What can I do if my lawyer fails to communicate with me? 32 Answers as of June 10, 2013

Lawyer failed to file I 751 and can’t get in contact with her to get paper work. Finally got a hold of her and she said they asked for a letter explaining why its late. She still hasn’t done that. How should I go about this matter?

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
If this is a lawyer you hired, you can always fire her and get another lawyer. If this lawyer is appointed, you can write a letter to the judge, threaten to file a grievance with the state bar against them, or have someone look to hire a different lawyer for you. A lawyer needs to regularly communicate with his client.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/31/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
I know just enough about immigration to know an I751 is an immigration form. Though, I cannot say off the top of my head which one. You need to call an lawyer that knows immigration laws. I have two I send my clients to because I trust both. If you need a name and number please let me know.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/1/2011
Vermeulen Law office P.A.
Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
Lawyers have an obligation to keep in contact with their clients, as long as the client has provided contact information. If you are unable to reach your attorney, try contacting his or her supervisor. If he or she is a solo practitioner, you may contact the lawyer's assistant. If all else fails, you may report the attorney to the ethics board governing lawyers. In Minnesota, this is the Lawyers Board of Professional Responsibility.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 6/1/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Hire a new attorney and discharge the old one. Ask for your money back if you believe the old attorney didnt do what was required. You could file a fee dispute claim with the local Bar Association. Your new attorney will advise you what can be done.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/31/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
If you are having a problem communicating with your attorney you might consider making an appointment to meet with them face-to-face. Ask them questions about your case and ask to see a copy of the work that they have performed for you.If you cannot get answers to your questions and proof of the work performed you may consider relieving them of their representation and find someone who will represent you and care about you.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/31/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    You can discharge your current lawyer and hire a new lawyer. Unfortunately some lawyers aren't very responsive. That's why client care is the top priority with myself, always returning calls, emails, etc. immediately. You can always file a grievance with the state bar of Michigan attorney grievance commission.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    I do not know if your lawyer is retained or assigned. You state that she was late in filing something and that the court asked for a letter of explanation. She has not responded to your calls or letters...it's not clear how you contacted her. She sounds like an assigned lawyer or Legal Aid lawyer who is overworked and underpaid. They often do not return the calls of clients, relatives of clients, other lawyers, prosecutors, probation officers, and others. They can be unprepared for hearings, trials, and often do not spend enough time with their clients in order to explain matters and answer their questions. Usually the questions are irrelevant and the only issue is whether you want to plead out or go to trial and so they do not bother to explain every detail, option, or investigate the matter properly. That is why I always suggest that clients retain an experienced criminal attorney who will take the time to talk to the witnesses, investigate the mater, research the law properly, prepare for hearings, serve the motions on time, show up on time for court, and return your phone calls. Some public defenders are actually very good lawyers who get good results, but few feel the need to return calls promptly unless they deem it necessary. To be honest with you, many clients can be very difficult to defend and will bother their lawyer with endless questions that do not need to be addressed. If you retain an attorney and pay him $3,000 or $5,000 he will be more than happy to talk to you...at $300 an hour. The old saying is "Talk is cheap until you hire an attorney". Legal Aid lawyers do not give you their cell numbers unless you ask for them. They are never in their office and they have 6 cases a day to try to make. They are later getting to court because they have three places to be at the same time. Judges order them to be in certain courts and they must juggle several files at the same time. I have been a private attorney for 27 years but I also accept assigned cases. Half my cases are assigned and I can tell you that it is very difficult to handle so many matters at the same time. We work 16 to 18 hours a day just to keep up with the paperwork and sometimes we forget to file a motion or return a call. Call your attorney and politely request that she return your call. If she still refuses, tell her that if she does not return your call you will have to contact the Bar Association and file a grievance in writing. That will get her attention. You deserve an attorney who keeps you informed, answers all of your questions, and files the motions and papers on time. If she fails to file motions on time the court can refuse to grant hearings and you could suffer the consequences. She could be sanctioned by the Bar Association or the court and your case could suffer for her incompetence. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease...be persistent in demanding proper representation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Schedule an appointment to sit down with your attorney and express your displeasure with the representation. You may also file a complaint with the lawyers board of professional responsibility or ethics in your state.