I never thought I'd write about this.
I never thought it would come up.
I'd never heard of an attorney doing this before.
Actually, I heard it from a new potential client.
He called me the other day.
"Mr. Oginski, I want you to take over my case," he said to me.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because my lawyer is hiding from me!" he exclaimed.
"What do you mean 'he's hiding from you'?" I asked, shocked that an attorney might do this.
"I call and he doesn't call me back. I email him and he doesn't have the decency to respond. I send him written letters and he ignores them," he tells me.
"Why don't you make an appointment to see him and have this conversation face-to-face," I ask as if this is something he never thought of before.
"Ha!" he blurts out. I can't get anyone on the phone. It always goes to voicemail. It's as if he disappeared. I have no idea what he's doing on my case. I have no idea what the status of my case is. I really think he is afraid to talk to me. I think he runs every time I try to communicate with him. It's so bizzare!" he tells me.
As I'm listening to this tale, it DOES sound like the attorney is running from this client. Why? I have no idea. It shouldn't happen. The attorney should communicate regularly and frequently with his client. That makes the client happy and reminds them that you are working on their case and know what's going on. If the attorney ignores you, there's a problem. It could be an innocent problem or it could involve something deeper and mean a much more significant problem.
I check the court system for his case. It said discovery was in progress. I asked him if he'd had his deposition yet. He said "No, what's that?" That's a problem. It tells me that the attorney hasn't even conveyed to his client what the legal process involved.
The caller told me that this lawyer stalked him for weeks, begging him to sign up with him. He called a phone number on a highway billboard and they forwarded his number to some local law firm. This lawyer, after hearing a few basic facts about his accident case, was willing to drop everything and personally drive out to him, an hour away to sign him up. The caller wasn't sure he was the right attorney for him. The lawyer called him six more times over the next week. He sent him emails. He sent him big packets of papers in the mail. He sent him brochures, pamphlets about his firm and his 'successes', all designed to convince this guy to sign up with him.
Finally, the injured caller relented and agreed to sign the documents. After that, it was as if the lawyer was a ghost. No status updates. No calls. No emails. Nothing.
I told the caller to leave a message with his attorney. "If I don't hear from you by the end of the day, I'm taking my case elsewhere."
Needless to say, the attorney never called. The injured victims called me back to tell me that his lawyer never responded. to his voicemail. I told him he needed to find another attorney immediately. Unfortunately I was not able to help him since I do not get involved in cases that have already been started.
How bizzare is it that this lawyer virtually ran away from the client?
But here's a little secret I want to share with you...
I think I know what happened. This lawyer was getting new leads from an advertising service. When the lawyer realized that this was a good case, he eagerly agreed to drop everything to sign the client up. Then, either he had too much work to do and dropped the ball on his case or he was neglecting his clients. Either way, the repercussions are severe in loss of client trust and ultimately, one of his clients will report his neglect to the grievance committee. That will force him to explain what he's been doing.
To learn what it means if the defense only wants to offer you nuisance value on your case, I invite you to watch the quick video below...