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11 Oct 17

Can I ask his lawyer what’s going on if mine won’t respond?

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You have plenty to be concerned about when you are in the midst of your divorce case that you don’t need to be left worrying about being able to communicate with your lawyer. In most instances, an experienced New York divorce lawyer maintains appropriate contact with a client. An attorney makes certain that a client is kept abreast of the status of the case and associated matters.

If you have found yourself in the uncommon situation of having a lawyer that truly is not responding to you in a timely and appropriate manner. You may be wondering what courses of action are available to you. For example, you may wonder if you can ask your spouse’s lawyer for an update on the case if you find yourself not getting a response from your lawyer.

Lawyer’s Requirement to Maintain Reasonable Contact with a Client

Your lawyer has an obligation to maintain reasonable contact with you in regard to your case. Specifically, your lawyer is requirement to communicate with you in a timely and effective manner, according to the American Bar Association.

Each state in the United States, including New York, maintains a code of conduct for lawyers. The code of professional conduct more specifically delineates the manner in which an attorney is to maintain contact with you in your case.

Communication By You with Opposing Counsel

The code of professional conduct for attorneys in New York prohibits opposing counsel from communicating directly with you if you are represented by a lawyer. In simple terms, although your own lawyer may not be communicating with you effectively and in a timely manner, opposing counsel cannot communicate directly with you. The failure of your lawyer to provide you proper information about your case does not permit opposing counsel the ability to communicate with you or provide information to you.

Solutions to a Situation in Which Your Attorney is Not Properly Communicating

The fact that opposing counsel cannot appropriately communicate with you under these circumstances does not mean you are left without a remedy. The first step that you need to seriously consider taking is terminating the services of the lawyer who currently is on your case.

Your current lawyer is going to have to file what is known as a motion to withdraw from your case. That is filed with the court, a copy of the motion going to the attorney for your spouse. The court has to approve your attorney’s withdrawal from the case. Particularly if the divorce proceedings have only just commenced, or you have never before sought to terminate a lawyer, the court is likely to approve the motion to withdraw. However, there can be circumstances in which a court might elect to require a lawyer to remain on a case.

If your legal counsel truly is not providing you appropriate advisements about your case, if there really is a failure in communication by your attorney, you can file a complaint with the attorney discipline and grievance committee assigned to your part of the state of the New York. You an obtain information on the attorney discipline and grievance committee serving your region in the state from the New York state courts website.

Retain New Counsel

Another step that you can take when faced with a lawyer that is not communicating properly with you is to retain alternate counsel. As has been explained a moment ago, the court in your divorce case will need to approve the withdrawal of your existing counsel and his or her replacement by a new attorney. You will need to send a written communication to your existing attorney advising that you no longer desire to be represented in your case by that individual.

If you really do have a bona fide issue with your attorney failing to communicate properly with you, the court in your divorce case is not likely to prevent you from changing lawyers.

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