Approximately six years ago I wrote a blog post dealing with the duty of the attorney to keep the client informed. I wish to revisit that subject as I continue to hear from people who hired an attorney, but who are kept in the dark about the status of their case. I find this hard to believe given the the fact that attorneys are now firmly entrenched in the operation of computers and the ease with which they can maintain contact with their clients via emails and other electronic means.
There is no excuse in this day and age for a client not to be kept up to date about his/her case or the matter or project for which the lawyer was retained. There is almost no good reason why a client should not be copied on any correspondence leaving the lawyer’s office. In fact, If I have been retained to prepare a letter of any consequence for the client, I will almost always run a draft copy of that letter by the client BEFORE I put the letter in final form for delivery to the addressee. I tell clients at the time I’m retained that I don’t want to “backpedal” away from any language I might use in the letter, and the only way to prevent that from happening is to make sure that the letter is factually accurate. Who better to test that accuracy than the client? In my practiice many years ago (even before the fax machine), that would mean sending a draft copy of the letter via first class mail, waiting on delivery and the response from the client, and then finalizing the letter for delivery to the addressee. That process could take 3-5 days. In today’s world, the entire process might take 3-5 HOURS, or less. This means the client is not left guessing as to what the lawyer might actually say in the letter, as the client is part of the proceess.
Therefore, if you feel you are not being kept informed about your legal matter, perhaps you have the wrong lawyer. If the lawyer does not have you involved in the process, then he should, at a minimum, be sending you one or two sentence emails informing you of where he is in the process. As an attorney, I never like to get an email from the client asking about the status of his case. If such an email arrives, it usually means I have dropped the ball. The client has the right to be kept reasonably informed about the progress of his case, and the lawyer (not the client) should be the person doing the informing, at least that’s the position of this lawyer.
NOTHING IN THIS POST SHOULD BE CONSIDERED LEGAl ADVICE, BUT ONLY GENERAl INFORMATION THAT, ALTHOUGH POSSIBLY USEFUL, MAY NOT BE RELEVANT TO YOUR PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES. FOR THAT REASON, YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH YOUR OWN ATTORNEY, IF YOU HAVE ONE, ABOUT YOUR SITUATION. IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN ATTORNEY, AND IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE HERE,YOU CAN CONTACT ME BY CLICKING ON MY NAME ABOVE, OR BY CALLING MY LAW OFFICE AT (713) 626-2221. If you do, please refer to this blog no. 65.