Dealing with legal situation is never easy. The legal system is frightening – it is a process we do not understand, with rules of evidence, procedure and nuanced hearings. It is nothing like the television shows or movies and it feels overwhelming even to the strongest person.
The outcome is never certain. So, we rely on our attorneys to navigate it, and to explain it to us. We must completely trust them and, as such, the American Bar Association has outlined strict rules that every attorney must follow.
What is diligence?
One of the biggest complaints clients report regarding attorneys is their lack of response: unreturned phone calls are the number one reason client’ get frustrated with their lawyers. Is this a reason to sue your attorney? No.
But diligence is expected. Dictionary.com defines diligence as “constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.” What does that mean for you, the client?
You can, and in fact should, expect your attorney to work on your case with care, detail and effort. Your attorney cannot miss critical deadlines for motions or hearings. He must make every effort to obtain all documents and evidence that helps your case, including deposing witnesses and preparing them for trial.
In short, your attorney must make every reasonable effort possible to make present your case as effectively and expeditiously as possible.
No attorney is perfect and most do their best for their clients. In the event, however, that you have concerns about your attorney’s commitment to you and your case, or believe your attorney adversely affected your case’s outcome, contact a skilled legal malpractice attorney. He can assess your case and appropriately advise you.