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Originally Posted On: https://sweetjames.com/how-to-know-if-you-hired-a-bad-lawyer/
Is your lawyer late returning your calls or emails? Are they making important decisions without consulting you first?
Chances are you hired a bad lawyer.
If you catch red flags early enough, there is still time to reverse your decision and hire a qualified attorney. Here’s what you should be looking out for.
1. Lack of Communication
You can get a feel for an attorney’s professionalism early on in your hiring search. Generally speaking, you can get recommendations from trusted friends and professionals.
Once you get some leads, give attorney’s offices a call. Do they return all calls and emails within twenty-four hours? Do you get the sense that your concerns are important to them?
If you have a preferred form of communication, such as emails or text messages, make sure a prospective attorney is comfortable with this. If you find they are never returned or the attorney is pushing you to communicate differently, you may need to find a new lawyer.
2. Strange Fees
When you hire a lawyer or any professional, it is critical that you get any anticipated fees in writing. You should know what you will be paying for, how much you can expect to pay, and when you will be paying it before they take your case.
Be sure to ask questions about any fees you don’t understand before signing. You will be better informed about going into the process.
Most lawyers offer free initial consultations. This will give you the opportunity to determine if you are comfortable working with them.
Get estimates from at least three different lawyers before you make your decision. What your lawyer plans to charge you should be in line with what other attorneys in your area are saying. The same goes for the advice they are giving you.
If you notice fees that don’t seem accurate, beware. You should remember agreeing with them when you signed your contract.
Watch out for lawyers who inflate task time. If they cannot clearly explain fees to you, it may be time to look for a new professional.
3. No Record of Success
This is something else you should look out for while you are choosing a lawyer. Find out how many cases similar to yours are currently a part of their caseload.
If, for example, you have a traffic ticket case, ask them what percentage of the current cases are traffic violations. You can get an idea of how much expertise they have in the area.
You will also want to ask what percentage of cases in this type of law they have won. If they don’t have good results, you may want to seek another attorney.
Remember that hiring an attorney is an investment. You are expecting your case to be argued in an effective way. For many people, hiring a lawyer is a big sacrifice, and it is important to choose someone with a record of professional wins.
4. Personality Problems
There are many types of personalities in the world, and it’s important to remember that you are hiring an attorney, not an actor. Your lawyer may be introverted or extroverted. The important thing is that they are competent and get the job done.
You have a problem, however, if your lawyer is cold to you and doesn’t seem to value your business. You want to know that your professional understands that there are personal pains that accompany legal trouble. Your lawyer should show the empathy that any human would.
The right lawyer will show care and concern even if they have a busy caseload.
5. Unprofessional Conduct
If your lawyer is always showing up late or missing meetings, it’s a sign that your case may not be important to them.
If they are coming to meetings without critical paperwork or work that is incorrectly filed, it may be time to move on. This attorney might cost you the case because they are unable to follow regulations correctly.
It’s not common for lawyers to lie to their clients, but it does happen from time to time.
You may, for example, hear from your lawyer that your case is going well. Later on, however, you could discover that they have not been working on your case at all.
Or your attorney could underestimate your chances of winning a case. They could, for example, get talked into taking a settlement that is too low.
Lying is a sign that your lawyer may be looking for shortcuts to a payday. It also doesn’t speak well of there integrity or character.
If you suspect that your attorney has lied about something, ask for proof or confirmation. If you find out they have lied, it’s probably time to move on.
7. Negative Attitude
We all have bad days. Yet an attorney who is consistently grumbling or complaining about details may have a problem with working on your case.
You should also look out for lawyers who are rude or condescending. You do not want to feel like a burden to your lawyer.
As always, trust your gut. If you sense that your relationship with a particular attorney is going to be difficult, move on. A court case is difficult enough without adding unnecessary conflict.
Not Happy? Get a Second Opinion!
Lying, financial concerns, and a lack of communication are all signs that you’re not having a positive experience with your attorney. Which means it’s not likely that you will have a positive outcome in your case.
An attorney should be trustworthy and communicative. They should provide you with help finding medical treatment, financial assistance, and regular updates on the status of your claim and settlement.
If you are not satisfied with your current legal representation, it is not too late to get a better attorney.
For a 100% free second opinion on your case, contact us today.