A reader asked what she can do to get her lawyer to return phone calls.
I've never really understood why so many attorneys seem to have this problem. It's as if they don't actually want to have clients. And even if you are busy, it's not hard to return a phone call or e-mail within 24 hours. In the worst case scenario you can have your clerk or secretary do it.
Yet lack of return phone calls is by far the #1 complaint against attorneys in Chicago. It creates bad feelings and can often derail a case. So if your lawyer won't call you back, what should you do? Here are some suggestions:
1. Keep calling. Politely advise how many times you have called.
2. Ask to schedule an appointment and if you can't get one, show up. Not in a confrontational way, but in a what the hell is going on manner. If they ask why you showed up, let them know how many messages you have left. If you get a meeting use it to set expectations for the future from them and you.
3. If all else fails, start looking for a new attorney. You don't want to switch, but it happens all of the time. It's better to jump ship before it's too late and if you are looking for a new attorney your bad experience should at least guide you what to look for in a new one.
All this said, keep in mind that the legal process is usually a marathon, not a sprint. That is no reason for your attorney to ignore you, but don't let frustration over how long the process takes taint your relationship with your law firm.
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