I have my final hearing soon for family court. What should I do? I live too far from my my counsel to just drive to the office. I have called texed and emailed and no response. Not sure what action to take next. Its been over a week and I am several weeks from final hearing
I suggest that you fax your lawyer a letter demanding that he or she contact you right away to update you on the status of your case. Lawyers have an ethical duty to keep clients reasonably informed about their legal matters and to respond appropriately and timely to clients' reasonable requests for information. Although you may wish to stop short of an outright threat to complain about the lawyer to the State Bar of Texas, you may wish to mention in your letter that you are aware of these ethical duties your lawyer owes you. If your letter does not produce the desired results after a week or so, you should consider hiring another lawyer promptly thereafter and filing a complaint against your current one. All of the information you need in order to file such a complaint is available on the website of SBOT. A link to the website appears below.
If you end up having to hire a new lawyer, I suggest you choose one who is board certified in family law. El Paso has a number of them. A link to the website of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization also appears below.
In fairness, the lawyer could be on vacation (we actually are human) or in trial or perhaps even sick or in the hospital, etc. If the lawyer does not have a support staff, then it makes it difficult - especially if the lawyer is out of the country.
I agree with the recommendation that you fax a letter, and also send one by certified mail requesting that the lawyer contact you within 10 days (or so) of receipt because of your concern about your inability to reach him/her and your desire to prepare with the lawyer for the hearing. (I do not think it is a good idea to "demand" as the other lawyer suggested because if there is a legitimate explanation, being rude does not help the relationship.)
If you do not hear from the lawyer by the requested date, then you should seek the advise of other counsel and later try to get your money back from the original lawyer. (This can be done with the help of the State Bar.) Be sure to keep a list of all your attempts to call the lawyer.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline