Rule #1: Shut up.
Rule #2: Seriously. Shut up.
Rule #3: The right time to hire a lawyer is immediately. The right time to start following your lawyer’s advice is also immediately.
Rule #4: You may act contrary to your lawyer’s advice if you choose. However, before doing so, you must hand-write, five times in a row on the same sheet of paper, the following sentence:
I do not care if I lose this case or what bad thing will happen to me when I do lose it, because [doing this thing that my lawyer has told me not to do, e.g., telling off the other party in a drunken phone call] is important enough that in order to do it I am willing to risk a) losing all my money, b) losing every piece of property I own, c) endangering my health, both mental and physical, d) losing my marriage, my children, my career, and all of my friendships, and e) going to prison.
Once you give the signed original of that document to your lawyer for notarization and safekeeping, you may then act contrary to her advice, in the manner you wish. (Protip: you’ll be seeing that document again later.)
Rule #5: The words “all” and “every” are intended literally. This is especially true when used in the context of documents, evidence and information. You are not a good judge of what constitutes evidence, nor whether that evidence is relevant or beneficial. Let your lawyer make those decisions, that’s why you hired her.
Rule #6: In litigation, your lawyer is your only friend in the world. Treat her like a friend. That includes paying her (in full and on time). It also includes not insulting her and not verbally abusing her staff.
Rule #7: The police are not your friends. They are not there to help you. They have no intention of “excluding you as a suspect.” They are lying to you. Yes, they are. See Rule #1.
Rule #8: Publicity, press, and the media always hurt and never help. Going to the media is the mark of a desperate amateur whose actions can only be reasonably interpreted as that he not only wants to lose his case, but he also wants to be humiliated in the process. See Rule #1.
Rule #9: At least half of the people who said they’d help you if it came down to a court case will fail to do so when actually asked, up to and including ignoring a subpoena. Many of them will not only not support you, but will actually betray you and support the other side. The ratio of former friends who will not help you in court when you ask them to is typically closer to “all” than “half.” See rule #6.
Rule #10: In case you didn’t think I really meant it the first two times. Shut. Up.