Failure to communicate or neglect of client matters:
This category focuses specifically on an attorney’s failure to communicate effectively with clients or neglecting their legal matters. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining a professional relationship with clients and fulfilling responsibilities. Some scenarios and charges in this category include:
a) Failure to keep clients informed:
Attorneys must keep their clients reasonably informed about the status of their cases, including significant developments and decisions. Charges may be brought when an attorney fails to communicate important information, fails to return client calls or emails promptly, or fails to provide regular updates. Consequences can range from admonishment to suspension.
b) Failure to follow client instructions:
Attorneys have a duty to follow their clients’ lawful and reasonable instructions regarding their legal matters. Charges may arise when an attorney disregards client instructions, fails to seek client input, or takes actions contrary to the client’s best interests. The disciplinary process may involve admonishment, counseling, or continuing education.
c) Neglecting client matters:
Neglect charges arise when an attorney fails to give appropriate attention and effort to a client’s legal matter, resulting in harm or prejudice to the client. This can include significant delays in progressing the case, missed court appearances, or inadequate preparation for hearings. Consequences may range from admonishment to suspension, depending on the severity and impact of the neglect.
d) Abandonment of client matters:
Abandonment occurs when an attorney completely ceases to represent a client without proper notice or justification. This may include failure to communicate, failure to appear in court on the client’s behalf, or intentionally terminating the attorney-client relationship without sufficient cause. Consequences for abandonment can include admonishment, suspension, or disbarment.
As a practicing attorney it is your responsibility to make sure your client understands his/her charges, the financials involved and that you as their legal representative have been able to clearly communicate and convey everything they need to know regarding their case or legal disagreement. As an officer of the law, an attorney or attorneys are always held to a higher standard, therefore the bar associations tend to frown on attorneys who do not hold their practices and their efforts to the highest level of transparency. Contact us today if you have found yourself dealing with a similar situation and need legal representation regarding a matter.