As a client, you expect your attorney to call you regularly or at least to stay in touch in some manner. When he or she doesn't do so to update you on your case, you may feel like you're out of the loop and have no idea what's happening with your lawsuit. When an attorney doesn't get back to you promptly, it may be a sign of legal malpractice, which is something you could file a lawsuit for in some cases.
If you suspect that your attorney is avoiding your calls or not taking your case seriously, there are a few things you can do to repair the lines of communication. Here are a few steps to try before you consult another attorney about malpractice.
1. Give your attorney a call at different times of day
If you always call when your attorney isn't in the office, consider calling at a different time of day. Maybe you can call immediately after his or her lunch break or as soon as the office opens. Varying your call times could help you connect with your attorney directly instead of having to leave a message.
Remember to keep track of how often you call, the time of the call and if the call is returned. You'll want this information if you intend to file a legal malpractice claim later.
2. Use the postal service
Believe it or not, the postal service is still a great way to get in touch. A case that has been set aside momentarily might not be on the attorney's mind, but a brisk letter can quickly turn that around. Keep the letter friendly, include your contact information and your attorney should get back to you soon. Avoid email, since this is less secure and doesn't seem as important as a formal letter.
3. Assert yourself with the intention to move on
If your attorney truly isn't responding to your efforts for communication, it's okay to state that you'll be going to a new attorney. Successful attorneys tend not to want the bad press of a client leaving, so it may help guarantee that they'll get back to you quicker.
These are a few ways to try to get in touch with your attorney. If they don't work, you could have a legal malpractice case on your hands.