Do Attorney's visit their clients in Jail?

Asked over 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

This woman paid a flat fee of two hundred thousand dollars to defend her son in a murder trial. She sold her home, lost her job, her family, friends and everything she owned to gather all the money necessary to help her only son.

It is my opinion that this case will need a miracle for a good outcome, and my doubts say it won't happen.
Her son has been in jail for one year, and has appeared in court numerous times for hearings and motions. To this day his attorney has not visited his client in Jail, and I say this is completely wrong!

I thought attorney's visit clients in Jail, and prepare their clients for court proceedings, how else is the client suppose to know what's going on?
This makes no sense to me, the attorney visited the client while he was in the mental hospital but once he was transferred to jail, the poor guy hasn't seen the attorney except for a brief moment in the court room. How is this legal?

Get this, I contacted the attorney and pleaded with him to visit his client. He said he would if I paid him money, and I won't tell you how much because I could have owned a mercedes by now.

Yes I sent him the money:( We agreed that he would visit his client once every two weeks. He visited him two weeks after receiving the money and hasn't visited him ever sense. When I contacted him about this situation, all I get is excuses.

The mother of this young man prepares a suit for her son to wear in court but it never gets to him. I just don't understand this situation. I think the attorney should make regular visits and make sure that his client has his suit to wear every time he enters that court room even if it is for a five minute proceeding.

So again, my question is. Do attorneys visit their clients in jail or are they not obligated to do so?

Thank you

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Pante-a Nilchian

    Contributor Level 10

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, attroneys do visit their clients in jail. There are no rules about how many times an attorney should visit his/her client. It depends on the circumstances of the case. Attorneys generally visit their clients in jail when there is a need to discuss the case.
    Generally, suits are only allowed for jury trials. Because there are so many inmates it is a burden on the system if all the inmates were allowed to wear suits to every hearing.

  2. Antonio Arturo Cota

    Contributor Level 14

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Every attorney has a different approach to dealing with clients. While the attorney is not specifically obligated to visit the client regularly, or even at all, some attorneys will do so when there are important developments in the case, or where the client has bargained and paid for that.

    While there are things that can be more important for the defense, such as obtaining a proper investigation and preparing to handle any legal or technical issues that may arise, the client can be an important source of information. On the other hand, you also must keep in mind that jail is frequently not the best place to discuss important cases with clients for the simple reason that there are eyes and ears everywhere. And, while it is not legal for the government to eavesdrop or record attorney-client communications at the jail, many of us have become aware that government agents are not above breaking the law. The attorney needs to weigh his need for information directly from the client against both the risks and the other needs of the case. The answer isn't clear-cut.

    Your frustration is totally understandable and reasonable but the bottom-line is that in this kind of case you must absolutely trust your attorney's judgment, and if the client can't do that, he or she should consider hiring someone he does trust. I'd suggest talking to the attorney about this issue, but if you are not the client, you must also understand that he is not at liberty to discuss most aspects of the case, especially the attorney-client communications.

    No attorney-client relationship is established between this lawyer and the originator of the question. This answer... more
  3. Michael Rutledge Norton

    Contributor Level 16

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is no obligation to see their client in jail a number of times or at set time intervals. Murder trials are very complicated and each case is different. The attorney may have gotten enough information from his client at the initial visits and subsequent court appearances to prepare his defense. He may be spending all his time doing legal research, conducting investigations and consulting with experts. All of which could be much more beneficial to his client and a better allocation of his time. A lot of criminal defense is countering the evidence so he may be in that phase of the defense. When it gets closer to trial he may visit the client more to prepare him for trial.

    If you paid him money specifically to visit this client and he is not you could ask for your money back but as far as his not visiting being a sign of poor lawyering that may not be the case.

  4. Andrew Blair Leventhal

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . Yes lawyers visit their clients in jail. Some do, some don't - depends upon the case. A lawyer does however have an ethical duty to communicate with his or her client. But that rule is administrative, so if the state bar believes that the lack of communication (if the bar concluded a lack thereof) was unethical, the lawyer could be subject to discipline. Communication is indeed key; lawyers should keep their clients informed/properly advised, present options to the client and also figure out what motivates the client. Communication can help build a proper defense. Sometimes, the lawyer does not need to communicate to effectively represent and get results in a criminal matter. It all depends on the matter, but in a murder case, yes communication is key.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

27,280 answers this week

3,081 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,280 answers this week

3,081 attorneys answering