During the initial client interview, the paralegal is usually taking notes, providing the client with the correct forms, statements explaining the firm’s fees, and other prepared information, set by the firm’s standards. I, as a paralegal will stress that I am not the attorney and I am only here to gather some information that the attorney feels is important and to gather the facts, according to the client.
No matter what area of law is involved, there is one question that will always be the same in the case. This question is “Who are the parties involved? This could be the plaintiff/defendant, husband/wife, buyer/seller, debtor/creditor and witnesses. The next thing I would do would be to ask the client’s main information. This will include questions like “what is your full name?” “What is your address?” What is your phone number?” What is your age and date of birth?” “What is your relationship to the client or parties?” (e.g. a family member, first responder, supervisor, or coworker.) “Who is your employer?” “What is your title?” (e.g. Patrol officer, Fire Chief, Captain, EMT or Property Manager)? “What is your experience?” (number of years/months in your position?) Since this is a case of plaintiff vs. defendant involving injuries, I would then ask questions like the following to Mrs. Drizzle:
• What occurred (or did not occur that was supposed to)?
• When did the incident occur, or what is the time period involved?
• Where did the matter take place?
• Where was each party at the time of the accident?
• Where was each witness?
• Why did this happen (or not happen if it was supposed to)?
• Why are the parties important to this case?
• Why is the time period important?
• Why is the location important/not important?
• How did the incidence occur?
All of these facts are going to be an important part of the investigation that is going to follow the initial interview. I, as the paralegal will make list of what facts are known and what facts are...