how long should i wait for a lawyer to call me back

by Jerrold Watsica 9 min read

Scott Aalsberg Esq. A: The lawyer should be responsive to your questions within 24-48 hours after you left a message. If the lawyer is not responsive, perhaps he or she is on vacation and unable to return.Dec 28, 2019

Full Answer

What should I do if an attorney calls after hours?

Leave your office number and an after-hours number. Almost half of those who call either don’t leave a message or say something like, “He has my number.” The best attorneys are always busy.

How long does a lawyer have to respond to a complaint?

I would, however, follow up with your attorney to make sure your understanding of the law is accurate. Eight days is probably pushing it for a 'reasonable' response time; but that really depends on a few things, including how urgently a response is required for action.

When should I Change my Lawyer?

When you do talk with your attorney your stated concerns need to be addressed satisfactorily. If your are not satisfied after a fair and open conversation, then you may well want to consider changing counsel.

What to do if your lawyer has reached the point of No Return?

Lawyers: A Client’s Manual by Joseph McGinn tells the steps to use if you’ve reached the point of no return: Tell your lawyer directly and give your reasons. Send your lawyer a letter of dismissal and retain a copy.


How long should you give a lawyer to call you back?

Regrettably, even the most discerning clients can hire an attorney who simply will not call them back. It's frustrating. As a general rule, give your lawyer 1-2 days to return your non-urgent phone call; very often, your lawyer may be out of the office for a half-day, whole day, or longer if he/she is in court.

Is it normal not to hear from your attorney?

Throughout the process of getting your financial settlement after becoming injured, there may be periods of time that you do not hear from your attorney. Although this can be unnerving, it is a normal part of the legal process.

How often should your lawyer contact you?

There is no set formula for how often you will hear from your attorney. However, the key to a successful attorney client relationship is communication. Whenever there is an important occurrence in your case you will be contacted or notified.

What do I do if my lawyer doesn't call me back?

If your lawyer does not return your call, send them a letter and keep a copy. In the letter, describe what is bothering you and what you need. Suggest meeting with the lawyer face-to-face. Your next step would depend on the nature of the problem.

Why do lawyers ignore you?

If your attorney is not experienced or efficient, they may have missed a deadline or made another mistake and aren't willing to confess their error. There could also be some bad news that is entirely outside of the attorney's control.

Is no news good news from your lawyer?

The bottom line is that this is generally one of those cases where “no news is good news” because it means your attorney is working on your case. The only time you should get concerned is if you need to speak to your attorney and you cannot get through nor have you received a return call.

Is it normal for lawyers to not respond?

Sometimes, lawyers take a bit longer than usual to respond because they are away from their office or traveling for business. If you have not heard back from your lawyer within 48 hours of sending them an important email, you should send another email just asking if there is any news or status about your case.

How do you follow up with a lawyer?

Ask to meet again. Cordially make your request for the followup meeting. Include your phone numbers and email address, even though your attorney already has them from the previous meeting. If there is a best time or manner to contact you, let them know what it is.

What to do when your lawyer stops communicating with you?

If your lawyer still does not respond, you can send him or her a letter explaining the communication problems. If at this point you do not hear anything from your lawyer, you should consult with a legal malpractice attorney.

Why do lawyers take so long to get back to you?

Once a case gets filed in court, things can really slow down. Common reasons why a case will take longer than one would hope can include: Trouble getting the defendant or respondent served. The case cannot proceed until the defendant on the case has been formally served with the court papers.

What is it called when a lawyer doesn't do his job?

Legal malpractice is a type of negligence in which a lawyer does harm to his or her client. Typically, this concerns lawyers acting in their own interests, lawyers breaching their contract with the client, and, one of the most common cases of legal malpractice, is when lawyers fail to act on time for clients.

Why do lawyers take so long to settle a case?

The reasons a case can progress slowly can be summed up into three general points: Your case is slowed down by legal or factual problems. Your case involves a lot of damages and substantial compensation. You have not reached maximum medical improvement from your injuries (this will be explained below)

Mark Weaver

I agree with the my fellow attorneys who have answered your question. Your best bet is to call the attorney. If he or she is unavailable, ask to speak to his secretary and advise that you have an urgent matter and need to meet as soon as possible. Due to the prospective attorney's schedule, he may not even check his messages for a day or two.

