April 11, 2015 • Legal Terminology
Are there any repercussions if your attorney misses a deadline in your personal injury case? Does your attorney have to tell you about it? What happens if your attorney fails to show up for a conference in court that is related to your case?
Every Attorney is Faced with Deadlines
Lawyers in every type of cases are faced with deadlines. There are deadlines to provide certain documentation to the other side or to send papers in to the court for some work that were done before. There are deadlines to appear for conference where attorneys are required to show up. However, what happens though when your attorney misses a deadline? Does he have to tell you about it? The answer is yes. Your attorney should be telling you about it and everything that occurs in your case.
What is the Best Practice?
Your attorney cannot hide such information from you, and the best practice is to admit to the client whatever has happened. For instance, the lawyer can pick up the phone and tell you that there was a deadline to submit certain papers, he has missed that deadline, he is very sorry about it, and he is trying to get your case back on the right track. Your lawyer may be successful in rectifying the issue or he may not. But as an attorney, he has an obligation to tell you about everything that is happening in your case even if it is not favorable to him or paint him in the best light.
No one is perfect, people make mistakes. No one wants to deal with someone who is lazy, dishonest, or is incompetent though.
For instance, if there is a conference in court, all the attorneys concerned for that case are supposed to appear. What happens though if your attorney does not appear because he has made a mistake in his calendar? Well, this is a major blunder on the part of your attorney, as some judges will dismiss your whole case when the attorney fails to appear for a conference.
Ameliorating the Situation
Your attorney may not even realize his mistake for a few days or few weeks, and he may finally learn that your case was on the calendar, and because he did not appear your case was dismissed. Now, does he have an obligation to tell you about it? Yes, he definitely has to tell you about it because now your rights are significantly at risk. He will first have to apologize for his blunder, and then he will need to tell you what he is doing to remedy the situation. He will have to try to get your case put back on the trial calendar so that it can proceed further.
Every case has deadline, every case has status conferences, and from time to time, an attorney will miss a deadline. However, it is the obligation of the attorney to notify the client about what happened and what he is going to do to steady that wavering ship. The worst situation would be that your attorney misses a deadline, does not notify you, and because of that you no longer have a case.