EP 130: 5 Signs Your Attorney is NOT Doing a Good Job


This episode covers five signs that your attorney is not doing a good job for you. If you see these signs, you will need to think long and hard about ways to improve your relationship with your attorney.

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You may need to change attorneys, but you can hopefully find ways to deal with these issues, since changing attorneys is far from ideal. However, poor attorneys can do a lot of harm, so watch out for these signs:  

1) Your attorney does not return phone calls or emails in a timely fashion. 

When you are going through a divorce, it can be extremely frustrating. Ideally, your attorney should respond to you within a few hours (24 hours at the most). If you find yourself repeatedly contacting your attorney over a week or two to get a response on an important issue, that is unacceptable.

2) Your attorney does not tell you what is going on. 

Your attorney should keep you apprised of correspondence they have received from your spouse or your spouse’s attorney, as well as upcoming court dates or mediation sessions. At a minimum, you should be updated about your case on a weekly basis. When there is an important deadline approaching, you may even need daily contact. If you are not being regularly updated about your case, it is a big problem.

3) Your attorney bills you irregularly. 

After you pay your attorney’s retainer, you should receive bills every few weeks, which tell you how much of the retainer was used and how that time was spent. The items on the bill should make sense to you. Does your attorney bill you irregularly, or are there items that do not make sense? If so, you should address those issues with your attorney as soon as possible.

4) Your attorney is not prepared for important dates. 

If there is an important appointment approaching (i.e., a court date, a mediation session, or a settlement negotiation), your attorney should be prepared with all the facts about your case. They should know which issues are important or unimportant to you. Some attorneys simply do not adequately prepare for these very important meetings, and it can make it difficult to get what you deserve.

5) Your attorney does not advocate for you.

Your attorney should fight for what is in your best interest. You are paying a lot of money for your attorney to get the best possible outcome. If your attorney is not advocating for you, you may end up regretting it for the rest of your life.

These five signs are very concerning, so if you see them in your attorney, be sure to address them. In extreme cases, you may need to change attorneys. If you do not realize that these things are going on until it is too late, it could affect you for the rest of your life.

Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for 1-on-1 coaching. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.