When you feel that your attorney is putting off your case and isn't listening to your concerns, you should make that known. However, the way you do so can affect your chances of a claim later. If you plan to complain about the way your attorney is acting or want to be able to show that they are not taking your case seriously, you need to keep records.
Good recordkeeping is one of the only ways you'll be able to prove to a judge that your attorney violated their responsibilities and hurt your case. Here are a few things you can do to build a strong case.
1. Make good-faith efforts to get in touch
You need to do all you can to get in touch, but record when you do. For example, if you call the firm on your cellphone, note the day and time. Those records can later be pulled, too. If you send a letter, get it certified and make sure they sign for the delivery. This guarantees that you can show that it was sent, delivered and received. If you send emails, keep copies on hand for your new attorney to review.
2. Try to avoid phone conversations without a recorded line
Federal law allows for one-party consent of phone calls. What this means is that as long as one of the two parties consents to being recorded, it's legal to do so. If you want to be more secure in your choice to record the conversation, place it on a recording and advise the caller that the line is being recorded.
Keeping recordings is a good idea, because otherwise, there would be nothing but hearsay to back up your claims of what an attorney or their colleagues said or did while talking to you.
3. Show your losses
Finally, know when it's time to leave that attorney and find another. If your case can't be tried because of the attorney's actions or their incompetence led to your case losing, you may have a case against them. Collect information on your losses to submit with your claims.
If there are deadlines that are too close for comfort, you can seek additional help elsewhere and still seek out assistance in filing a legal malpractice claim later. You will be able to show that the other party did not do what they were contracted to do in most cases, and your new attorney can help you with that malpractice case.