My Lawyer Won’t Return My Phone Calls
This problem comes up over and over again from clients. It doesn’t just apply to phone calls. It also might apply to emails, texts, faxes, or letters. I’ve heard this from prospective clients who have recently fired their lawyer. I’ve also had some of my own clients say that I don’t get back to them when they would like. I get it. You’re worried, you’re stressed, and you have a criminal case hanging over your head. You’re wondering how you’re going to pay your fines and Court costs while keeping food on the table for your family.
I like to set expectations at our first meeting. This way there is less confusion. I promise, if calls/texts/emails aren’t returned by me right away, it doesn’t mean that I’m ignoring you, or that I think your case isn’t important. My clients are important to me and your cases are important to me. At the end of the day, it comes down to working on your Attorney-Client relationship. Like any other relationship, the two of you need to communicate and be on the same page as one another. . But that still doesn’t answer the question:
Why My Lawyer Won’t Return My Phone Calls
With the above listed points in mind, I think there quite a few reasons. Its important to remember that you can’t always expect an immediate response. First, your lawyer may be busy. Lawyers can’t take phone calls while sitting in Court. Second, maybe a phone call isn’t the best way to reach your lawyer during the day. A text or an email may be easier if both of you are not in a position to take a phone call such as on a sales floor or in a client meeting. Third, some lawyers will only update clients when new news comes (I’m in this camp). Lastly, the lawyer might be neglecting their phone calls and contact with their clients. Unfortunately, this does happen.
How Do I Get My Lawyer to Return My Calls/Text/Email/Letter?
I think the easiest way to solve this problem is to agree to a weekly or bi-weekly check in after your first meeting. This check in can be done in whatever way you prefer. Usually I keep it short and sweet unless I have news on my client’s case. If new information comes up, you’ll get a phone call from me or an email. Then we can schedule a time when we’re both free to talk. This helps to avoid a lot of miscommunication between myself and my clients.
One big area of miscommunication can come from the client’s side. I need to be kept up to date with all of your contact information: Address, Phone Number, Email, etc.. Often times I will get emails from addresses I don’t recognize. I don’t respond to email addresses I don’t recognize that ask me to discuss my client’s private case details. The same goes for unrecognized phone numbers for calls and texts, and letters from an address that my clients never gave me.
Set expectations right off the bat, during your first meeting. We all have busy lives. Sometimes calls and emails can slip through the cracks. Agreeing to a check in at regular intervals will keep you and your lawyer up to date. Not only that, but it gives both of you scheduled time to talk about your case. Lastly, keep your lawyer up to date on your contact information. We can’t give out your case information to other people without your permission. If we get calls from strange numbers or emails from other people asking about your case, we may not jump to respond to those calls.