When a lawyer fails to fulfill professional obligations, clients are justified in seeking another attorney. Lawyers have an obligation to effectively represent the interests of their clients. A child custody attorney has the added responsibility to seek the best interests of the children involved in custody disputes.
Clients Entitled to Effective Representation
There are more than 63,000 lawyers in Illinois. Every year some are disciplined for misconduct.
The vast majority of attorneys work diligently to represent their clients and negotiate a satisfactory settlement to disputed issues. A child custody attorney must also represent the best interests of the children while protecting parental rights.
Clients are entitled to effective representation by their attorney. When clients become uncertain about the work an attorney does on their behalf, it may be time to hire a new lawyer.
When to Fire Your Lawyer
It is sometimes difficult to recognize when lawyers are not doing the best job possible for their clients. Indications that it may be time to find a new lawyer include:
- Failure to Communicate – One of the biggest causes of client dissatisfaction with their attorney is their failure to return calls for long periods of time or not at all. Communication includes notifying the client of developments in the case in a timely fashion and answering client questions and concerns promptly.
- Inattentive to the Client’s Case – An attorney that continually pushes a case back on their calendar or is distracted by other matters and other cases cannot adequately serve their client.
- Disagreement over the Case – If the client and attorney disagree over the fundamental issues at stake, it can be difficult for the attorney to effectively represent them. In child custody cases, there must be agreement regarding the best interests of children as well as continued parental rights.
- Other Unprofessional Conduct – Missing court and deadlines for legal filings, a too-friendly relationship with the opposition attorney, a tendency to make deals without advising the client, or shady billing practices are signs of unprofessional conduct.
Clients Deserve a Professional Lawyer
The percentage of lawyers that are disciplined for misconduct is small. Most are dedicated professionals, working in their clients’ best interests, helping them resolve difficult issues. Every client deserves a lawyer that behaves professionally, communicates and gives their case the attention it requires.