It’s rare that anyone really WANTS to be involved in legal action. For the vast majority of folks, being a party in a law suit is extremely stressful and expensive. Of course, most of the expense involved in legal proceedings is the cost of legal fees paid to attorneys, but your attorney shouldn’t be a source of stress too. Your lawyer should be your advocate and work to get you the legal results you desire. Since most people avoid legal proceedings whenever possible, it’s fair to assume, for many people, they have only hired one lawyer in their lives. So how would they know if their lawyer is a good one? How do you know if you need to find a new lawyer? This three part blog series will discuss three questions to ask to determine if you need a new lawyer. (If you want just the basics of this three part series, click here.) For a discussion of 5 ways to find the family lawyer that’s right for you, click here.)
Where is my lawyer?
You are at the courthouse. You are on time. You have located the proper courtroom, and you are sitting outside of it. Your opponent is there too, and he is chatting with his lawyer. Where is your lawyer? Why is he or she not here yet? Why is your lawyer not talking to you like opposing counsel is talking to his client?
Many lawyers may have a couple (or three or four) court settings on any given day, and your case is but one of those, so your lawyer may be doing what she is supposed to do, just in a different court for a different client.
The problem is that you should have been made aware of your lawyer’s schedule. Your lawyer should have informed you that she would be there working on another matter before getting to you. Or your lawyer could have checked in with you as you sit on the bench to let you know she is here, and would be with you shortly. You should not be “out of the loop” in your own case.
What if your lawyer doesn’t show up at all? While this is extremely rare, in a recent case the lawyer on the other side failed to show up at all for a big hearing, so we know it does happen. Everyone has emergencies, so it’s possible your lawyer is very sick, or had some sort of emergency. However, when your lawyer knows he can’t be at your hearing, you should also know because he should inform you. It is also common practice for lawyers to find another competent lawyer to stand in on your hearing to make sure the case isn’t seriously damaged by his just because your regular attorney is absent. Again, your lawyer should make you aware of the situation so you are expecting a stand-in attorney to show up for you.
If you are at court and you can’t find your lawyer, that’s a sign that your lawyer may not appreciate the mental and emotional state you are in. If you feel “out of the loop” in your own case, perhaps a different lawyer would take you and your matter more seriously and respect your mental and emotional state. If your lawyer fails to show up at a hearing, doesn’t notify you that he is going to miss, and doesn’t coordinate a competent stand-in attorney for you, you need a new lawyer.
Youngblood Law, PLLC is a Fort Worth, Texas family law firm focusing on helping working people live the life they WANT to live through divorce and beyond. This essay is intended for educational use only, and is not a replacement for competent legal counsel. If you are facing a family law matter, we recommend obtaining competent legal counsel like Youngblood Law, PLLC. For more information contact us at 817-601-5345, find us on the web at www.youngblood-law.com, or on your mobile device, open your browser and type in lawfw.biz and press Go. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/youngbloodlawPLLC/