urgent or emergency situations. In an urgent or emergency situation, the Firm cannot guarantee that any particular email will be read and responded to within any particular period of time. You agree to call the office.
- Complex and/or sensitive situations you agree to telephone the office or call to set up an appointment with your attorney or paralegal.
- The Firm cannot guarantee but will use reasonable means to maintain and protect security and confidentiality of email information sent and received as required by the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Firm is not liable for breaches of confidentiality caused by the client or any third party.
It is important to the Firm that we maintain prompt and productive communications with you. We also strive to minimize frustrations of “telephone tag” or lost time on your part in the waiting on a return call from our office. We ask, therefore, that you agree to assist us in the successful implementation of this policy. If for any reason you cannot abide by this policy, please notify the Firm immediately so that we can work out a mutually agreeable alternative plan.
- Telephone Conferencing Hours: Call the attorney or paralegal handling your case during the following office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please remember that at all times we will not be available during these hours because of a trial or other client-related matters. Please do not be upset if we are not available to immediately take your call. We will be returning phone calls within 48 hours. Should this not occur, however we would appreciate you calling us back and letting the receptionist know that your original call had not been returned.
- Preparing for Conferences: Before calling, please prepare a written list of those matters you wish for us to discuss. If attorney is not available when you call, please share your list with the paralegal assigned to your case so that the attorney or paralegal will be prepared for the discussion when we return your call thereby saving us both valuable time. Please remember, however, that only attorneys can give legal advice. Employees of our Firm who are not attorneys do not give legal advice and should not be asked to do so.
- Note-taking Supplies: Please have pen and paper available before calling to make any appropriate notes during our telephone conferences. You will then have a convenient reference source of our conversation and of important dates, advice, or instructions that we may have given you.
- Emergencies: If your call is urgent, please explain what the emergency involves to the person answering your call. Either the attorney assigned to your case, or one of our paralegals, or another attorney within our Firm will return your call as soon as possible.
- Your Telephone Number: If asked, please give your telephone number(s). We, of course have such information in your case records, but having it on your telephone message assists us is maximizing the use of our time for you and our other clients. It would be appreciated if you would let us know if we may call you (and at what numbers) during the evening hours or on the weekend when avoidable circumstances do not allow us to return your call during our telephone conference hours described above or when we may need to contact you on an expedited basis.
- Ensuring Clear Communications: During our conversations, please ask any clarification you may need so that we do not end a conference with unanswered questions.
- Improving Our Telephone Conferencing: Please let us know if you have any suggestions on how we can improve upon our telephone policy or if you have any concerns or complaints regarding our handling of your calls (positive feedback is always welcome also).
- Thank you for your cooperation and assistance! Your cooperation and assistance plays a critical role in the success of our attorney/client relationship and in reaping the timesaving and efficient benefits offered by our Firm’s communication policy. We value your having entrusted us to represent you and intend to provide you with the high and excellent quality of services that you expect and deserve.
Thank you again for having given us the opportunity to assist you.