Schwartz & Ponterio, PLLC holds lawyers responsible for legal malpractice.

Missing a deadline is not acceptable behavior for attorneys

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2018 | Legal Malpractice

No client wants to find out that they’re not going to be able to sue or move forward with a case because of mistakes their attorney made. Attorneys have an education in law and should, at the very least, know how long they have to submit documents. Missing deadlines can be costly and even lead to the loss of a case.

Missing a deadline significantly lowers your chance to win a case. Even if you can resubmit documents and start the case over, that means more expenses. There are deadlines for literally every part of your case, so your attorney needs to stay on top of those deadlines to make sure you can have your time in court.

What should you do when you’re concerned about your attorney making errors?

The first thing to do is not to let it get out of control. If your attorney misses an arbitrary deadline, make it known that you recognize the mistake and won’t take it lightly. At the first sign of simple errors, you may want to consult with another attorney.

Even if you can still proceed with your case, it means that you will have less time to do so and have to start over. In some cases, you’ll have to start over completely from the beginning if a deadline is missed, which means more filing fees and other expenses.

If your attorney has not yet made errors but communication is slow, it’s within your rights to remind them of deadlines or seek updates as deadlines approach. For example, your attorney may have explained that there was a statute of limitations on your case. If so, then you’ll know when the deadline is approaching.

You can call, send a letter or send an email asking for an update on the submission of important documents. If you don’t hear back in a few business days, try again. If you still hear nothing, it’s best to turn to another attorney for help. Attorneys have a responsibility to be responsive to clients, so there is no excuse for waiting weeks for responses.

You should never have to worry about an attorney missing deadlines. It’s their job to make sure you get your day in court. If your attorney misses a deadline, don’t think all is lost. Sometimes, courts will make exceptions. In other situations, you can sue the attorney for the losses you’ve suffered.