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    You have a couple of options. One option would be firing your attorney and retaining another one. I'm not sure what she filed late but if it resulted in damages to you, you might sue the attorney for malpractice. Another option would be to file a complaint with the state bar association. Suing and filing a complaint are one extreme. The other extreme would be to schedule an appointment and meet with her to express your concerns. How you respond should depend on whether you were significantly harmed by her lack of diligence. If you were, you should at least contact another attorney and have him or her review your case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Usually each State Bar has an ethics office where you can file an ethics complaint if an attorney fails to practice in an acceptable way. In Kansas it is the Kansas Disciplinary Administrator, in Topeka, KS.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    You are entitled to request new representation. Call or send a letter to your lawyer and also notify the court handling your case. You attorney is entitled to 24 hours to prepare your file but after that period must hand it over to you.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    World Esquire Law Firm
    World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
    You will need to find another lawyer who will do this immediately for you. If you take too long to get this in, then you will be put in removal proceedings. You need to take control of the situation ASAP. You can deal with the current lawyer later. But get this thing under control. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    If your attorney is a retained attorney you could hire another attorney and discharge this one. If your attorney is a court appointed one you could make an application to the court to appoint a different attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Retain new counsel.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Either hire a new layer, or explain your concerns to the judge the next time you go to court.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Your have some choices in connection with your problem. First, you should be conscious of deadlines. If there is a deadline for filing, you must act expeditiously. You may choose to retain a different attorney. If deadlines are approaching, you should do this immediately and bring that attorney up to date. You may discharge the attorney and proceed without an attorney. You should do this in writing, and you should also go to the office and get your entire file. The least practical is to contact the State Bar Association in your state about the attorney. This is least practical because it takes the longest time, and will not necessarily get you the result you want, which is to get your case moving forward.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Only really have two things to do: 1st get a new lawyer and have them correct the matter; or have the old lawyer do their job and tell them you will contact the local bar association if they fail to act.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    You can always file a complaint with the State Bar of California. In the meantime you might consider retaining a new attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You might look for a different lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
    Hire a different attorney and demand your money back from the old one.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    A lawyer has an ethical duty to represent a client within the bounds of the law. With that duty comes the obligation to keep the client informed and timely file necessary documents. Remember, the lawyer works for you and if you are not satisfied with his/her servcies, you can fire your lawyer and hire another lawyer. Failure on the part of a lawyer to live up to his/her ethical obligations can also be grieved to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission. A grievance, however, will not, in and of itself, solve your legal problems.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Calderón Seguin PLC
    Calderón Seguin PLC | Ofelia L. Calderon
    You should get a new lawyer. This isn't working for you. It sucks that you may have already paid, but maintaining your immigration status is very very important.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    You should hire a new lawyer immediately. The new lawyer will deal with USCIS and explaining what happened.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Call the state bar.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    Get another attorney . Report first attorney to State Bar.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Secure other counsel. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    I would send her a letter demanding a refund. Inform the Court that your attorney will not communicate with you. You face the possibility of losing your motion to be a non-conditional resident. I do not know if you would be able to refile, so you should contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to find out. You can download a complaint form from the State Bar website and file a complaint.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    Contact the state bar and report the issue.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    Keep calling. Then send something in writing, even if it's just an email. Then ask to speak to her supervisor (if she has one). Then threaten to fire her, or if she's already been paid in full, threaten to go to the Bar. Then actually fire her or actually report her to the Bar. I often gets calls from folks who are frustrated with their attorney and think their attorney is doing something wrong. Usually, after taking the time to speak with the client, I find that the attorney is doing everything right, and that his/her only mistake is not keeping the client updated. I suspect this is the case here.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/27/2011
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