Finding a great lawyer is not always easy, especially when you have a case that demands particular expertise. In some cases, we rush the lawyer picking process, or a lawyer we picked for our case ends up being either incompetent or even fraudulent. But what are the signs that it’s time to consider someone else to represent you?
They Aren’t Well Versed in Your Type of Case
Many of us end up going for a generalist for a variety of reasons. It may be because they are cheaper than specialists or some people may just assume that a generalist will be able to do just as fine, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
There are many cases where only a specialist will do, such as medical negligence cases for instance, and hiring cheap, non-specialist lawyers could actually end up costing you more money. Only medical negligence solicitors with significant experience with medical negligence claims UK can help you in that case.
Medical negligence lawyers for instance, will be able to understand insurance jargon better for instance. Or medical negligence solicitors will have more experience dealing with specific organisations like the NHS and will understand their particular negotiation tactics or what they can reasonably expect to get in a judgement.
When it comes to filing a medical negligence claim, specialist medical negligence solicitors such as The Medical Negligence Experts have a better understanding of medical negligence UK settlements in general and will have more experience negotiating for compensation than say criminal defence lawyers who may have more information on sentencing and plea agreements. A tax lawyer will not have the same kind of skill set as a medical malpractice lawyer.
This is why it’s always better to work with people who are specialised in the particular area of law you need help with, and always make sure that they have experience with the exact same type of case as yours and have had results in the past.
The Lawyer is Not Being 100% Real with You
Some lawyers will simply not be authentic with you and will sometimes outright lie to you for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they will make outlandish claims and claim that they can guarantee they’ll win a case.
In most cases, this is simply embellishment. No case is guaranteed, and cases are routinely thrown out for some minor mistake. So, if your lawyer starts making tall tales about how they can get you guaranteed results, then they are probably lying.
There are some times when your case could take an unexpected turn and your lawyer might be reluctant to tell you what is really happening. A good lawyer should always keep you in the loop, even if it’s bad news. They may also have to change strategies for instance.
For settlement cases for instance, they may have given you advice at the beginning of your case based on experience but had to change that advice later on. Maybe an offer that looked advantageous at first may be more acceptable as new evidence arises. Your lawyer has to be 100% truthful with you in those cases. They have to be ready to admit that they were wrong and that you should switch plans.
You Aren’t Getting Their Undivided Attention
There are those cases when it all comes down to bad communication. A good lawyer should always give you their undivided attention. This is a common issue with mega firms, but that can be the case with small law firms as well.
This can be due to a wide variety of factors. In some cases, it could be pure incompetence or nonchalance. For instance, if your lawyer is constantly asking the court for extensions or are asking that you resend documents you already sent before, then this should be a major red flag. This could be a sign that the lawyer in question is just unorganised, and the last thing you want is a lawyer who lacks organisation skills.
Also, if your lawyer often goes AWOL or doesn’t return your calls within 48 hours or less, then it’s another sign that you should start looking elsewhere. However, you should be lenient if it’s during the holidays and show that you have respect for your lawyer’s time and don’t constantly nag them with non-important questions all the time.
There are some cases when things are getting so bad that clients are outright intimidated to talk with their lawyer. This is one of the worst things that could happen. Your lawyer should be in your corner to fight for you, and a good client will even be able to give you some emotional support. It should be the duty of the lawyer to be there for you no matter what. The last thing you want to feel is pressure at the moment.
Another sign that your lawyer isn’t doing their job is if you suddenly receive notices from the court that a particular document hasn’t been filed for instance. Or you receive a notice either from the court or another party that a particular deadline has been reached or that your case is about to be terminated due to inactivity.
Mistakes do happen, and they happen to the best of them, however, if a particular document isn’t ready when it was supposed to be, then it could be a sign that your lawyer isn’t up to the task or isn’t working on your case the way it should.
Some lawyers simply don’t give the same attention and effort on bigger cases that they do on minor cases. So, if you notice your solicitor is too nonchalant, or outright dismissive, then it’s definitely time to look elsewhere.
There is no reason for a disorganised and overall derelict office. This could be a sign of a bigger problem. If there are stacks of paper everywhere, or documents from other cases in plain view every time you go to see your lawyer, then it could be a sign of a generalised issue. This could also raise some privacy concerns for your case. If they are careless enough to leave legal documents out in the open, then there is no reason to think that they will be giving your case any special care.
Another thing you should be looking for is piles of unopened mail. This could be because they either don’t have the time or support staff needed to deal with mailings. In both cases, this is a major red flag. Another thing to look at is whether there are many vacant offices. This could mean a variety of things. This could mean that the firm in question is simply disorganised or is experiencing higher than usual turnover. This could also mean that the firm is experiencing financial woes. The last thing you want is you firm to go belly up in the middle of your cases. This could also mean that your lawyer may be under extra stress, which is never a good thing.
There are many reasons why you should consider looking for a new attorney. Never feel chained to one team and don’t hesitate to start looking for new help if your lawyer exhibits any of the behaviour in this article.