This is always a tough situation for clients who have paid an attorney to represent them.
Let me start by saying that I have practiced in this area for quite a while, and almost all of the attorneys in this area are decent people who provide a good service for their clients. However, there are times when someone may hire an attorney and the two personalities just don’t match.
What happens when the attorney that you paid several thousand dollars to, let’s say to represent you in a criminal case, doesn’t return your phone calls?
There are a couple reasons why this might be happening. First, who is the attorney you are dealing with? When you hired the attorney did they have a good reputation and good reviews? Did somebody else recommend them to you? Or, did you hire them because they had the cheapest price?
Sometimes, clients do need to realize that nothing may be happening with their case at the moment. This is not uncommon or unexpected. There is still no excuse for your attorney, or at least someone from the office to call you back and answer your questions.
When your attorney won’t call you back, try this.
Try sending an email. Many times you can go online to the state bar’s member directory and find an email address for your attorney. In South Carolina, many counties have a website which lists all the contact information for attorneys. Sometimes it’s easier for the attorney to answer an email if the attorney is in court, between meetings, or even at home.
Try setting up an appointment. Call the office and speak with the assistant. The assistant should be able to bring up the attorney’s calendar and schedule an appointment for you to come in. If they don’t want to schedule an appointment, remind them that you did pay for representation and that you have some questions that you would like to have answered.
If the attorney still refuses to call you back, won’t respond to emails, and won’t schedule an appointment, you always have the option to find someone else. There are plenty of attorneys out there who do the type of work that you’re looking for.
Tell the office that you want to get a copy of your file. The file belongs to you anyway, and it is not contingent on whether you owe them money or otherwise. If you can’t schedule an appointment to meet with the attorney, arrange for a reasonable time to come in and pick up your file.
Unfortunately, it may cost you a little more, but you can certainly find someone to provide you with quality representation.