Legal Malpractice

My Lawyer Isn't Returning My Phone Calls. What Can I Do?

By Sachi Barreiro, Attorney, University of San Francisco School of Law

A lawyer’s lack of communication is one of the most common complaints by clients. Often times, communication issues are the result of the lawyer’s busy schedule or failure to set proper expectations on how soon you can expect a response. In these cases, the lawyer might be working on your case regularly, even if there isn’t much news to communicate to you. Other times, a lawyer who neglects to call you back is also neglecting your case. Either way, you deserve to be kept reasonably up-to-date on what’s going on in your case.

Send your attorney an email or letter explaining that you've made multiple attempts to reach him or her at the office. Mention how long it has been since your phone calls or emails have gone unreturned. Let the lawyer know that you have questions about your case, or that you would like an update, as soon as possible. This will create a paper trail documenting your attempts to contact your attorney. If your lawyer calls you briefly to say that he or she can’t talk, but will call you back soon, be sure to set up a specific time when you can reach him or her.

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