10 Signs of a Bad Attorney

Searching for a lawyer can be stressful, with a lot of uncertainties about how to begin and how to avoid hiring a bad attorney. There are signs, however, that may indicate when a particular attorney is not right for your case.

  1. Poor communication. The way a client is to correspond with an injury lawyer should be established from the start. Does the attorney prefer contact through email or a telephone call? When messages are ignored or it seems to take an extremely long time to call back or respond, this may not be a good sign. Another way that communication might be inadequate is when a client isn’t receiving updates on the case.
  2. The attorney demonstrates incompetence. It is important to hire a lawyer who has experience in the practice area specific to the case. Mistakes may be made, but when they are unreasonable and result in a case possibly being lost, the client needs to start considering alternate lawyer options. Incompetency might be demonstrated through a lack of skills but it may also be evident through a lack of organization. If you notice poor organization that could harm the case, the search for a lawyer should continue.
  3. Lack of ethics. This may indicate a bad attorney in a variety of ways, such as creating false evidence or obtaining a false witness. When a lawyer is only interested in collecting a fee, the lawyer may show little or no regard for the client’s situation. Charging Issues, Lack of Effort, Missing Deadlines, and False Promises.
  4. The attorney is dishonest about fees or overcharges. Getting a fee schedule in writing might help, but a bad attorney may intentionally take much longer to accomplish a task than is necessary. Other examples of dishonesty about fees are hidden costs or failing to mention that most of the work is being done by someone else (such as a legal secretary or paralegal).
  5. Lack of effort, interest or time spent on the case should raise a red flag. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as taking on too many cases at a time or the lawyer doesn’t feel there is any chance of winning the case and perhaps should not have taken it in the first place.
  6. Attorney misses deadlines, court dates or appointments. Of course, these things can happen, but when they occur on a regular basis, with no explanation and little regard for it, this may indicate a serious problem and may be an indication that one should restart the search for a lawyer.
  7. One who makes false promises or guarantees. As good as a case might look, no lawyer can promise that a client will win. There isn’t a way to know for sure how much the claimant will end up recovering in a final settlement or judgment.
  8. Lack of a license to practice law. Always check into this before hiring a lawyer. Never assume that an advertisement or an office means the person is licensed to practice.
  9. Asking for references. If the attorney can’t provide references, look elsewhere. By first checking on the experience others have had with the lawyer, it could avoid going into a troubling situation with a bad attorney. When an attorney is unwilling to share references and testimonials from past clients, it may not be a good sign.
  10. Attorney is difficult to work with. If this is the case, you shouldn’t feel bad about switching representation. If he/she has a terrible attitude, is rude or verbally abusive, this could make working together more stressful than it should be, and may indicate that one should restart the search for a lawyer.

Remember these tips to avoid a bad attorney when going on consultations with attorneys or if suspecting a current lawyer may not be the right fit for the case. Those searching for a lawyer can call Bressman Law at 877-538-1116 or 877-538-1116 to set up a free consultation to discuss their case.