7 signs you have a bad attorney

A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY to the cause of his client mindful always of the trust and confidence reposed in him. An attorney-at-law must serve his client with competence and diligence at all times, and never neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, for it is his sworn duty to delay no man for money or malice and to conduct himself in a proper manner not just to his client, but also to the court, the legal profession and society at large. (A.C. No. 5162. March 20, 2003)

To borrow the lines of Harvard-educated lawyer Bruce Wassertein, to wit: "A bad lawyer is one who fails to spot problems, a good lawyer is one who perceives the difficulties, and the excellent lawyer is one who surmounts them." (Business Star, "Corporate Finance Law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4, cited by the Supreme Court of the Philippines in G.R. No. 100113, September 3, 1991).

An attorney’s work habits are one of the largest indicators of competence. The following red flags may indicate that it’s time to find new legal representation.

SOURCE: How to Avoid a Bad Lawyer. BY SALLY KANE Updated June 25, 2019. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-avoid-a-bad-lawyer-2164684.

[1] Unreturned phone calls – A lawyer who fails to return phone calls promptly, or at all, does not place a premium on client service. He may be too busy with other cases, uncertain with how to proceed with your case or ignoring your matter altogether.

[2] Unanswered e-mails – Like unanswered phone calls, unanswered emails can indicate that the lawyer is too busy, ​stressed or overwhelmed to handle your case or is not making your matter a priority.

[3] Missed deadlines – Missing deadlines, especially court filing deadlines, can seriously damage your case. If a lawyer consistently misses deadlines, it is best to terminate the relationship and move on.

[4] Poor attitude – A lawyer who displays a condescending, uncommunicative, rude, impatient or otherwise poor attitude may be difficult to work with. A poor attorney-client relationship may create conflict, tension, and ill-will.
[5] Lack of proper calendaring system – A reliable, organized calendaring system is critical to meeting deadlines and prioritizing multiple obligations. A lack of a proper calendaring system can lead to missed deadlines and other disasters.

[6] A promise of a court victory or successful outcome – An attorney should never promise his client a specific outcome, no matter how likely that outcome may be. Be wary of promises of a sure-fire victory.

[7] Refusal to provide references – A refusal to provide references or let you talk with past clients indicates that the lawyer had problems with past clients that he does not want you to know about.

SOURCE: How to Avoid a Bad Lawyer. BY SALLY KANE Updated June 25, 2019. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-avoid-a-bad-lawyer-2164684.

A member of the legal profession owes his client entire devotion to his genuine interest, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights and the exertion of his utmost learning and ability. Public interest demands that an attorney exert his best efforts and ability to preserve his client’s cause, for the unwavering loyalty displayed to his client likewise serves the ends of justice. Verily, the entrusted privilege to practice law carries with it the corresponding duties not only to the client but also to the court, to the bar and to the public. A lawyer’s inability to properly discharge his duty to his client may also mean a violation of his correlative obligations to the court, to his profession and to the general public. (A.C. No. 5162. March 20, 2003)