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- I know he is a good attorney, but I hate that my my phone calls and emails are not responded to in a timely fashion.
- My attorney never returns my phone calls.
- I sent an email two days ago and I have yet to receive a response.
As the manager of the Russo Law Group, I understand your dissatisfaction. I would like to offer you some helpful tips for maintaining a successful relationship with your attorney. Please note that my suggestions are in no way intended to defend an attorney who does not return phone calls and emails.
- Ask your attorney, “What is the best way to communicate?”
The attorney should also be asking you about your preferred method of communication. Is it by phone or email? Is there a particular time of day that you are available? Is there a certain time of day the attorney is more readily available?
A Helpful Tip: When you retain the attorney, you should clarify how you will be communicating and what the next step is. For example: will the attorney be contacting you; in what manner; and in what time frame?
- Ask your attorney for a general timeframe when responding to a phone message or email.
The attorney should be proactive and provide you with this information. For example, does the attorney offer to return calls or emails within 24 hours? Depending upon your matter and the urgency of the communication, this would be an acceptable response time.
A Helpful Tip: When leaving a phone message for the attorney, let the attorney know your availability for a return call. Also, let the attorney know what your expectation is as to the response time for returning the call. The same applies for replying to an email.
Another Helpful Tip: Let the attorney know the urgency of your matter. The exercise of good judgment here is important.
- Ask your attorney how he works. What is his approach to returning calls and responding to emails?
You and your attorney should be on the same page. Is it better to leave a voicemail message for the attorney or speak to the attorney’s legal assistant?
A Helpful Tip: It may be more cost effective for you to ask your questions of the legal assistant who may be able to address your concerns immediately and at a lesser cost.
Another Helpful Tip: If you send an email and it is urgent, you may want to call the attorney or the legal assistant as well. Attorneys are in inundated with emails, and depending upon the attorney’s practice, may spend a significant amount of time in court or meetings.
The Bottom Line: You did not hire the attorney because you want to hate them. On the contrary, you retained the attorney because you want their assistance and expertise. The key is to address the channels of communication at the onset and to be clear as to your expectations and the attorney’s ability to meet them.
My hope is that, with these helpful hints, you will be happy with the level of communication and have a good experience with your attorney.
Contact the Russo Law Group P.C. with questions or comments.
Vincent J. Russo
Russo Law Group, P.C.
100 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 102
Garden City, NY 11530