The most important aspect to the attorney client relationship is to NEVER forget YOU are the boss. Below are some of the most common issues that far too often occur when working with your attorney in dealing with your legal matters.
Unresponsiveness - When telephone messages or emails are repeatedly ignored or you do not receive a response within a reasonable time, assume one of two things: 1. Your attorney is too busy to give proper attention to your case, 2. The attorney does not care about you nor your case.
Excessive Billing - Bills for legal services that seem unreasonably high may be a red flag that you are being overcharged or charge for services not actually performed. Signs of excessive billing include charging for attempted phone calls, charging for every contact regardless of the content or length of the communication. Some attorneys bill for time spent by support staff taking messages or making photo copies. Check billing statements for accuracy and reasonableness.
Clueless of the Specifics of your Case - While many legal issues are similar, no two cases are identical. Attorneys have an ethical obligation to appreciate and understand the specifics of each case. When you are asked the same questions repeatedly, chances are your attorney does not have a grasp on your individual needs.
Unversed about Local Court Practices and Procedures - Every jurisdiction has unique procedural nuances. Unfamiliarity with local practices and procedures suggests limited experience.
Lacks Compassion - In all likelihood, your case is not the only matter your attorney is working on. However, you should be treated as more than a case file number. There should be a showing of compassion.
Inappropriate Emotional Investment - There is a fine line between empathy and becoming emotionally invested. Attorneys should never cross the line. Be wary if your attorney behaves as though they are a party to the legal action.
Condescending - While you may be unfamiliar with the legalities of your situation, you should not be spoken to or treated in a condescending manner. Be aware of the manner in which your attorney interacts with you. Being treated in a rude or condescending manner is never appropriate.
Bullying - During the legal process numerous life altering decision are made. Many of these decisions will affect you for a very long time to come. Although improper and wrong, some unscrupulous attorneys bully or shame clients into making decisions, decisions which are often wrong. Don't fall prey to this tactic, decisions you make during the legal process will have long term affects and consequences.
Antagonistic toward Opposing Counsel - Opposing counsel will invariably disagree and often become quite contentious. However, when disagreements escalate and become personal between the attorneys the focus shifts away from the clients. Attorneys should put their personal differences aside and keep the focus on the clients.
Lacks Candor - Attorneys are obligated to present and discuss all reasonable settlement proposals received from the opposition. As a way to drag the process out and keep a fee clock ticking, some attorneys will without consulting the client, unilaterally refuse offers of settlement.
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We at BarComplaint.com are going to let the reader in on a little known secret, filing an “official” bar complaint against a licensed attorney with your State’s Bar Association will likely produce absolutely NOTHING in the way of meaningful discipline. The unfortunate reality is the premise that a State Bar is an organization made available for the benefit of the citizenry to inform and protect them from unscrupulous legal practices of member attorneys licensed to practice law in your state is a FALLACY. An illusion of deception to lull the general public into the belief that there is consequential oversight against attorneys who abuse their experience, knowledge and education of the judicial system to take advantage, defraud, harass, deceive and/or lie to their clients and/or the general public. A simple review of the hard to get data, only available with tenacity, bears this to be FACTUALLY based opinion.
The numbers provide a stark reality check of what actually occurs when a person files a complaint with their State Bar Association. Of course, the raw data is NOT made readily available by the various State Bar Associations when asking simple relevant questions such as: a) how many complaints were filed in the state last year, b) how many complaints led to an official reprimand last year, c) how many attorneys had their license suspended or revoked last year due to a complaint, d) what was the average time frame required to receive an answer to a complaint, and e) what is the State Bar hiding with such non-transparency being provided to the general public.
When researching for the data to such basic inquiries, the answers that are found that applies to all the states in the country, is any form of discipline to an attorney is shockingly ridiculously low – as in under 4% for reprimands and LESS THAN HALF OF 1% for a suspension or revocation. This demands an answer to how can such abysmal numbers be possible? When it comes to lawyers, is there some kind of mass hysteria that would create 96% of Bar Complaints to be false and/or fabricated allegations against the apparently honest and ethical licensed attorney who are so unfairly attacked by dishonest and/or ignorant clients who just do not understand the law. OR, does it have something to do with the FACT that the State Bar is operated by lawyers (“bar counsel”), oversight is conducted by licensed attorneys, discipline authority is generally granted by the State’s Judicial branch that exclusively consist of judges who were previously practicing attorneys, and in most states, the State Bar conveys as a positive aspect of the organization structure is that no public funds are required because it is funded by the membership fees of the licensed attorneys. THE STATE BAR DISCIPLINARY PROCESS IS FINANCED EXCLUSIVELY BY THE ATTORNEYS WHO MAY COME UNDER REVIEW. Does the concept of a possible conflict of interest come to mind? Is it possible the attorneys have set up this rigged self-serving and self-regulating system to PROTECT THEMSELVES? Is it possible this system is intentionally designed to avoid at all cost a system of independent oversight from a government agency that would be empowered to actually protect the interest of the community at large fairly and with an unbiased review process? Do you think – a possibility - what a unique concept?
The UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH is the official bar complaint process is rigged against YOU. A process that is by lawyers – for lawyers – lawyer financed – lawyer governance - NOT IN YOUR INTEREST. It is the purpose of BarComplaint.com to offer an alternative to YOU, the general public who have been the victims of misconduct by an attorney. No, there is no regulatory option to discipline an attorney offered here. There is the opportunity for you to strike back in a meaningful manner with your VOICE. Tell your story. Exercising you First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and telling your truthful story to others in a social media outlet designed as a forum BY THE PEOPLE - FOR THE PEOPLE. You can share your truthful experience with others as a civic duty to get the word out about these “licensed” miscreants who all too often are easily able to “get away with it.” Tell your story – share your story – get your story on the Internet so the TRUTH may be known. You may not be able to see the rightful suspension of an attorney who wronged you – but you can warn others and let it be known who the unscrupulous attorneys are in your community. Hit them back where it hurts the most, in exposing TRUTHFUL knowledge of their business practices which will affect them in what they care about most of all – their reputations and possibly their pocketbook.
BARCOMPLAINT.COM is for you, the “little people” to take charge by expressing and sharing your experiences. We are an online platform designed to utilize the power of social media to get the word out. Exercise your constitutionally protected right to speak your mind – and for others to hear you. The “shady” attorneys use the judicial system to their advantage of experience and knowledge to intimidate and scare you into silence with State Bar’s discipline only offering the illusion of oversight – the Internet can be your vehicle in an open and balanced forum to strike back. Post your story today.