Have I Hired a Bad Lawyer?
There are many attorneys who earn their degrees and successfully and professionally help other people. However, there are some who may not do this to their client’s satisfaction. What happens if you pick a bad seed? Here are 10 signs you hired a bad lawyer.
Subjective terms like “bad” can vary among different clients. There are some clear signs that suggest an attorney is not doing their job to the standard other lawyers in their field have set. The “red flags” in attorney performance mentioned in this piece are not exhaustive, and can of course subject to change based on their area of law and the existing attorney-client relationship at hand.
Are There Universal Signs of a “Bad” Attorney?
Again, while “bad” signs of attorney behavior are bound to change based on the attorney, their firm/practice, their geographic location, areas of expertise, etc., there are some strong universal indicators of poor performance.
Okay, so what are the red flags?
Here are some “red flags” to look out for when assessing attorney performance:
1. Ineffective communication can ruin an existing or prospective attorney-client relationship. If the client does not have reason to believe that their case is in good hands and that their lawyer is competent in working on it, their trust levels will likely falter.
2. An unprofessional demeanor can relay to clients that their attorney does not care about them or their legal case. An attorney’s unprofessional mannerisms can also translate to clients an inadequacy to represent their interests among other legal professionals.
3. A disrespectful attitude goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. If an attorney does not show respect toward their client, what makes them believe that they are passionate about representing them? Additionally, how will their behavior appear to other attorneys?
5. Complicated billing procedures can lead clients to ponder whether they are being appropriately charged for their attorney’s services. The legal field is a very detail-oriented one, and unclear billing is a poor reflection on the firm and how efficiently it is operated.
I recognize some of these behaviors in my attorney. What’s next?
If a client recognizes that their attorney is actively practicing some or all of the “red flag” behaviors listed above, they may need to evaluate their professional relationship moving forward. The client can either choose to address their attorney’s behaviors or make the decision to take their business elsewhere. Both options are completely valid. Attorneys establish a level of trust with their clients when they take on their case, and if a client feels as if their representation is not adequate, changes can be made.
The client would next have to evaluate their contract with their lawyer, to ensure walking away is an option. If it is not, or the client has decided to have a conversation with their lawyer instead of cutting ties, they can approach the situation by expressing their concerns and doubts in writing or over email. If the client does not feel comfortable having their grievances in writing, they can opt for a phone call, Zoom meeting, or chat in person. It might be helpful for the client to bring a trusted friend (if they are legally allowed to do so) to ensure there is another witness present if the meeting is “face-to-face” in some capacity.
Ultimately, every attorney-client relationship is unique. A client may feel that their attorney exhibits some of the behaviors listed above, yet they are working effectively on their case. Alternatively, their attorney may not do any of these “red flag” behaviors, yet still, prove ineffective at trying their case. At the end of the day, the client is the best “judge” of their feelings toward their attorney’s actions.
If you are noticing signs you hired a bad lawyer, contact us. Her Lawyer is committed to providing you with hands-on legal assistance. Schedule your free consultation today!