I hired an attorney based on a really good consultation and professional references. However, after having had him on my husbands case for several months, everything that he spoke of in our consultation has gone out of the window. I have not paid him in full yet and have informed him that I do not intend to complete the payments unless he gives me a written statement of what I can expect from him and what he expects of me as well. He has veered away from everything that he said he would do, and try to do, for us. He does not respond to emails or phone calls in a timely manner or have professional conversation as he did when I first hired him. What can I do to get him to work? What are my rights in an attorney-client relationship? Any references for reading up on this type of problem?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
What you owe or do no owe is determined by your written fee agreement which I have not read. You do have a right to change lawyers and possibly should. Good lawyers respond to emails and calls in a reasonable time. I usually aim for the same day, but a couple days can be reasonable. Beyond that is inappropriate and the lawyer is being unprofessional. Client communication is essential. Again, most of your rights are in your fee agreement.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
Part of the problem may be it is your husband's case and the atty has no privilege with you. He may not realize this is not obvious to you.
It could also be that the other side's strategy has changed his intended approach. It happens.
Have your husband call and make an appointment. Ask for contemporaneous copies of ever everything that is produced or rec'd in the case.
If you ask for a "lesson plan" as you describe, you will just insult him. You will do the attorney-client relationship no good treating your attorney like a remedial ed student.
Human conversation, polite conversation is the cure for this malady.
Ethics / Professional Responsibility Lawyer
While you hired the lawyer, he still has attorney/client privilege with your husband. Therefore he can only share so much with you. If you and your husband are unhappy with the representation, review your fee agreement and determine what your rights are under it. Then you can choose to terminate the relationship and move on to a new lawyer.
If he is showing you that he is not going to be responsive, and he is not responsive to your husband, that is unlikely to change. Some lawyers, unfortunately, are very bad at being communicative.
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