It’s devastating when you place trust in highly-qualified professionals, only for them to betray it. We’re referring to lawyers; highly-sought after and in-demand specialists who preach they know everything, only to occasionally mislead you.
Unfortunately, this happens way more often than it should. But there are ways to avoid such situations: you notice the clear signs that something is wrong.
In today’s special post, we look at the clear-cut signs that you have hired a bad lawyer and how you can get yourself out of it.
Five Signs You Hired a Bad Lawyer
A lawyer is a respected position that is deemed highly professional. So how would it feel if the person you’ve hired to handle delicate matters was not professional or careful in their approach? It’s a bad omen and one that should tell you to move on.
Keep an eye out for these noticeable unprofessional mannerisms:
- Being late or failing to show for important meetings or court dates
- Making important decisions of your case without explaining them to you
- Missing deadlines and incorrectly filing paperwork
- Knowing there is a conflict of interest in your case, but proceeding anyways
There’s a lot of other examples, such as brushing off concerns, not dressing properly (for the right occasions) and being overly laxed.
What makes a great lawyer stand out is the manner of their communication. If they are prompt, direct and honest with you and your respective case, then they’re committed to helping you achieve a favourable outcome. If they’re not, you’re going to notice that their communication is at a poor level.
Look out for signs like them not responding to emails or calls, them avoiding contact with you, and not giving you clear-cut answers about the processes behind your case. These are signs they are not paying giving your case the attention it deserves.
Law is a complex field. Whether it’s commercial law, real estate or class action lawsuits, a lot can change in a day. One minute you could be winning your case, then next, you’re not.
But a lawyer that’s a true professional and expert in their field will understand their law inside and out. So they should be able to provide you with valuable and up-to-date information on your case, giving you insight into the processes and steps.
However, if you notice that they keep seeming to change the dynamics and rules of your case, it means they’re not as up-to-date or professional as they seem. You don’t want to navigate a case where you don’t know the foundations in which you’re working. It’s best to move on.
Do Not Mention Fees/Pricing Upfront
There is nothing worse than finding out you have to pay a poor lawyer thousands of dollars that you didn’t know about, on top of them doing a poor job for you. But it happens because clients are not aware of the fees and pricing structure of the lawyer.
Lawyers work on three types of payment structures: hourly rate, a flat fee or percentage of the winnings. Your lawyer (or their respective team) should explain to you their process, so you are not caught unawares of a high payout.
But some lawyers take the advantage of gouging prices by padding their time, providing vague billing practices and adding hidden surcharges to situations where it is not needed. If you notice that they are not upfront about their pricing and fees, it’s best to take a step back and reassess your choice.
Not Empathetic to Your Needs
A lawyer might be direct in their attitude and in their approach (and tell you straight up if your case will be successful or not), but that doesn’t mean they have to be rude or not empathetic to your needs. Every lawyer, from the scuffy fighter to the serious professional, should showcase a level of care and respect to their clients.
So if you find that the lawyer is neglectful, uninterested or not really understanding of your predicament, do you really want someone like that representing you against the prosecution, defendant or insurance company?
You deserve an attorney who empathizes with what you are going through – so make sure you find one that does give it to you when you need it the most.
How to Move on to Another Lawyer
So, if you’ve hired a bad lawyer – can you get rid of them?
The answer is yes, you can. You have the right to fair counsel and representation, so if you believe that your lawyer does not represent your best interests, or if you have lost faith and confidence in them, you can remove them and hire another one.
You can do it before a case or during it, as long as you follow the protocols established by the Court’s ruling.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to changing lawyers during a case, but if you believe that is the right choice for you, then do it. You don’t want to stick with a lawyer that isn’t delivering what they promised.