Here are some things that any good lawyer will do. If they don't do these things, perhaps you've hired the wrong lawyer for your case.
They return your telephone calls/emails within 24 hours
When last I checked, the number one bar complaint (not a buy alcohol bar) against lawyers is that they don't promptly respond to client emails or telephone calls. This, in my opinion, is completely unacceptable! Granted, many lawyers are so swamped with business that it's difficult for them to promptly respond to client inquiries. However, that's no excuse! If they're that busy, why'd they even take your case? Don't expect your lawyer to be able to speak with you on any given day. They may be in court; in trial; on vacation, or otherwise occupied. Leave one message or email and wait for their response. Allow up to 24 hours for a response. Anything more than that is unacceptable. Before you fire them, however, have a word with them about your expectations. Maybe that'll solve the issue.
They educate you on the laws involved with your case
A good lawyer wants their clients to know how the law relates to their case. If they truly care about you, they'll make a point to educate you on the good and bad laws pertaining to your case. That way, you'll be informed about the positives and negatives involved. Psychologically speaking, informing clients about negative laws, early on, prepares clients for any future adverse ruling or verdict. If your lawyer hasn't explained the laws that apply to your case, simply ask them to educate you. Most good lawyers will be happy to do so.
They are on-time for meetings and court appearances
A good lawyer shows up for court on-time. Sure, there are often court conflicts that make it impossible for a lawyer to be on-time in some instances, but, short of a conflict, a good lawyer'll usually show up early. If you make an office appointment for 10:00 a.m., you should expect a good lawyer to be ready for you within a reasonable time. Like a doctor or dentist appointment, if you're still waiting to see your lawyer and it's 10:30, that's both unprofessional and thoughtless. It's time for a heart to heart with that lawyer.
They dress well and are courteous to court personnel
A good lawyer should look clean and should have on decent clothes. While this isn't a gauge on their performance abilities, you expect a lawyer to look professional. In court, a good lawyer both knows, and is friendly to, court staff and other lawyers. Any lawyer that is rude to anyone, lawyer or otherwise, is not a good lawyer. Their character is highly suspect if they can't get along with others in the field.
They speak clearly and with a convincing tone of voice
Face it, a good lawyer has command of the English language (or should have). A good lawyer trying to convince a judge to rule in his favor will speak in a professional, commanding tone of voice. Not a timid, soft-spoken voice that convinces nobody of anything. A good lawyer uses words that a jury understands-not words that confuse them or make them find a dictionary to see what the words mean.
They don't make promises about your case outcome
Good lawyers don't promise results. They can't, ethically. A good lawyer makes certain their clients are aware of the good and bad in every case. They fully discuss with the client the strategy for trial or other hearings. Good lawyers are fully prepared. They put in the requisite number of hours and days to properly advocate for their clients. They fight hard, professionally, and do the very best they can in every case.
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