If your attorney is not returning your calls and doesn't respond to you in good time, you may feel as if you're being pushed aside. For that reason, it's normal for attorneys to have rules about response times. Usually, in your contract, it will give some indication about response times you can expect. Even if it's not in your contract, you should ask and find out typical response times.
If the attorney is not responding within the agreed terms or you've called several times without a response, then there may be a case for a legal malpractice lawsuit. However, before you do that, it's a good idea to try a few other ways to get into contact. That way, you can show that you did all you could do to get in touch and address the situation. This helps you support your case in court.
How long should you wait for an attorney to respond to your call or requests?
If you were to take a case to court, the judge would want to see that you allowed a fair amount of time to pass between attempts to contact an attorney and a reply. Normally, a fair time might be within the week. Why so long? Some attorneys are tied up in court, and others have multiple cases to handle.
If you're concerned about the longer wait times, it's okay to call and ask for an update. You can also send a letter or reach out through email. In most cases, your attorney will get back to you as soon as possible, which may be between 24 hours and four or five days. If you don't hear anything after that time, you should reach out again. Attorneys are human and do sometimes get behind on work, but a reminder that you're waiting for a response may spur a callback.
If you still aren't able to communicate with your attorney, your attorney isn't updating you on a case and you haven't been able to get a return call over the course of a week or longer, then you may want to take your case to a new attorney and suggest an opportunity for a legal malpractice lawsuit. It's important that you work with an attorney who does have your best interests in mind and who is capable of handling a caseload effectively with the communication and response times you expect.