Most Frequent Complaints About Other Lawyers
Wont return phone calls. Ive had this one leveled against me once. This happened after about two months of not getting a cost deposit and when I checked my records I found I had e-mailed the parties back at 10 P.M after receiving a message at about 8 P.M. This resulted in me asking them to get another attorney, everyone knows setting up conference calls is tricky.
What is a reasonable response rate for a Memphis lawyer. If you call in the morning 80% of the time you should be called back the next day, especially with solo practitioner who are frequently out of office, which is the reason you should never expect a solo to call you back the same day unless clearly an emergency and they would be justified in calling you at eight at night. Occasionally, it will take a few days to call you back. The rule is after three days call the lawyer again. Were lawyers not organizational geniuses.
2.Wont do what I say. This ones a nasty one. Youre okay with what the other side agrees to but the lawyer just wont take the offer. Keeps telling you you can do better. Then when you dont agree to the expensive rabbit hunt all of a sudden problem one occurs and you cant close the case out. The quick solution is to ask for the bar number and threaten to report the attorney. This one is absolutely inexcusable.
3.Not fast enough. Leveled against me before. Frequently heard and frequently incorrect. Virtually every lawyer has an internal clock. Your case is most important to you. It probably isnt to me. If you have a two month old debt collection with no statue of limitation issue Im going to push it in favor of a child custody that needs attention. The fees charged will reflect this too. Ill ask for a higher retainer on a non-urgent litigation then on a child custody I think will need the same amount of work.
Most major work product should be done within about a month of when I say Ill get it done. Sometimes weeks sooner too. Past a week call me to check on it. Those get prioritized. If I get the feeling you dont care about your case I wont care a lot either, but dont be nasty I pencil shave the bills of clients I like all the time and stay up until two in the morning if I have too. Its all about the magical random slack time. This is lighting fast in Memphis Lawyer time. I have opposing counsel months behind on all sorts of stuff.
4.Theyre an idiot! Maybe, maybe not. I encounter a lot of idiots. Frighteningly enough, it doesnt seem to harm a lot of reputations or sometimes effectiveness. Sometimes the lawyers dont listen. They should explain the law and how it applies to your situation. If think they are speaking in gibberish they might just be spouting vaguely remembered legal terms from law school. You might not be able to follow the reasoning but you should see analysis. Ask how if something was different how it would change the situation. Theres no cure besides a new lawyer if they really are an idiot though. Beware each change increases the difficulty and cost of getting a new lawyer.