Signs of a bad attorney

When you’re searching for an attorney, experience and a high success rate are most likely the qualities that are at the top of your “have to have” list.  But, it’s important that your attorney’s personality and style match your own. The attorney-client relationship is built on trust, but, unfortunately, that relationship doesn’t always work out.  Choosing the right attorney can mean the difference between an agreeable experience and a frustrating or stressful experience.

When you hire an attorney you’re making a commitment of both time and money. You need to understand what you’ve both agreed to. Your part of the commitment means that you’re up front about all of the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. Make sure that you’re providing him or her with all of the information such as documents and witness contact information that are relevant to your case.

The attorney’s part of the commitment is that he or she will clearly communicate about all legal fees and costs involved in handling your case, will be personally involved in your case, will keep the lines of communication open between the two of you, will behave in a professional and ethical manner throughout the course of handling your case.

Currently, there are approximately 1.3 million lawyers practicing in the U.S. Not all of them are good at their job,and you might end up hiring a bad attorney. If you feel that your attorney is doing a subpar job or is behaving unprofessionally, it may be time to consider changing course and finding a new attorney.

What to watch for

There are many legitimate reasons that you may want to fire an attorney:

  • Lack of communication between your attorney and you
  • The attorney doesn’t understand your case
  • Disagreement between your attorney and you on how the case should be handled
  • Personality conflicts
  • A lack of empathy and compassion on the part of your attorney toward you as a client
  • No results within a reasonable amount of time
  • A lack of decisiveness on the part of your attorney
  • Has a conflict of interest in your case

One of the biggest signs that you’ve hired a bad attorney is a lack of professionalism, unethical, or even illegal behavior.  If you’re attorney is missing or showing up late to meetings or other important appointments, making important decisions without consulting you, not returning any of your calls, filing the wrong paperwork or filing it incorrectly, missing filing deadlines for documents, or not working on your case at all, these are all telltale signs of unprofessional or unethical behavior on the part of your attorney.

Is what they did illegal?

If you feel that your case has been handled negligently or that there was misconduct on the part of your attorney and that this negligence had a direct effect on the outcome, you may be able to sue your former attorney for legal malpractice.

Scott S. Harris, experienced California legal malpractice attorney, will evaluate your case to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit. Call to schedule a free consultation.