What to Do If Your Lawyer Is Ignoring You
Communication is the cornerstone of an attorney-client relationship. Without it, you may not have adequate information about your case. While busy lawyers have significant time commitments, you should always feel like you are aware of what is happening at every critical point.
In this article, I am going to tell you about what rules apply to a Taos criminal defense lawyer, how law firms typically handle communications, and what you can do to get him or her to take action. In the end, it might be necessary to switch legal counsel.
Be aware that law firms are experiencing an unprecedented levels of strain due to the coronavirus pandemic, which means that returned communications may take a little longer than average. However, it is no excuse to miss statutory deadlines or jeopardize your case in any way.
What Rules Apply to Timely Communications with a Taos Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Some rules apply to your attorneys’ communication requirements when it comes to representing criminal defense cases. Reviewing them will help you understand what the expectations are from a legal standpoint.
Under Rule 16-104 NMRA, the New Mexico Rules of Professional Conduct says that a lawyer must:
- Promptly inform you of any decision or circumstance concerning informed consent
- Consult with you about your case objectives
- Reasonably update you about your case progress
- Provide reasonable information requests promptly
- Consult with the client about any relevant limitations
As you can see, some criteria define the timeliness of attorney-client communications. Lawyers know how these rules apply and what is expected of them in this capacity. However, it is vital to make sure that your expectation aligns with what is “prompt, reasonable, and informative” beforehand.
It May Be Normal Not to Hear From Your Lawyer at Certain Times
Depending upon where you live and the type of case you have, communication expectations can vary widely. It is also subject to the interpretation of your Taos criminal defense lawyer.
Possible reasons why you have not heard from your lawyer may include:
- No new information to report
- Attending to other cases on the docket
- You are technically not the client
- He or she is attending to personal matters
- You are not leaving voicemails or sending emails
Even though you may feel some frustration, it is unlikely that your Taos criminal defense lawyer is ignoring you. Lawyer life, by its very nature, demands our attention from many angles. There are, of course, periods that are busier than others. You will always hear back from us when there is a legal issue to address in your criminal case.
And remember: your attorney is your BIGGEST advocate. Have trust in the process and reassurance in knowing that we are always on YOUR side, even if our schedules heat up.
What to Do If Your Lawyer Is Not Communicating with You
If you have repeatedly left messages to no avail, your next step is to send a certified letter to his or her office asking why you are left in the dark. Try to remain professional and explain why the delay in communication is causing your case hardship. Place a copy of the letter in your personal file for future reference.
Use this option as a last resort and not the first option. This situation is an exception to the standard practice. At Grano Law we make every effort to let you know when you will hear from us again during our last communication together.
If the letter gets your attorneys’ attention, make sure you discuss communication protocols upon which you can both agree for future success. It is always a good idea to consider the flow of communication during your initial strategy session in case he or she does not raise the topic then.
When dealing with law firms who still ignore your communications, pay your outstanding balance, gather your case file, and find another criminal defense lawyer for Taos to represent you. While it may seem like a pain to handle, there is nothing worse than the inability to communicate with your attorney. After all, your future is on the line.
How to Switch Taos Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you or a family member have a criminal matter that your attorney is genuinely ignoring, you may want to start discussing your options with another law firm. I would encourage you to pay attention to client testimonials and case results to help you make an informed decision and thereby avoid the same situation again.
Grano Law Offices, P.C. offers a FREE case strategy session so that you can vet us thoroughly before signing a letter of representation. Call my firm at 505-587-8649 or by sending me a message directly throughout my secure contact form.
My office always responds to client communications within 24 business hours of your reaching out to us. We take our commitment to fully informing you in a timely manner seriously.