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Farr Law Firm Communication Policy
Although communication by telephone is sometimes necessary, it is our general policy to communicate with our clients in writing, via email whenever possible, rather than by telephone. We believe that there are numerous advantages to written (especially email) communication versus telephone communication. We maintain the highest possible standards of security including SSL to protect your information.
1. With email, everyone involved in your case (attorneys, paralegals, and staff) has immediate access to the email correspondence and is therefore kept continuously up-to-date on your case. This is very important because we work on all cases as a team -- there are always at least three (one attorney, one paralegal, and one support staff), and often four team members working on your case at any given time. Using email avoids duplication of efforts by multiple staff members.
2. When we need to give you instructions, written instructions are essential so that you have a clear written record of instructions to refer back to, annotate, and check off as needed.
3. With email, there is a clear and unambiguous record of what was said. All emails to and from clients are automatically saved, linked to your electronic file, and backed up daily. This avoids current and future miscommunications and misunderstandings that are inherent with verbal communications, and creates a permanent record of communications which can be referred to in the future.
4. Having a written record of all communications to and from clients and cuts down tremendously on the wasted time of telephone communication, and increases staff efficiency. A phone conversation often wastes time because it entails not just the time of the actual conversation, but also the time it takes the attorney, paralegal, or staff member to: (a) make a detailed note of what was discussed in the conversation so that we have a record of exactly what was discussed; (b) enter this note into your electronic file, so the information can be reviewed by everyone; and (c) send every other member of the team a copy of the note; and (d) sometimes copy the contents of the note into an email to confirm what was discussed on the phone. Also, when distilling a phone conversation into a written note after the conversation has ended, invariably some information gets accidentally omitted, and the note may not precisely reflect everything that was discussed, especially if there was a time delay between the end of the phone conversation and the writing of the note, which often occurs due to normal work-day interruptions.
5. Additionally, telephone communication sometimes wastes time because of the often lengthy games of "telephone tag." Accordingly, it is our policy that when telephone communication is necessary, if the attorney or paralegal you need to speak to is not available when you call, a phone appointment will be scheduled so that both parties will be available at the agreed-upon time. That way, when you call back at the appointed time, the attorney or paralegal you need to speak to will be available to take your call. Also, by having the call scheduled in advance, and by knowing the subject matter of the call in advance, the attorney or paralegal will have had time to review the relevant portions of your file in advance of your call, again increasing efficiency.
6. Because of the above, we ask our clients that, whenever you leave a message for an attorney or paralegal asking for information on your file, if you feel a return phone call (rather than email) is absolutely necessary, please indicate that clearly when you leave your message.