Q: My lawyer received a settlement offer from the opposing side but did not inform me until a month later. Is this allowed?
My lawyer has continuously failed to provide information, let alone correct information, to me my entire DBA case. I contact him for updates often because there have been requests made from the opposing side that he will not discuss with me until months later. During that month, I contacted him asking did he hear from them and he stated no. When he called me about the offer, he told me that he had just received the offer that day but when he responded by email to the insurance carrier, I noticed she had sent the offer a month prior. I let it go because I was happy we were almost finished but three more weeks went by, I contacted him for updates and found out that the carriers attorneys drawing up the settlement documents requested my war hazards affidavit and that they sent a reminder to him requesting the information again. I’m just wondering if this procrastination is allowed on his part?
A: A lawyer has an ethical obligation to adequately communicate with the client, including on major developments (which would certainly include a settlement offer), and to diligently move the case forward. However, a few weeks time between a Step A and a Step B may be reasonable and not in any way unethical. Your lawyer could be in a weeks long trial or otherwise reasonably sidetracked from your case. His main ethical obligation is to prevent acts or omissions that are prejudicial to you. The lawyer or his staff should be able to inform you regarding what step is happening next and when it will occur, and if they're not doing that, express your concerns in writing.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
A: It's always best to relay case developments promptly, but sometimes there are oversights. People sometime forget, they assume someone else in the office was going to handle notifications, they make a mental note to verify a lien figure so that they could be accurate in telling client about a net settlement instead of a gross settlement, etc. Good luck
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