Most legal malpractice cases stem from an attorney’s failure to communicate with their client. Even if the client isn’t completely aware of how the proceedings should go, that doesn’t excuse their lawyers from not updating them on crucial developments. With how much is at stake in these scenarios and how much clients are paying an attorney, they deserve to know about any major pending changes to the case.
Unfortunately, some lawyers go so far as to delay telling their clients that they will no longer provide services to them either due to case circumstances or personal reasons. These delays can result in several consequences that the client will have a difficult time in recovering from.
The State Bar of California recently disbarred a Los Angeles attorney for multiple violations in a single client matter. Despite being given plenty of time to respond to court-ordered discovery on the case, he failed to do so and did not oppose a motion for summary judgement and a motion to dismiss, which ultimately cost him the lawsuit. Despite these significant developments, the records also state that the lawyer did not inform his client that the superior court dismissed the lawsuit.
A San Francisco attorney is also facing some legal trouble after not letting his clients know about his upcoming suspension within the required time period. While he was aware he had to let all active clients know about it, he was unaware of the deadline and did not inform two of his clients before the due date. This mistake resulted in further penalties on his suspension.
How can it hurt the client?
Clients that don’t receive updates about the case or their attorney’s services in a timely manner could end up losing a lot. If the case is still ongoing even though the attorney is no longer a part of it, the client needs time to explore further legal options. A lawyer should not leave their clients in the dark once the case or their services end.
Attorneys should realize by now how essential client communication is to their positions. If you suffer financially for your lawyer’s failure to inform you about critical developments, contact someone who has experience dealing with these difficult legal situations.