When you hire a lawyer to negotiate a settlement on your behalf, you may discover that your attorney received a settlement check, but you were never informed of this. The failure to inform you of a settlement check might be part of a larger pattern of behavior coming from your unprofessional lawyer.
The Importance of Communication
Lawyers are professional communicators who must communicate with their clients to inform them of their rights, communicate with other parties on behalf of the client, and make compelling arguments within the courtroom. However, many lawyers fail to communicate adequately and you may need to file a complaint as a result.
When a lawyer fails to communicate, this might be the result of the lawyer not having enough time. If your lawyer is too busy because they have taken on too many cases, they will not be able to adequately represent you.
Ask to Speak with Your Lawyer
When you contact your lawyer's office, you may find yourself speaking with a paralegal. Rather than tolerating this, you should immediately ask to speak with the lawyer. In some cases, poor communication is simply the result of the paralegal failing to relay your messages to you.
However, an attorney should be proactive and should keep you updated on the progress of your case. They should inform you about the next steps you will need to take and any settlements that they might have negotiated. Most importantly, when the settlement check is sent to your attorney, they should inform you of this and send you the check as soon as possible.
How to Respond
If your attorney is simply not communicating well enough, you may need to fire your attorney. You are free to move on to a different lawyer at any time. All legal documents relevant to your case belong to you and the attorney should send these documents.
You should also file an attorney complaint using a lawyer disciplinary complaint form. A complaint form makes it much easier to effectively articulate the concerns you have with the attorney.
When an attorney receives a complaint, they will be informed that you are concerned about their actions. Also, the relevant authority for the state in which the attorney is licensed can take several actions. In some cases, the attorney might be privately or publically sanctioned. In more extreme cases, the attorney may face formal charges and the disciplinary process will then begin.