Erik Anderson

You should call rather than email when possible. Some lawyers permit their secretaries to make appointments for them and also some firm e-mail is not checked by the lawyer but by the secretary and if they do not get emails often (which most of us get phone calls), then they may not make a good habit of checking.

Cynthia Russell Henley

Normally attorneys will get back to you as soon as possible. If you state in your message that it is an emergency then they should get back to you sooner. It also depends on the time of day the message is sent and their schedule for the day. It is best to simply call the attorney by phone.

Shelley L Fuller

Unless there are extenuating circumstances such as your attorney being in trial or be out of town on an emergency, eight days is, in my opinion, too long to wait for an answer. I would, however, follow up with your attorney to make sure your understanding of the law is accurate. More

Thomas K Coan

Eight days is probably pushing it for a 'reasonable' response time; but that really depends on a few things, including how urgently a response is required for action. The most common complaint that clients have about their attorneys, I've heard, is that we don't communicate quickly enough. There are a couple possible reasons...

Jay Bodzin

When you do talk with your attorney your stated concerns need to be addressed satisfactorily. If your are not satisfied after a fair and open conversation, then you may well want to consider changing counsel. I would give your attorney a fair opportunity to respond to and address your concerns. Good luck.

William A. Jones Jr

There is no absolute time line response to this question. I will assume you have retained a private criminal defense attorney to represent you in criminal court.

What do lawyers respond to?

Lawyers are trained in logic. They respond to objective, well-reasoned, unemotional statements. If you begin with, “It sounds like you’ve been busy,” or “Is there anything I can do to expedite collection of the fee?” you’ll be encouraging a dialogue, not two monologues.

Why are my attorney's messages so annoying?

“Urgent” messages are likely to result in an annoyed response, since they’re often returned when the attorney is preoccupied with another matter . Remember, you’re just trying to get your attorney’s attention, not to alienate her.

How to tell if an office is busy?

Some pretty reliable indications of a busy office are things like assistants frantically running around, others working at computers, phones constantly ringing, filing cabinets with trays full of case files nearby waiting to be filed, and at least a few clients waiting out in the reception room.

Can an army of marching attorneys help some clients?

We know that every case is not a winner. An army of marching attorneys can’t help some clients. The key is to be able to focus on the relevant law and facts immediately, so you don’t waste the client’s money and your time. If the attorney isn’t prosecuting your case, this probably wasn’t done. You can help.

Can you dismiss an attorney?

While you can dismiss an attorney whenever you choose, this is obviously the last resort. Time and money can be lost in the transfer, and many lawyers refuse to accept cases that have been handled by others.

Is a lawyer competent?

Even the best lawyers are usually truly competent and proficient in only a few areas of the law.

Do attorneys mind after hours calls?

Just like they don’t mind after-hours calls. Sometimes it’s necessary for you to volunteer. You’ll be surprised how receptive your attorney is to your assistance. Believe it or not, the amount of attorney’s fees is usually not a major complaint.

What to do if your lawyer doubts you?

Tell the Truth. If your lawyer doubts you in the consultation, or doesn't think you have a case, while that may change over time, getting over an initial disbelief is very hard. You have to prove your case. Your attorney is not your witness. They are your advocate - but you are responsible for coming up with proof.

What happens if you don't pay your lawyer?

If you don't pay your lawyer on the day of trial, or however you have agreed to, then while he or she may be obligated by other ethical duties to do his/her best, they won't be motivated by sympathy for you, and it will show in court.

Why do people hire lawyers?

Most people hired attorneys because they don't want to sit in court. Well, truth be told, neither do I. The difference between lawyer and client is that the lawyer expects it to take a long time and understands. The client typically thinks it's unjustified. So, your hard truth is that each case takes time. Be patient.

What to do if no one can confirm a story is true?

If no one can confirm that the story is true, you will at least need something external, such as a hard copy document, to prove your case. Be prepared.

Do lawyers need to take more cases?

Don' t forget that lawyers don't always need to take more cases. Yes, new clients are a great thing, but I don't want clients that will eat all my time and get no where fast. Your tip: keep your communication very simple and to the point.

Can a lawyer take your money?

While lawyers can certainly take your money and your time and we can file a case that will be very hard to win, if you don't care enough about your life to get a contract, the judge is not very likely to be on your side. At least, not automatically. Oral contracts are extremely hard to prove. What are the terms.