Austin, TX asked in Criminal Law, Animal / Dog Law and Civil Rights for Texas

Q: What can a defendant do about a court appointed lawyer who never contacts me or responds to emails ?

You email judge but he refuses to reassign another one. Calling the BAR doesnt help my case, n wld only piss them off. Im not looking to file a complaint, i just want a lawyer who's not disgruntled. I understand that im just another case to them, but for someone whos never been caught up in the injustice of the legal system, it is very frusterating. If i cld figure out how to file a motion i wld, but i need a lawyer. As an ex medic, i wldnt treat a lawyer who called 911 for shortness of breath, as just another patient. To me it maybe just another routine call, that i've treated hundreds of times, but to them it is an emergency. So now few months later and still no plan, no communication, never met much less gone over my file. what recourse do i hv? Family even hired a private attorney, n she waz just as evasive then w/d, after dragging out my case for a year. 6th Amend. Rights? Apparently, rights are something u fight for after they're violated, cuz they aren't guarenteed!

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Dallas, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Well you actually seem to be complaining about someone who probably isn't even your lawyer anymore. I say this because the way you describe your legal situation, that first court-appointed lawyer probably has withdrawn as counsel in your case and he probably feels like it would be improper for him to come see you or even answer write to you under the circumstances you describe.

Now, I think the first lawyer should take the time to communicate with you and tell you why he's not doing anything on your behalf. But there are a lot of lawyers who would disagree with me and say the court-appointed lawyer is acting properly. They would likely say that the hired female attorney is your only lawyer now and it's her duty to explain all this to you. And she is the lawyer who, undoubtedly, does in fact owe you the duty to communicate. If you've never seen her or communicated with her, you have every right to complain to your judge and also to the State Bar of Texas. Your judge has no authority to appoint another lawyer to you because you have a retained (hired) attorney. Therefore, you are not indigent. Or, more precisely, even if you are indigent, your indigency has not resulted in you not being represented by counsel.

Get your family to get hold of the lawyer they have paid money to represent you, and tell them to instruct her to communicate with you as her duty demands. Good luck.

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