24 Sep 6 Signs of a Bad Attorney
In a previous blog post we discussed several viable reasons an attorney may elect or be compelled to withdraw from a case. As a criminal defense law firm serving the Phoenix Valley, at Coolidge Law Firm we’d like to cover the signs of a bad attorney and when it may be time to make a change in legal counsel.
6 Signs of a Bad Attorney
Before you go about firing your attorney over simple personality disputes, you should carefully weigh your options. However, there comes a time in some cases where a lawyer becomes a liability instead of the necessary asset needed for your defense. Here are a few legitimate signs it may be time to look for a new attorney:
1. Displays Poor Communication
Your attorney may be doing their job, but unless they communicate with you, you’re in the dark about the fate of your case, which is unacceptable. If you’re repeatedly called, left voice mails and texted, and still not heard from your lawyer, then it may be time to move on. If your attorney does respond but you happen to dislike their communication style, then try having a respectful conversation with them and share your needs and concerns before you consider firing them.
2. Lacks the Respect of Peers
When you hire a lawyer, it’s possible that the only interaction you’ve had is the initial consultation. If you’ve not received glowing recommendations–and sometimes even if you have–you may come to realize that your attorney is not liked by his peers or perhaps the judges. Sure, lawyers may have disagreements with one another–they are often on opposing sides. But if an attorney lacks the basic respect of their peers in the courthouse, it could be a sign that they are not a good lawyer.
3. Participates in Illegal or Unethical Behavior
This one is kind of a no brainer, and if the illegal or unethical behavior is exposed, they’ll even be required to withdraw from the case. But maybe it’s something you observe in a meeting or overhear. If you suspect your attorney is a bit dirty, it’s time to move on.
4. Sloppy or Negligent Behavior
Attorney’s are generally under a significant amount of stress and pressure. However, it’s extremely unprofessional for them to miss deadlines, request extensions without good reason, or send you incorrect forms or information.
5. Vague or Problematic Billing
Your attorney can withdraw from your case if you fail to properly pay your legal fees. On the other hand, you should be sure to review the bills and statements you receive from your attorney. Make sure you understand how you are being charged and for what work. If a lawyer is unwilling or unable to explain a fee, then they might be up to something.
6. Personality Conflicts
You may not be best friend with your lawyer, but when personality conflicts escalate it can place a burden on the attorney-client relationship that puts your case at risk. If you are beginning to feel unsafe or uneasy around your attorney, it may be the right decision to fire them and hire new representation.
If you are looking to change legal counsel and need a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert or Mesa, give Coolidge Law Firm a call today.