Attorney Fails to Respond: What Steps Should You Take

You should follow certain steps if your attorney fails to respond as it is frustrating when a seemingly attentive attorney from the initial consultation suddenly becomes unresponsive or disappears.

What Steps Should You Take if Your Attorney Fails to Respond
What Steps Should You Take if Your Attorney Fails to Respond. Source (Reddit)

These are some of the steps you should consider if your attorney fails to respond:

Verify your attorney’s contact details.

Confirm your attorney’s contact info: email, phone, and office address.

Outdated info can lead to communication issues.

Send a follow-up email.

No response in 3 days? Send a follow-up email requesting a case update and expected response time.

Consider texting as an alternative.

Some attorneys struggle with email and phone responses, especially if they’re frequently out of the office. Using their cell number for a quick text can yield faster replies.

Contact your attorney’s office by phone.

If the attorney fails to respond after a follow-up email, call the attorney’s office.

Request an update, and if needed, speak with the attorney’s assistant or paralegal. Mention the lack of response; assistants help prioritize and remind attorneys to reply.

Establish a deadline for receiving an email or call back.

Set a deadline and explain its importance for a faster attorney response. Attorneys prioritize tasks, so specifying a time can help.

Schedule a meeting.

If your attorney fails to respond to emails, schedule an in-person, phone, or Zoom meeting to discuss your case.

Appointments secure a chance to address concerns promptly, providing effective communication.

In-person meetings offer face-to-face interaction, especially for complex matters, while phone or Zoom options are suitable alternatives.

Think about switching attorneys.

If all else fails, contemplate switching lawyers. Collaborating with a responsive and communicative attorney is crucial.

Attorneys are ethically obligated to communicate with their clients.

Lawyers must promptly respond to client inquiries and keep them informed per ethical rules like the ABA’s Model Rules.

Neglecting this duty can lead to disciplinary action, including license suspension or disbarment.

Should You File an Ethics Complaint Against Your Attorney?

If your lawyer fails to respond to your communications, consider filing a state bar complaint.

Such complaints can strain trust and communication in the attorney-client relationship.

Attorneys must respond and provide evidence in defense. The bar association reviews and may investigate.

Violations can lead to disciplinary action. Filing a complaint can result in attorney withdrawal from the case.


Is It Common for Attorneys to Fail to Respond to Emails and Calls?

It’s unprofessional and unethical for attorneys to ignore emails and calls; they must communicate and respond promptly per their ethical duty.

What’s the Expected Email Response Time for an Attorney?

No fixed email response time; “prompt” depends on circumstances and urgency.

Attorneys must ethically respond almost immediately. Clients expect a response within days; urgency demands quicker replies.

Persistent failure to respond by the attorney suggests ethical duty neglect .

It is frustrating when your attorney fails to respond immediately. Be proactive, follow up, and ensure timely resolution. Advocate for your needs, and if needed, consider changing to a more responsive lawyer.