Why do some attorneys send their representatives to court instead of going themselves? 17 Answers as of April 04, 2013

I had this attorney for almost one year, and I have never met him, he never showed up at the deposition meeting or on court either. He sends his representatives and I’m sick of it, I call when I have a question and he never returns the calls, I wanted to ask him if I go back to work, will it hurt my case? Also I was wondering if I change attorneys will the case take longer, he hasn't even gotten me my Workers comp benefits. Also how long does the typical workers comp case last. Thanks!

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Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
Many attorneys leverage their time by using other attorneys in the office. If you are not satisfied, you can always hire a replacement attorney and it shouldn't cause a significant delay. A works compensation case can take several months or even more than a year, depending on how complicated it is and how long treatments last. I can give you some names of lawyers.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/4/2013
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Because they can! Most of us "hot shots" don't waste our time going to court for little appearances. We only go for the big things. If you show up for trial and the "hot shot" isn't there to try the case, then you have a legitimate beef.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/21/2013
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
Attorneys send "representatives" for various different reasons. In some cases, partners in the firm send associates to make more money. For example, If I have 5 attorneys working under my supervision who each bring in 100,00.00 in fees per year and I pay them 75,000.00 per year, I am making $125,000 from their work (and mine because I must supervise their work and manage the firm). Sometimes it is because the attorney has a scheduling conflict. I am a solo practitioner with no associates working under me. Nonetheless, I sometimes must find an attorney to cover for me when I am scheduled to be in two different courts at the same time. If an associate has been assigned to your case, I would suggest that you pose your questions to the associate. Normally, the associate will run the questions by the main attorney before or after answering them. Better yet, ask the paralegal or legal assistant. Often when I want to ask opposing counsel something on one of my cases, I ask the attorney's assistant, knowing that she will pose my question to the attorney and get back to me quicker than the attorney will if I try to contact eh attorney directly.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 3/20/2013
Your case should not take longer if you change attorney. You are entitled to receive worker's compensation benefits including temporary disability benefits and permanent disability benefits and future medical treatment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/19/2013
Gregory M Janks, PC
Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
You need to read the contract you likely signed with your lawyer/law firm. Usually such retainers are to retain the firm, and not a specific attorney. If such is the language of the contract, then any attorney from the firm can represent you. Indeed, it is usually better for you that this is the case because dates will not need to be adjourned if the attorney you "like" is not able to attend. You attorney, or someone from the firm, should return your calls within a reasonable time and keep you apprised of your cases progress and answer reasonable requests for information/advice. This is REQUIRED by the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct. You would need to consult with a workers comp. attorney re: the questions of going back to work and any delay in the case by changing attorneys. You do have the legal right to fire any lawyer you hire and to retain alternate counsel. You also have the right to file a Grievance against any lawyer/firm that does not follow the MRPC.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/19/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You don't like your lawyer. you don't trust your lawyer. Why don't you just walk on down the street and find another one instead of writing ugly things about the one you don't trust. You may not have much of a case. If you had a good case he would likely spend more time with it and you. If you have a problem with your lawyer, tell him or write him a civil note without calling him ugly names and tell him you need an answer from him not his associate.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    If you are unhappy with your attorney you may always seek a second opinion. Many attorneys use others to assist them in handling a case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Law Offices of Mark West
    Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
    It is very typical for attorneys to use their associates to handle appearances and depositions. In California you can change your attorney when you are dissatisfied. The current attorney can agree and the new one will substitute in, but the current attorney may assert a lien against any recovery for the reasonable value of his services rendered.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    It is not unusual for a firm to send another representative to court at times. However, you ultimately must feel comfortable with your representation. If you don't have confidence in the attorneys that are showing up, you should discuss this with the law firm. You are certainly free to change attorneys at any time if you wish. Attorneys are no different from plumbers or electricians or any other service business. You must be happy with the service! As for how long things take, every case is unique, so without more detail about your particular circumstances, it is impossible to answer.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    When you hire a lawyer you hire his entire firm. If you feel that he is not returning calls or giving you attention you should fire him and get another lawyer. It should not delay the process any significant way.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    It's a business decision for the lawyer. They should let you know up front, though, if someone else in the firm is going to handle the case. Comp cases typically take anywhere from 6-18 months to resolve. Sometimes, it's even longer, depending on the issues. Generally speaking, if you change lawyers, it will slow things down even further.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    I always spend at least an hour with every new client. What we do as lawyers is provide a personal service to our clients, so I think it's absolutely essential to have client contact with my clients. I spent an hour and a half with a new client yesterday, just talking about our families. After an hour, he asked me "don't you want to know about my case?" and I told him "in due time, but I want to know who I am representing and I want YOU to know who is representing you." He had been represented by a big advertising firm, and he told me he had never even met his lawyer. I thought that was very sad, as how can you provide good representation to someone without having any kind of knowledge about them as a person. You have the right to discharge your lawyer at any time, and in some instances they can assert a lien against your file. However, if they have never personally attended any hearing or any deposition, and wouldn't personally return your telephone calls, I can't imagine a judge awarding him much of a fee. Send the guy a letter discharging him, and then take your file to another attorney and get more personal representation, and representation from a lawyer who just doesn't hand your case off to other people to do his work for him.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera, LLC
    Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera, LLC | Laura Lanzisera
    It really depends on the facts of your claim. You should try and talk to your attorney. If you are still not satisfied, you can always change attorneys. You might have a delay for the new attorney to prepare, however, depending on when your hearing is scheduled.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Underwood & Riemer, P.C.
    Underwood & Riemer, P.C. | James D. Patterson
    There are always circumstances in which a lawyer may not be immediately available to answer your questions at the time you ask. Certainly happens to me all the time. However, an attorney should return your phone calls as soon as possible or be available to speak with you directly at some point during the representation. If you are not satisfied with your representation, you need to seek new counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    That is how some law firms operate, the senior attorney running the office and taking in new clients and the associates handling the courtroom appearances. The system has its flaws, as you are experience, but it has its advantages also. Yes, changing lawyers could make the case take longer, but not necessarily. How long a case lasts depends on many factors. The decision as to whether you go back to work is a medical determination, not a legal choice. If your doctor says you are able to go back to work, then that's what you do. You also follow your doctor's advice if he/she says you can't go back to work, or if you can work but only with restrictions. If you can go back to work but you don't then that hurts your case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
    Attorneys frequently send their partners and associates to attend hearings on their behalf due to conflicts. If this is unacceptable to you, then you need to tell the attorney your expectations. If he/she disagrees, then you can make a decision whether or not to retain another attorney. I cannot tell from the information provided whether your case will be delayed by hiring another attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/19/2013
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