what happens when a lawyer won't give information

by Mrs. Claudie Lakin Sr. 4 min read

The Lawyer Won't Communicate This distressingly common problem doesn't have an easy solution. A lawyer who doesn't return phone calls or communicate with you for an extended period of time may be guilty of abandoning you -- a violation of attorneys' ethical obligations.

Full Answer

Can I do if my lawyer isn’t keeping me informed?

What can I do if my lawyer Won't give me my file?

What happens if a lawyer refuses to take a case?

Nov 22, 2016 · A: It depends on the situation. Lawyers generally have an obligation to hand over a client's file upon request, such as when the client fires them. It is possible that your lawyer may have a good reason for withholding your file, but I am struggling to …

What happens if a lawyer does not communicate with you?

Does your attorney not respond to you? Review this Top 20 List of What to Do When Your Lawyer Won’t Respond. Put it in Writing. 1. Put you*re question/request in writing. Lawyers are required to reasonably respond. 2. Send your request by email, fax or overnight mail. 3. Do not repeatedly contact the lawyer.


What happens if a lawyer fails to communicate information?

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.Sep 27, 2018

What to do if your lawyer is not communicating with you?

If you have called your attorney, left messages, sent emails, and you still haven't heard a response, the best course of action is to send a certified letter to his or her office questioning the failure to communicate and informing them that you are prepared to find a new lawyer if the situation does not improve.Mar 29, 2021

Does your lawyer have to tell you everything?

Attorney-Client Privilege – Your attorney is bound by the ethics of the legal profession not to reveal whatever you tell him without your permission. The only times this doesn't apply is if you: Waive your right to privilege, which means you give the lawyer permission to disclose information.Oct 15, 2014

How long should it take for a lawyer to respond?

24-48 hours
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

Is it normal to not hear from your lawyer?

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.Oct 25, 2018

What should you not say to a lawyer?

9 Taboo Sayings You Should Never Tell Your Lawyer
  • I forgot I had an appointment. ...
  • I didn't bring the documents related to my case. ...
  • I have already done some of the work for you. ...
  • My case will be easy money for you. ...
  • I have already spoken with 5 other lawyers. ...
  • Other lawyers don't have my best interests at heart.
Mar 17, 2021

Can your lawyer snitch on you?

As a general rule, a client can refuse to disclose and prevent others from disclosing confidential communications between himself and his attorney. The privilege belongs to the client, and the attorney cannot waive it or breach it in most instances.Jul 22, 2016

Do lawyers have to defend the guilty?

A lawyer must provide a vigorous defence regardless of the crime their client is accused of or the evidence against them. The criminal justice system is built on the concept of a person being presumed innocent until their guilt is proved “beyond a reasonable doubt”.Jan 27, 2022

Do lawyers lie for their clients?

In NSW, that body is called the Law Society of New South Wales. The ethical standards do not prevent criminal lawyers from representing a client they know is guilty, but the lawyer will not be able to lie or knowingly mislead the court on their client's behalf.Dec 18, 2014

What does it mean when your lawyer doesn't call you back?

This is how the practice of law is supposed to work. So often when a lawyer does not return your call for a few days it may simply mean your lawyer is busy getting some important work done in your case or in another client's case. There is nothing going on with your case.May 9, 2018

How often should I hear from my attorney?

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.Nov 2, 2020

How often should my attorney update me?

Once a month is a good rule of thumb if things are slow, but if you are preparing for trial or in my case an administrative benefits hearing, the contact with you and your attorney should be more frequent and specifically scheduled.

Do lawyers have to hand over files?

Lawyers generally have an obligation to hand over a client's file upon request, such as when the client fires them. It is possible that your lawyer may have a good reason for withholding your file, but I am struggling to come up with one off the top of my head.

Can a lawyer withhold a client's file?

A: It depends on the situation. Lawyers generally have an obligation to hand over a client's file upon request, such as when the client fires them. It is possible that your lawyer may have a good reason for withholding your file, but I am struggling to come up with one off the top of my head. If your lawyer simply doesn't want to hand the file over, you could have your new lawyer request it or file a complaint with the State Bar of California alleging that your old lawyer refuses to hand over your file despite having been asked many times.

Why can't lawyers handle claims of less than $50,000?

Trouble is, the few lawyers who know about this growing field generally refuse to handle claims of less than $50,000 because smaller cases generate small fees. Henri Draznin, a retired customer-service rep, found himself in such a bind. He couldn't find a lawyer willing to help him recover $9,000 he'd lost in high-yield bonds, which his broker had put him into without mentioning they were risky for a retiree. Draznin was out of luck until he found a legal clinic at New York's Pace University Law School, where students supervised by Professor Barbara Black helped him file an arbitration claim, winning him $4,046 in February 2003.

