When you need legal assistance, you want to rest assured that your attorney is skilled at practicing law. While most attorneys go above and beyond for their clients, the fact remains that some lawyers offer subpar assistance, which can lead to negative outcomes for their cases. If you're currently searching for an attorney, USA Today recommends looking for the following red flags.
All attorneys are beholden to a code of ethics. When this code is ignored, there can be very serious consequences for both the attorney and the client. For instance, lying on the stand can easily lead to a charge of perjury, which may carry a jail sentence. A lawyer that encourages a client to lie is displaying a serious lapse when it comes to ethics. In fact, most attorneys who offer such advice end up being disbarred and unable to practice law.
While you shouldn't base your decision regarding an attorney solely on pricing, you should be wary of any lawyer that bills for unexplained charges. Billing should be transparent and fair, and all client questions should be answered to your satisfaction. Be sure to read pricing agreements thoroughly so you can rest assured that you're receiving fair treatment.
Communication is also important. You should be able to contact your attorney doing your case when you need clarification. If you leave a message, you should receive a timely response. You should also make sure that your attorney's preferred method of communication matches your needs. For example, if your attorney prefers text or email, make sure this works for you. A lack of communication can be damaging to your case, especially if you show up to your trial completely unprepared.