When you hire a family lawyer to represent you in a legal matter, a two-way relationship is formed in which both parties expect each other to be transparent and fulfill their jobs. However, it becomes difficult for the client if their lawyer is not competent enough to handle their case. The lawyer’s incompetency might make you lose the case, a custodial or a divorce matter.
If you believe your lawyer is not doing their job well enough, you need to try to resolve any identified issues if you’re going to continue with your current lawyer. However, if you feel like this can’t work out and might result in issues for you down the line, you’re going to have to change your lawyer.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can do if you’re not happy with your family lawyer.
Do You Think Your Family Lawyer Is not Fighting for You?
A family legal matter is already stressing enough, and feeling like your attorney is not fighting for you is the last thing you want. There might be several reasons for that.
Negligible Understanding of Legal Situations
If you feel like your lawyer is not meeting your expectations and things are not going the way you expected them to, it might be a case of a lack of communication or understanding. Often, attorneys find it hard to explain a strategy to their clients because of their clients’ lack of understanding of legal matters.
Initially, it seems that the client is on board with the plan, but as the matter proceeds, it turns out that the client did not understand the choice that was made.
Your Lawyer Might Have a Different Perspective
Sometimes, when clients hire a lawyer, they reflect their desires on the lawyer’s nature and expect an aggressive approach. If you feel similarly about your lawyer not being forward enough, you need to trust them and their experience. Their way of dealing might differ from yours, but it might be what your case needs.
What Can You Do?
In this case, communication is the key to clearing any misunderstandings with your attorney. You need to talk to your lawyer you feel you’re not getting what you expect or if their strategy is tanking the case. The outcome may straighten out any misconceptions you might have or even help you reinforce your expectations.
You probably have a lot of money and time invested in your family lawyer. Rather than changing your lawyer straight away, try sorting out the situation. This will help you save from investing unnecessary time and money.
Communicating With Your Attorney Didn’t Help. Now What?
You have tried expressing your concerns, but the attorney did not provide adequate solutions or even failed to address your concerns in a professional manner. Unfortunately, all legal representatives are not adept at handling cases of such magnitude.
In that case, you can take your legal matter to another lawyer. When consulting a new lawyer, ask them about their action plan and the approach before disclosing the falling out you had with your former lawyer.
Be aware that if you decide to switch your attorney during your case, you may be charged a reasonable fee for the work already done. It is not recommended to switch your lawyer close to a court appearance, as the new lawyer may not have enough time to build your case and devise a strong game plan. Remember to ask your previous lawyer for all the files that belong to your case. However, in some states, the lawyer might possess the rights to certain files and may charge you to hand them over.
How Can I Find a Better Family Law Attorney?
So, you’ve fired your old attorney. How can you make sure that you find a better attorney this time around – one who is better suited to get you the result you want?
Having an honest conversation about your case and the results you want from the lawyer is an excellent place to start. Ask any questions you have regarding the lawyer’s approach, their past cases, etc. Ask your lawyer:
- How fast can you expect a response to a phone call or an email
- Their experience in family law
- What is their predicted outcome
- Their hourly rate
- Their action plan for you
- The goal of each step outlined in the action plan
There is no way of being 100% sure that you will hire the right attorney this time. However, these questions can help you understand the lawyer’s mindset and how efficiently they’ll handle your case.
How Can You File a Complaint Against Your Family Lawyer?
If you believe your lawyer has handled your case poorly, which has resulted in a significant loss, you can file a complaint against them with the respective governing body in your state. These organizations are either the high court or the state bar association, depending on the state. The bar or the board will investigate the case and either take straight and strict action or deploy the case to a lower bar, given that your case is admissible.
There are specific guidelines and ethics that lawyers are bound to practice. They include:
- Effective Communication
- Fees transparency
- No Conflict of Interest
- Following their Client’s Instructions
Legal family matters are exhausting. Matters like moving forward financially after a divorce or keeping a divorce out of a family business can take a toll on you. It is best to identify and resolve any disagreements with your family lawyer before switching to avoid wasting time and money. However, you can take the steps we discussed if you feel like your family lawyer is not fighting for you.