What is a lawyer-client fling?

Lawyer-client flings, especially in divorce and family law cases, can warp the lawyer's judgment, prompting him to either prolong the dispute or sacrifice the client's interests to end it fast, notes Texas Wesleyan University law professor Malinda L. Seymore. The client may submit in the belief that if she does, the lawyer will do more to help her keep her home and children.

What can a paralegal do?

The only things paralegals can't do are give legal advice and represent you in court.

How much does a lawyer charge per hour?

Most lawyers can charge for their services in a variety of ways: a flat fee, an hourly rate of typically $100 to $300 an hour, or a percentage of the award, usually billed at 30 or 40%. Which is best for you? If your case is simple, a flat fee is best. It gives the lawyer an incentive to solve the problem efficiently.

How to get a referral to a lawyer in New York?

Short of finding a law school clinic eager to help you, what can you do? Contact the Legal Referral Service at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York at LRS@abcny.org. You can get a referral to an NYC attorney and arrange a $25 initial consultation. Or you can contact Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (www.piaba.org) to get the name of a lawyer in your area who is experienced in securities. Try offering him a little more than his usual percentage -- say, 33%, rather than 30 -- to sweeten the pot.

Is arbitration unethical?

Many lawyers insert compulsory arbitration provision s in their retainer agreements, which isn't necessarily unethical, according to the ABA, providing that the agreement doesn't insulate the lawyer from liability and the client understands what it means.

Can a guy who settles always drive a hard bargain?

A guy who's known for always settling can't drive a hard bargain. "It certainly helps if the defendant knows (a lawyer) is ready to go to court," says Bert Braud, a Kansas City, Mo., litigator who takes at least one case through trial each year. 6. "I won't take your chump-change case.".

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.

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.

Why is it so expensive to go to court?

It's expensive because we have to wait in line too. Going to court is more than dressing up in a fancy suit and knowing what papers to fill out. Attorneys have to wait in line just like the "regular folk" and we are at the mercy of the court staff just like everyone else. If you get a bill that includes time spent waiting in court, it's not usually exaggerated. While some people may stretch the truth - if you want to see whether I had to wait an hour for the case to get called, then just come with me to court. Some courtrooms have more than 50 cases on the call. Your case may not be first or even ninth. I have been number 210 on the list before. It takes time. 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.

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.

Why is credibility important in court?

Credibility is one of the most important things in this world - and most important in a courtroom. If you care enough only to wear sweats to the courthouse, then the judge will see that you don't care, and that will be reflected in their desire to help you, listen to you, and decide in your favor. Step it up.

What to say when a judge can see your boobs?

If the judge can see your boobs, he's not listening to your story. If I can see your boobs, then I know you didn't care enough about yourself to talk to an attorney. Dress like you are going to church. Credibility is one of the most important things in this world - and most important in a courtroom.

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.

What happens if your lawyer doesn't communicate?

A lack of communication causes many problems. If your lawyer appears to have acted improperly, or did not do something that you think he or she should have done, talk with your lawyer about it. You may be satisfied once you understand the circumstances better. I have tried to discuss my complaints with my lawyer.

Why should a lawyer refuse to take a case?

Unnecessary delays can often damage a case. If, because of overwork or any other reason, a lawyer is unable to spend the required time and energy on a case , the lawyer should refuse from the beginning to take the case. A lawyer must be able to communicate effectively with a client.

What to do if you have a complaint about a lawyer?

If you believe you have a valid complaint about how your lawyer has handled your case, inform the organization that governs law licenses in your state. Usually this is the disciplinary board of the highest court in your state. In some states, the state bar association is responsible for disciplining lawyers.

How should a lawyer act in both professional and private life?

How a lawyer should act, in both professional and private life, is controlled by the rules of professional conduct in the state or states in which he or she is licensed to practice. These rules are usually administered by the state’s highest court through its disciplinary board.

What is the relationship between a lawyer and a client?

In a lawyer-client relationship, acting responsibly involves duties on both sides—and often involves some hard work. You have a right to expect competent representation from your lawyer. However, every case has at least two sides. If you are unhappy with your lawyer, it is important to determine the reasons.

What is the job of a lawyer?

Communication. A lawyer must be able to communicate effectively with a client. When a client asks for an explanation, the lawyer must provide it within a reasonable time. A lawyer must inform a client about changes in a case caused by time and circumstances. Fees.

What to do if your lawyer is not responding to your complaint?

If your lawyer is unwilling to address your complaints, consider taking your legal affairs to another lawyer. You can decide whom to hire (and fire) as your lawyer. However, remember that when you fire a lawyer, you may be charged a reasonable amount for the work already done.

What to do if your lawyer doesn't respond?

