Did you find yourself saying, “My lawyer is not fighting for me,” recently?
Is it normal to not hear from your lawyer?
Do you want to know how to tell if your lawyer is ripping you off?
The anxiety that comes when you don’t know what to do if your lawyer is not helping you cannot be overstated. Find the answers to your burnings questions in the sections below.
What to Do If Your Lawyer Doesn’t Communicate
Do you think, “My lawyer is not communicating with me,” daily? An unfortunate but common problem for clients involves having an attorney who doesn’t return calls on time.
You don’t have to accept feeling unhappy or the uncertainty about what to do when your attorney ignores you. You can report your attorney to the bar association for violating their ethical obligation.
Don’t escalate the situation until you’ve taken steps to communicate with your lawyer. Send a polite e-mail that states your concerns or leave a message with the office. You don’t want to escalate to threats right away and make your attorney defensive or upset.
Don’t forget that you have the right to fire your lawyer and hire a new one. Share your concerns about your first attorney and discuss the following:
- Payments (or refusing to pay)
- Suing your old lawyer for malpractice
- Filing a complaint with the state’s bar association
What to Do About Incompetency or Dishonesty
First, you’ll want to file a complaint with the bar association or state supreme court. A simple Google search should tell you where to go. Contact the appropriate authorities if you have good reason to suspect the following:
- Failure to pay settlement money
- Failure to provide billed legal services
- Suspicion of a drug or alcohol problem
- Complete incompetence, such as missing a court date
Do you need to understand how to know if you hired an awful attorney? If you believe that your lawyer stole from you or showed gross incompetence, you can go to the authorities for more information.
Don’t expect a rapid response to your complaint. Most agencies move slow, but it’s worth the wait to report a terrible lawyer.
What to Do About Unethical Behavior
Every state has ethics laws that lawyers must follow. While these laws vary, the rules all attorneys must abide by include:
- Keeping their clients’ confidences
- Putting a clients’ interest ahead of their own
- Representing their clients with complete loyalty
- Representing clients within the boundaries of the law
Whether the bar association or the state supreme court enforces the rules, lawyers can face the following consequences:
- License suspension
- Providing restitution for stolen money
What To Do If Your Lawyer Is Not Helping You
Don’t escalate right away. Take the time to communicate with your lawyer first. If you’re not receiving responses, you can fire your attorney and take action against him or her.
Do you have more questions about what to do if your lawyer is not helping you? Don’t hesitate to contact your state’s bar association.
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