There are a variety of reasons your lawyer may not communicate with you. In my opinion, none of them are acceptable. If your lawyer does not talk to you – you have to do something to try to change it. Some of the reasons lawyers don’t talk to their clients are: The client calls the office too much and therefore has become a pain or difficult client, the client is represented by the public defender and they are just too busy, the client is in jail and it is too inconvenient to go see him/her or he/she is the lawyer and in essence just sit down – shut up and do what I say!
The lawyer works for you! He/she is your employee. It is your case, your life, your freedom.
If you cannot change the communication issue you may need to try to get a different lawyer.
Before I make a few suggestions the other thing that is important is office secretaries and paralegals are not your lawyer and they should not be the only people you talk to about your case.
- Document your phone calls by time and date and if you left a message on a machine or in person.
- Send certified return receipt letters asking to talk to the lawyer
- If the lawyer is in a firm or PD office, contact more senior lawyers or supervisors with the above documentation.
- Finally, if represented by PD and nothing else works, you may need to write a letter to the judge but DO NOT DISCUSS DETAILS OR DEFENSES IN YOUR CASE. Just your complaints and efforts to correct and ask for a different lawyer to be appointed to represent you.
- Hire a different lawyer.
I have been hired often to run go between until the lawyer comes around with logic and reason that they are doing a disservice to the client. As a trial consultant I wear many hats and communicating with stubborn lawyers happens to be one!