Whether you are working with a public defender or a private defense attorney in Salt Lake City, you deserve competent legal representation. Private lawyers usually have lesser caseloads, so they have more time to work on their cases. They can get more acquainted with the client, become more familiar with the situation, and secure more substantial information that will aid the defense. Thus, most people don’t mind writing big checks to pay for private attorney’s fees.
However, the client-lawyer relationship doesn’t always last forever. While most lawyers are motivated to satisfy their clients, others might not be doing enough to help you. Here are some signs that its time to change your attorney:
1. A lack of communication.
Legal practice is hectic, so your lawyer might not be able to pick up the phone every time you call. However, a good lawyer will try to return your calls within 24-48 hours. If he’s engaged in a trial, he’ll delegate an assistant or paralegal to answer your questions and proactively provide you with updates.
Additionally, your lawyer should inform you promptly when and where to appear, so you don’t go to court unprepared. If you’re regularly getting a voicemail, it’s time to leave him a message that you’ve found a new lawyer.
2. Unclear billing.
Some types of legal matters have flat fees, but most of them have varying charges. A good lawyer will be honest about fees upfront. He’ll give you a range and won’t leave you guessing how much and when you have to pay. If your lawyer can’t provide a clear explanation about some charges on your bill, it can be a sign that you need a new counsel.
3. Crass behavior.
Lawyers should always adhere to professional conduct and treat everyone with respect. They can be very intimidating in the courtroom, but they should not turn this power against you. He shouldn’t talk down to you just because he has impressive knowledge and experience.
Your attorney works for you and should show compassion toward you as his client. He should show dedication to your case and should not mishandle related documents. It’s a bad sign if he frequently asks you to provide paperwork that you’ve already provided. Also, if he keeps on missing or showing up late to urgent appointments, you aren’t required to continue the relationship.
Every legal proceeding doesn’t come with a guarantee. A good lawyer will set clear expectations from the beginning and provide a realistic view of your case. For instance, if you’re working with a personal injury lawyer, he should give a realistic prediction about your chances of winning and the compensation you’ll likely get.
If his prediction is not in the same ballpark with the opinion of multiple lawyers, there’s a high chance that he is overpromising. Find a new lawyer if the current one builds false hopes instead of presenting feasible options.
Before firing your attorney, make sure that you are cutting ties for the right reasons. You don’t want to end your relationship with a good lawyer just because things don’t trend in your favor.