Ineffective assistance of counsel can lead to a dispute

You hire an attorney because you need professional, legal assistance. Unfortunately, just because you hire an attorney doesn't mean you'll receive the assistance you need to win your case.

If you have concerns about the ineffective assistance of counsel, such as during a criminal case, it's critical to learn more about your legal rights in Colorado and the steps you can take to protect yourself.

Here are several signs that you may have a claim on the grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel:

  • Your attorney is late with filing notices: In a legal case, timing is everything. For example, missing a filing deadline can hinder your ability to win your case.
  • Making decisions without your input: Although you put your trust in your attorney, it doesn't mean they should act without first consulting with you. Your attorney should explain the finer details of the current situation, including the pros and cons of each option available to you.
  • Unprofessional behavior: This takes on many forms, such as showing up late to court, providing poor legal advice and wearing inappropriate clothing. Any type of unprofessional behavior can affect your case and the way you're perceived by the judge and jury.
  • Unresponsive: You can't expect your attorney to be available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, they shouldn't take on your case if they don't have the time to do so. Your attorney should make an effort to stay in constant communication.
  • Bad advice: For example, if your attorney doesn't understand basic terminology or procedures, it's time to consider their competence. If you know more than your attorney or the judge has to correct them, there's a problem.

If you've noticed one or more of these signs of ineffective assistance of counsel, discuss your concerns with your attorney. You may be able to hash out the disagreement so you can get back to the task at hand.

If that doesn't work or the damage has already been done, learn more about your legal rights. You may be able to file a legal malpractice claim against the attorney with the goal of recovering damages.

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Ineffective assistance of counsel can lead to a dispute | The Viorst Law Offices, P.C.