Clients who hire an attorney expect that their case will be handled properly. Most lawyers do this without any problem but others don’t provide their clients with the service they are paying for. When that impacts the case, the client might opt to pursue a legal malpractice claim.
Even when there are issues with your attorney, you might have other options prior to launching a malpractice claim. These might help you to get past the issue at hand and enable the attorney who is familiar with your pending legal matter to finish it up. Once that’s done, you could choose to find a new lawyer for future cases.
Discussing the issue with your attorney
One of the most effective ways that you can find out what’s going on and figure out how to correct it is to talk to your attorney. When the issue is that they won’t communicate with you, sending written correspondence asking what’s going on might be effective.
If you choose to write to your attorney, remember that your goal is just to find out what problem is leading to the troubles you’re having. You may find out that they are working on a very intense trial or have something personal going on. Try to remember that they are only human.
When the issue negatively impacts your case
Even when an attorney has personal things going on or when they are busy, they still have to uphold their ethical duties. If your case is suffering because of the problems, make sure that you are swift to take action. There is no reason for a client to have to deal with ineffective counsel, including in situations involving missed deadlines and similar troubles.
You may decide that you need to have a second opinion about what’s going on. This is especially true if you think that your attorney is making poor decisions regarding your case. You’ll likely have to pay a fee for another attorney to go over the case file that you obtain from your lawyer, but you may find that it’s worth it because you can usually gain some clear insight.
If you try everything you can and are still unhappy with the representation you receive, you may decide to file the legal malpractice claim. This can be a challenging situation, but it notifies the attorney that you’re serious.