Going to court is a stressful experience, so you need an ally to handle the ins and outs of legal proceedings. That’s why you hire a lawyer, a person who’s an expert in whatever branch of law best addresses your case. The problem is that lawyers are human and may be fallible, ill-informed, or even incompetent. Before you get in too deep, watch for these signs it might be time to fire your lawyer or not hire them to begin with.
A lawyer isn’t a personal servant at your disposal day or night. That said, they agreed to work for you, and thus, even if they can’t be available all the time, they better return your calls as swiftly as possible. If your lawyer isn’t providing updates on your case and what they’re doing to reach a satisfactory conclusion, they’re not doing their job. Likewise, you can expect a response within a day or two when you call them, not weeks. It may well be that your lawyer has multiple clients, but you are one of them. If they aren’t talking to you, let them go.
Here’s one of the biggest signs it might be time to fire your lawyer: they’re not telling you the whole truth or are outright lying. It’s often easy to peg a person as a liar, such as if they brag or claim to be an expert in a particular branch of law without providing evidence. When a lawyer claims to have won every case, excuse yourself and leave their office because that’s highly unlikely. Mostly, as you would with any business transaction, listen out for falsehoods and flattery. And, of course, fire them if they claim to have done something for you but didn’t.
They’re Out of Their Element
The law doesn’t suffer fools, and an incompetent lawyer will take you down with them. If your lawyer never seems prepared, whether for court or a brief consultation in their office, it might be time to cut ties. A good lawyer is ready to discuss and argue your case at appointed and agreed-upon times and submits all the paperwork. Repeated mistakes are blinking red warning lights. Let them go before they torpedo your chances.
Here’s a cold hard fact: you may not always like what your lawyer has to say. They may break bad news or make suggestions you disagree with. That’s part of the service they provide. On the other hand, if your lawyer seems uninterested in your opinion, belittling, distant, offensive, or rude, fire them. You are supposed to be collaborators, and you can’t work with someone who doesn’t respect you.