Florida Is A Cesspool Of Crooked And Incompetently Bad Lawyers. These Are The 11 Signs You Have A Bad Florida Lawyer!
Bad lawyers are everywhere in Florida and the Florida Bar refuses to do anything about it. However, that is an article for another time.
A bad Florida lawyer can cost you and your family a lot of money. So, protect yourself by learning how to spot them before it’s too late!
Hiring a good lawyer is paramount to win your case. However, not all lawyers are created equal, and some are better than others. But how do you know if you’re hiring a bad Florida lawyer?
We’ve all heard stories about shady lawyers, but what exactly makes them so deceptive? And more notably, how can you avoid hiring one?
Read our list of nine signs of a bad lawyer, and keep an eye out during your next legal consultation. It could save you time, money, and heartache.
The 11 Signs Of A Bad Florida Lawyer
Nobody wants to be taken advantage of by a crooked or bad Florida lawyer. So, it’s important to screen potential firms.
Below are several key signs that you may be hiring a bad Florida lawyer:
1. You Can’t Talk To Your Attorney After You Sign The Retainer Agreement
Yeah, we get it. Lawyers don’t want to be tied up on the phone all day with clients asking inane questions but a client being forced to continually talk to an underling or a paralegal is just not cool.
After all, an attorney having to answer a client’s questions is all part of the job.
Being a good communicator is also a prerequisite for being a decent lawyer. If you can’t communicate with your clients, how are you going to argue a case in front of a judge. If you can never speak to your attorney, then it’s time to get a new one.
2. They Don’t Keep You Updated on Your Case
One of the most important duties your lawyer should provide you is case updates at least weekly. If not, a few times a month depending on the type case. If they don’t keep you updated, this would be a massive red flag.
You deserve to have a lawyer who keeps you in the loop. Yeah, lawyers get busy with other clients but they need to make you feel like you are being taken care of. If your lawyer makes you feel like an afterthought, it’s time to find someone new.
3. They’re Slow to Return Your Calls or Emails
This is especially frustrating if you’re paying them by the hour.
You should be able to get in touch with your lawyer when you need to, and they should always respond to you promptly. Or within a a day or two depending on their trial schedule.
4. The Attorney Is Late to Court
This is a serious sign that they are disorganized or just incompetent.
This can end up costing you a lot of money in legal fees, and it could jeopardize your chances of winning your case.
An MFI-Miami client in Michigan had a client that always late for hearings. Finally, the judge had enough and sanctioned the attorney.
So, at the next hearing. He was late again. The judge had enough. She threw him in jail for the weekend. The judge put the case on hold for 60 days for my client to find a new lawyer. the new lawyer stopped the foreclosure and saved the house.
A good lawyer will make sure to be in court on time. If your attorney is constantly late or misses court dates, kick them to the curb. Most judges aren’t sympathetic to your plight as that Michigan judge was.
5. Late For Meetings
Back in 2018, My client and I had a meeting with Kinley Engvalson from the Law Office of Paul A. Krasker, P.A. Engvalson who scheduled the meeting never showed up. After nearly 45 minutes of small talk, we sat their like, “What the story? Where’s Kinley?” We waited and and made some more small talk. So, finally after 90 minutes, I left.
6. Arrogantly Refuses To Help Of Industry Experts
MFI-Miami gets this a lot. Yes, there are lawyers and law firms out there that don’t utilize the resources of their client’s expert witnesses or consultants. This is especially true in foreclosure defense.
For example at MFI-Miami, we utilize former FBI agents and forensic accounts. We also bring in also industry experts and specialists.
Usually, when we bring these people into a foreclosure case, the homeowner gets to stay in house with payments they can afford.
So why doesn’t a lawyer want to utilize these resources if the client has already paid for it?
Smug Florida lawyers like this are usually not good lawyers. They don’t like outsiders involved in the case.
Well, it usually means they’re scamming the client and they are afraid either MFI-Miami or one of our experts will catch it.
If you encounter a Florida attorney like this, run away and run fast!
7. They’re Unprepared in Court
A bad Florida lawyer will be constantly fumbling through their paperwork. They will also constantly ask the court for more time to prepare. This is a sign that they are disorganized and not as prepared as they need to be.
A good lawyer will always be prepared. They are always ready with answers for the judge. If your lawyer is continually unprepared, it’s time to find a new firm.
8. They Don’t Fight for You And Want to Act Like A Hippie
Your attorney should be your biggest advocate. They need to be fighting for you and your best interests every step of the way. not sitting around some Hippie Drum Circle in Fort Lauderdale trying to bring in the Age of Aquarius.
If it feels like your lawyer is giving up on you or not fighting hard enough, this is a bad sign.
You deserve a lawyer who will fight for you and your case.
Even if you don’t have the best circumstances, a good lawyer will find a way to fight for you and get you the best possible outcome.
8. They’re Dishonest And Vague About Expenses
Your lawyer is required to be upfront about their fees and expenses and send you accurate invoices once a month. If an attorney sends you a bill without an itemized invoice, that is not good. They’re not looking out for your best interests. Another red flag is they are constantly trying to upsell you on services.
A good lawyer will be upfront about their costs. They will only charge you for the necessary services. If your lawyer is constantly asking for more money, there is a problem either personal or professionally.
A client also shouldn’t have to empty their bank account just to pay for legal services. If your lawyer overcharges you, consider changing law firms.
One of the most obvious red flags when consulting with a lawyer is their reluctance to discuss fees. From the onset, you should be aware of roughly how much it would take for the lawyer to accept and conclude your case. This is essential especially if you are on a limited budget.
9. They Have a Poor Track Record
If your attorney has a history of losing cases or getting their clients in trouble, that’s a sign that you should find someone else to represent you. It’s also important to find out how much experience your lawyer has with similar cases.
It’s smart to always research a lawyer before hiring them. Quality lawyers will have a solid track record and plenty of experience. If your lawyer doesn’t have a great track record, you should consider hiring someone else.
You can check your lawyer’s track record by performing a few online searches. If there are any red flags, find another lawyer to take on your case.
10. Bad Reputation
Before you hire a lawyer, make sure that you avoid those with a bad reputation because they can be damaging for your case.
Below are some indicators that a lawyer has a bad reputation:
- He has an overwhelming number of negative reviews on legitimate review sites.
- He has a pending complaint or a history of disciplinary action with the Florida Bar.
- He has a low peer review rating on Avvo or other attorney websites. This is the average rating given by other lawyers. The ratings are based on various criteria such as legal ability and ethical standards.
11. Apparent Mental Health Or Substance Abuse Issues
Your lawyer’s job is to listen to you and provide advice on the right course of action for your case. He should be respectful and professional at all times. However, if he comes off as condescending, rude, or dismissive of your concerns, then it could be a sign they have either a mental health issue or a substance abuse issue.
A great attorney-client relationship is just as important as the lawyer’s credentials and skills in winning your case. Remember that you are going to a legal war and you need a partner who understands you. The last thing you need a mentally unstable lunatic attorney who screams and lunges after judges or worse throws courtroom furniture around. Yes, this does happen.
In other words, your lawyer should be calm, rational, and objective when providing the legal assistance you need.