What you should do before you head off to court

Preparing your paperwork before you consult your lawyer will save time and money and could be crucial to the fast resolution of your case, Ryde lawyer Danny Bricknell said this week.

Mr Bricknell from Bricknell Legal at Top Ryde strongly advises clients to prepare all relevant documents before a consultation, which will spare the cost of a lawyer searching for paper work as well as better inform the lawyer of the case.

These documents can vary from wills to receipts and can include written information from police, signed agreements, affidavits, statements, email correspondence, medical records and even transaction records that can prove an accused person was not at a crime scene as alleged.

“Unfortunately many clients leave things to the last minute, when it becomes urgent,” Mr Bricknell said.

“Usually there’s some piece of paper that starts the legal process and it is getting that piece of paper to your lawyer up front, with all other relevant documents that can often be crucial to a fast resolution of the case as well as saving time and money on a search.

“Another good rule to follow is that the sooner people talk with a lawyer, the better and while I respect the fact that some people can be apprehensive about the law, the problem may not be as bad as they think it is.

“In fact, talking to a lawyer at an early stage can bring peace of mind.”

Unfortunately, Mr Bricknell deals with many cases where people have let legal issues drag on needlessly.

“It can be something as simple as leaving the writing of a will to the day before someone travels overseas or something more complex, such as forgetting making a will with the onset of dementia.”

Mr Bricknell is a volunteer speaker with Alzheimer’s Australia and is qualified to give advice in these cases and has decades of experience across all legal issues.

He nonetheless acknowledges that some cases can be sudden and unexpected, such as an arrest.

“Never assume the worst outcome and remember that it is always good to talk to a lawyer before making a statement you are not sure about,”

Mr Bricknell noted there are cases where police have a lawful right to request information or conduct a search.

“A lawyer will provide you with advice about your rights and responsibilities,” he said.

Some legal issues Ð such as compensation claims – can involve a lawyer contacting a doctor, a workplace rights authority or an insurer.

“There is a usually a correct procedure to follow and it is often that one piece of paper that starts the process,” he said.

Mr Bricknell has been able to assist clients with little or no literacy skills, substantial medical problems and those who are not Australian citizens.

“At least make the phone call to your lawyer and we’ll point you in the right direction,” he said

“Sometimes the issue can be something you need to speak to your local MP about or to the local council or to anyone you have a right to raise your issue with.”

Like doctors, lawyers also need to know if other people in their profession are already involved in a case.

“If you’ve already got a lawyer involved, you need to tell me,” he said.

Mr Bricknell and his team are located in Church Street, Top Ryde and can be contacted on 9809 1100.

“We are a phone call away and we can make a difference.”

Organising your paper work before you see a lawyer will save you time and money and could be crucial to a fast resolution of your case, advises Danny Bricknell from Bricknell Legal in Top Ryde. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO