Have you ever found yourself frustrated that your attorney will not call you back?
According to the Rules of Professional Responsibility, an attorney has an obligation to keep their client informed and up to date with any new information regarding their case. Unfortunately, many clients complain about the lack of communication between them and their attorney. It can be extremely frustrating for clients who want to know what is going on with their case or just want to give their attorney some new information.
Attorneys are busy professionals. They have many other clients to keep up with in addition to you. They are in court, depositions, mediation, meeting with clients or dealing with personal matters, so if they do not immediately return your call, do not take it personal and overreact.
But, if you feel that your attorney is not effectively communicating with you, follow these simple steps:
Call your attorney’s office. If your attorney is not returning your calls or voicemails, ask to speak with someone else at the firm. This may be the receptionist, paralegal or even another attorney in the office. You can let this person know that you cannot get in touch with your lawyer and leave a message with them as well. There may be a good reason for your attorney going silent such as dealing with personal matters, so ask the assistant or receptionist before jumping the gun.
Send an email or text. Maybe your lawyer is too busy to return your phone call or is not in a place where they can communicate over the telephone. Try sending them an email or text message so that it is easier for them to respond.
Write a letter. If you still do not receive a call back after leaving voicemails, emails, or texts, try sending your attorney a letter. In this letter you should explain to the attorney that you have made diligent efforts to contact them and would appreciate a response. It may also be best to send the letter certified with a return receipt requested to ensure that your attorney received it.
Keep track of your efforts. In order to show that you have been trying to reach out to your attorney with no success, keep track of your phone calls. Make a note of the time, date and who you spoke to for each call. Additionally, keep track of any electronic communications or letters you have sent through the mail.
Hire a new attorney. If all else fails, it is clearly time to get a new attorney who can give your case the attention it deserves. You may write a letter to your attorney terminating his or her services and request your original file back. While your former attorney may keep a copy of your file, he is obligated to return your file to you in a timely manner so you may proceed with new counsel.
File a complaint. The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board investigates complaints of lawyer ethical misconduct to protect the public. If you feel that your attorney has violated their duties, you may file a complaint with the Disciplinary Counsel’s office. Submitting evidence of your efforts will come in handy in this situation.
Before you jump to conclusions, make sure your questions are truly important. If you nag your attorney every day when there are no new updates, they may be cherry picking your calls and only responding to ones that require an answer. With that said, you and your attorney should be communicating effectively regarding your case. It is their job and duty to you as a client.
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