Attorneys are notoriously difficult to get in touch with and the successful and busy ones even more so. So here is a list of dos and don’ts if you are having difficulty.
1. Be patient. This sounds simple but calling 3-5 times does not make the return call any quicker. From the attorney point of view, if everyone called 5 times, it would take five times as long to return everyone’s call.
2. Schedule. It may be difficult to get a hold of the attorney, but generally you can speak with a secretary, receptionist or paralegal. Tell that person that you are having difficulty and need to schedule a meeting or phone consultation. Once you are on the book, your chances are probably near 100% that the conversation can occur.
3. Ask the Paralegal. Similar to #2, the paralegal for the attorney often has great insight into your case and can answer most questions. Sure, some are better saved for the attorney, but others can be answered, handled and even resolved by the paralegal and often at a greatly reduced fee.
4. Discuss with the attorney their caseload and how they prioritize. If I explain that I’ll get to your post decree issue later, that a client is facing 20 years in prison this week, most clients can and do understand.
A. Do not call repeatedly and leave multiple messages. This ties up the time available to return calls.
B. Do not call another attorney seeking free advice. The attorney handling your case knows about your case. If you seek free advice, you often get what you pay for.
C. Do not immediately change attorneys and give up. You chose this attorney because of their skill, experience among other things. If you want a new attorney who will text you back and immediately take all calls, then hire that attorney from the onset. If you want an attorney with a track record and busy clientele, you may have to occasionally wait.
If problems persist, discuss your concerns and set out expectations of both the attorney and the client. Most often, a compromise can be reached where the client knows that their problems are being addressed and concerns are handled in a timely and efficient manner.