Why Do We Give Our Clients Homework?

Why do we give our clients homework?
Paralegal Rachel Hirsch and attorney Doug Landau in the Abrams Landau law office. Ms. Hirsch always helps make sure clients (and counsel) homework assignments are completed ahead of schedule at Abrams Landau, Ltd.

Because everyone at Abrams Landau, Ltd. likes to be AHEAD of deadlines—and not playing “catch-up”—we will give our clients’ homework in nearly every single injury, workers’ comp and disability case. We have found that rather than mailing, faxing or sending questions to doctors electronically, if the client hand carries and discusses the requests with the physician in person, a more thorough response is received. Furthermore, unlike most law offices, we like our clients to know what is going on, even if they find out from the doctor before we do.

In over three decades as a trial lawyer, Doug Landau has seen too many plaintiff’s attorneys who leave important tasks to the last minute. Landau believes his law team not only stays within deadlines, but anticipates them and response early. Therefore, the Abrams Landau law team will frequently give “practice discovery” to clients to answer, even before the insurance company lawyers send their boilerplate questions, requests for production, and other “tools of discovery.”

Our clients sometimes ask, “Why should we have to do this? Isn’t it your job to be the lawyer?”

It IS our job to be the lawyer and case support team. But many of the questions sent by insurance defense counsel require information that we may not have in the file. Secondly, we do not want the client testifying at deposition or trial that they had no part in answering these requests, and that they weren’t familiar with the content.

Abrams Landau senior legal assistant and interpreter Beatriz Vargas after a Fairfax, Virginia Hearing for a client. Mrs. Vargas is strict about getting things done long before their due date.

Responses in discovery are required to be done under oath. That is why it’s important for the client to be intimately involved from the outset. The Abrams Landau law team will respond to the questions about expert witnesses and other areas that are outside of the clients’ knowledge, but the clients must work with staff to get discovery done not just on time, but early. We want to be constantly on the offensive in our cases, and we do not want to be playing catch-up. Deadlines in personal injury cases set for a jury trial are very strict, which is why our law team members try to get discovery done in advance so that we can answer instantaneously. Anything less than a quick turnaround is a failure of the system. At Abrams Landau, we want the insurance companies to have to play “catch up!”