Asked in Family Law for Washington

Q: What to do if I just hired a lawyer and he has already missed important details I already told him 3 times?

Important things like there's already a parenting plan in place in a parenting plan modification case. He also started our first phone call before fully reading my statement and looking at the evidence i submitted. He doesn't seem like he's really getting it and/or isn't really listening or paying attention to the details. On our last phone call, he suggested the option of meditation with my ex, which should be obviously out of the question if he'd really paid attention to the type of person she is. He's not cheap at $395/hr. He also was trying to look up drug testing sites near my work for me. I told him not to, because I wasn't sure if he planned on billing for something I can do. This is for a parenting plan modification with someone that makes way more money than I do, so it's not a simple case. Should I cut my losses and find a new family lawyer before this gets more messy and expensive? Should I give him a chance? These seem like a lot of red flags in something so important to me

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1 Lawyer Answer
Zachary C Ashby
Zachary C Ashby
  • Richland, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: You should always be able to trust your attorney. Have you shared your concerns with him? Is there a plan to improve what is going on? Do you have a method of communication that is reliable?

Have you discussed your budget limits with him? Has he given you anything in writing that helps you understand what will and will not be charged (my firm, for example, would charge for all time spent on behalf of a client)? Does he listen when you offer to do work yourself?

At the end of the day, you need to be able to have confidence that your attorney is on your side and working with you to get results that matter for you and in a way that works for you and your family. Most attorneys are willing to work with a client, molding strategy and tactics to fit the exact case. If you have an attorney that is not listening even after talking to him about it, you have a decision to make.

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