If your lawyer does not respond, or subsequent meetings or conversations are not fruitful, consider suggesting mediation to work out your communication problems if you still want this lawyer to represent you. A bad deskside manner doesn't mean that the lawyer isn't an excellent lawyer, and it can be difficult to find a new one in the middle of a case.

Where to go if you are not satisfied with your lawyer?

If you're not satisfied with your lawyer's strategy decisions or with the arguments the lawyer has been making on your behalf, you may even want to go to the law library and do some reading to educate yourself about your legal problem.

What is the agency responsible for licensing and disciplining lawyers?

Every state has an agency responsible for licensing and disciplining lawyers. In most states, it's the bar association; in others, the state supreme court. The agency is most likely to take action if your lawyer has failed to pay you money that you won in a settlement or lawsuit, made some egregious error such as failing to show up in court, didn't do legal work you paid for, committed a crime, or has a drug or alcohol abuse problem.

What to do if you lost money because of a lawyer?

If you lost money because of the way your lawyer handled your case, consider suing for malpractice. Know, however, that it is not an easy task. You must prove two things:

What is the defense of a lawyer who is sued for malpractice?

A common defense raised by attorneys sued for malpractice is that the client waited too long to sue. And because this area of the law can be surprisingly complicated and confusing, there's often plenty of room for argument. Legal malpractice cases are expensive to pursue, so do some investigating before you dive in.

What to do if your lawyer is unresponsive?

If the lawyer is unresponsive and the matter involves a lawsuit, go to the courthouse and look at your case file, which contains all the papers that have actually been filed with the court. If you've hired a new lawyer, ask her for help in getting your file. Also, ask your state bar association for assistance.

What to do if you can't find out what has been done?

If you can't find out what has (and has not) been done, you need to get hold of your file. You can read it in your lawyer's office or ask your lawyer to send you copies of everything -- all correspondence and everything filed with the court or recorded with a government agency.

What to do if your attorney doesn't comply with your obligations?

If a lawyer does not fulfill those obligations then a client might be able to seek recourse for the lawyer’s behavior.

Why do lawyers use reasonableness?

Most of the Rules of Professional Conduct use a reasonableness standard in order to determine if an attorney’s conduct is appropriate. Since an attorney is a professional, the question would be one of reasonableness for other professional attorneys.

What is the role of an attorney in a legal case?

An attorney must act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing a client. To that end, the attorney must be careful not to have a conflict of interest in the matter or with clients. Further, the lawyer must consult with and reasonably inform the client of information related to the legal matter at hand.

What is a disciplinary complaint against an attorney?

A client, who believes that an attorney violated his or her ethical obligations, can file a disciplinary complaint against the attorney with the state bar disciplinary committee. Typically, this involves a hearing on the client’s complaint.

What is the responsibility of an attorney?

An attorney has the responsibility to provide competent representation to each client. That means that the attorney must have the legal knowledge and skill to represent the client in a particular matter and be thorough in his or her legal preparation.

Do attorneys have to take a professional responsibility exam?

In most jurisdictions, attorneys are required to take and pass a Professional Responsibility Exam prior to being admitted to the bar. Upon admittance to the bar, attorneys agree to comply with the ethical requirements of their jurisdiction. Most attorneys uphold that promise.

Can a client pursue a malpractice claim in court?

Clients also have the right to pursue legal malpractice claims in court. If a client successfully proves that a lawyer was negligent or guilty of misconduct and that the client suffered monetary damages as a result then the client may recover those damages in a professional malpractice lawsuit.

What to do if your spouse won't provide financial information?

If you're going through a divorce, one of the first things an attorney will tell you is to gather your financial information, including bank account statements, credit card statements, title documents, and mortgage documents.

How to force spouse to turn over financial information?

Family law courts have multiple tools they can use to force spouses to turn over financial information. First, you can file a “Motion to Compel,” which is a request to have the court order your spouse to turn over documents.

What is an attorney's fee award?

an attorney's fee award— where your spouse pays for the attorney’s fees you incurred in bringing the motion. evidentiary sanctions—where the court prevents your spouse from introducing certain evidence at trial, and. jail time—ordering that your spouse spend a certain amount of time in jail.

What is the term for requesting financial information during a divorce?

In some states, divorcing spouses must provide each other certain financial information at the beginning of the case, sometimes termed “mandatory discovery" or "preliminary financial disclosures.

What does a trustee say to a lawyer?

The trustee ( also is a beneficiary) states he spoke with a lawyer stating he was advised not to give the attorney the proper accounting he is looking for. He is claiming the lawyer advised him to work it out with the family, At this point the other family members are done talking with him. This is not the first attempt ...

How to remove trustee from trust?

You need to go to court to remove trustee, get an accounting ordered, get a restraining order preventing him from using any more trust funds, etc. If you find monies are missing after accounting you can sue trustee.