Help! My lawyer won't answer my calls or e-mails!
One of the most frequent complaints from clients about their attorneys is lack of communication. Many people hire an attorney only to find that once their money is paid, it becomes impossible to get information about their case. Here is what you need to know about your attorney's duty to communicate with you.
In Florida, attorneys are governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct. These rules are created by the Florida bar and are guidelines which must be followed by all practicing attorneys in the state. There is a special rule regarding client communication that you need to be aware of.
Rule 4-1.4 states the following:
(a) Informing Client of Status of Representation. A lawyer shall: (1) promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the client's
informed consent, as defined in terminology, is required by these rules; (2) reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client's objectives are to be
accomplished; (3) keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter; (4) promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and (5) consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer's conduct when the lawyer
knows or reasonably should know that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules
of Professional Conduct or other law.
(b) Duty to Explain Matters to Client. A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably
necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.
This rule means your attorney MUST promptly and reasonably communicate with you regarding your case. If you have left countless unreturned voice mails or sent e-mails with no response, your attorney may be in violation of the ethical rules. If the problem is agregious and you have tried to discuss the issue with your attorney to no avail, you can reach out to the Florida bar to file a formal complaint. Click here for information regarding attorney discipline.
At the Hebert Law Group we understand the client's need to be well informed regarding their case. We work hard to ensure we are available to our clients during their most difficult times. If you have been charged with a crime and need representation, call us today at 727-573-2622 and schedule a free, 1 hour consultation.