News spreads like wildfire in today’s day and age, and most people with a smartphone never really feel out of the loop. So if you find yourself in a sticky situation with the law and you hire an attorney, you may be expecting daily or regular updates about your case. This can leave people feeling ignored if they go weeks without hearing from someone they’ve hired to handle their criminal case. However, in most cases, you’re lawyer isn’t ignoring you, they’re actually working in your best interest. In today’s blog, we explain why your lawyer isn’t updating you on your case, and what you can do about it if you want more frequent communication.
Is My Lawyer Ignoring Me?
There are a number of reasons why you may have gone days or even weeks without hearing from your lawyer. We’ll dive into those reasons in a minute, but before we do, we want to explore the cost of an attorney. When you hire a criminal defense lawyer, you will be charged for what’s known as “billable time.” Billable time is any time that is spent working on your case. Collecting witness statements, reviewing police reports, developing a defense and yes, providing updates to the client are all considered billable time. So every time your lawyer calls you, texts you or emails you, it’s going to come out of your pocket.
Now, these updates may only take a few minutes, so it’s unlikely it will run you much of a bill at all, but if you wanted a daily email update, and that email takes five minutes, that adds up pretty quickly. Excessive updates can add hundreds of dollars to your final bill. So in most cases, your lawyer isn’t providing you with updates because they assume you don’t want to be billed for non-essential information.
Other reasons they aren’t contacting you about your case include:
No New Updates – Again, if nothing has changed in the status of your case, there’s no real need to update you.
No Upcoming Deadlines – If your court date isn’t for a month, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from your lawyer until a couple days before your scheduled appearance. This is again about respecting your time and money.
Unclear Update Instructions – One thing we always like to clarify during our free case review is how often you would like to be contacted should you hire us on as representation. We assume you want as few updates as possible and to only contact you for major changes, but if you would like more frequent updates, just let us know that and we’d be more than happy to stay in touch more frequently.
Best Way To Reach Them – Another thing we always discuss when taking on new clients is how to best reach us in case you need to contact us. We’re not always in the office, but we’re happy to provide you with our cell phone number so you can have a direct line to us. We can’t guarantee we’ll answer every call, but if you leave a message or shoot us a text, we will always get back to you as soon as possible.
You Aren’t The Client – Finally, one other reason we sometimes run into is that you aren’t getting updates because you aren’t actually the client. If your son or daughter is the client, we have attorney-client privilege with them, even if you are helping finance their legal representation. If the actual client would like you to have updates, we’d be happy to provide them, but the choice is there’s to make.
We always try to make communication the least stressful part of your case, so if you’re fed up with how you’re being treated by another firm, reach out to Appelman Law Firm to handle all aspects of your case.