When you hire a Denver area attorney to take care of a legal matter for you, you have certain expectations. For instance, you probably expect your lawyer to return your calls, file court documents on time and handle other aspects of your case. While most attorneys hold themselves to high standards, there are some who willfully defraud their clients, do not uphold their obligations and commit other forms of legal malpractice.
In order to ensure you do not hinge your case on a bad lawyer, it is important to know some of the red flags you should watch out for. If you experience any of the following, you could have a bad lawyer.
If you call your lawyer and leave a message, she or he should call you back within a reasonable amount of time. If your attorney is not calling you back then one of three things might be happening. She or he might:
- Have too high of a workload to prioritize your case
- Be unsure of how to proceed
- Simply be ignoring you
The same situations might apply if she or he is not responding to your emails either.
Not meeting deadlines
Whether you are involved in a civil lawsuit or a criminal matter, the court requires that you file certain documents by specific deadlines. If your attorney keeps missing these important dates, it could cost you your case.
If the bills you receive from your attorney seem inflated, then she or he, or a staff member, might be "padding time" in order to raise the bill. Overbilling clients is unethical and if your attorney is doing this, it might not be the only less-than-honest act she or he is committing. Also, keep an eye out for other billing practices such as surcharges on legal expenses, charges for services that your attorney did not disclose and any line items that seem vague.
If you have been the victim of legal malpractice, you might be able to use the law to recover any damages you suffered as a result. You may be able to take legal action against an attorney who has failed in one's duties and obligations, thus causing you damages.