What if Your Attorney Stops Doing Business or You Can’t Reach Them?

Every individual’s biggest fear in active litigation is that their attorney will stop representing them, that they cannot reach their attorney or there is no response from attorney’s firm, that the law firm has closed its doors, or you just found a plethora of complaints against your attorney.

Here, I will try to give you pointed advice on what to do if you find yourself in the worst position for a party to a lawsuit to imagine – your lawyer’s offices closed, he or she has stopped responding to your emails and phone calls, your calls don’t go through to their firm, you have found way too many complaints against your lawyer, or even if he was sent to jail. The bottom line – time is of the essence so you can minimize the impact to your case. It reminds me of my time doing internet marketing – a wide array of clients would consult with me after their current service had either disappeared or was not returning their phone calls. A few of the advice I would give there still has value:

Try not to panic

I know that is easier said than done. If you cannot contact your attorney or there is no response from an attorney – don’t start posting things on social media asking or making complaints. If someone from the other side of the law suit sees this, it may give them ideas on how to aggressively litigate your case while you may be dealing with this.

Recall your last conversation with your attorney

Did they recommend you go late on your mortgage? Did they say they may be in court a lot during the week you are trying to contact them? Are you able to reach anyone at that lawyer’s office? Can you physically visit the office and walk in? What was the last status update you received from them or their staff? How about pleadings/motions? If you haven’t received anything and don’t know how to answer these questions, please, get a free consultation from an attorney. If no one will talk with you, I will.

Gather the important documents

I am trying very hard to not scare you, but this part will. Gather everything and bring it to the consultation with your attorney. Insist on an in person consultation. If you think you have enough information – you may not. If you walk in empty handed, bring a note pad. It is very important, going forward, to get as much information about your case. You may find that you were represented very poorly and that what you were told does not match reality. This is sadly the case in many situations. The goal here is to get information and be in a position to react to it.

Be Honest with Your Goals

If your case has been ongoing for years, you may be facing a hostile judiciary, an a bank or opposing party that has simply lost its patience with you and your case. If you know what your goal is, it is time to move towards it – whether through counsel or independently. If you cannot reach your attorney, or if your attorney does not respond to you, you have to have an ability to direct your new attorney as to what your end game is – in some cases it may be litigating for a day in court and in some other situations it may simply be a soft landing. Only you know what your goal is, and it is your attorneys job to counsel you on what is achievable and what is not.

I certainly hope that no one is ever in this position, but if you unfortunately are you still do have options. Contact another attorney within your local community or the Florida Bar Attorney Referral Service as soon as possible.

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Bryant H. Dunivan Jr., Esq.

Attorney at Law Offices of Michael J. Owen, PLLC
Attorney Bryant Dunivan is a foreclosure, real estate, and consumer protection attorney who focuses his efforts on making his clients feel like people and not just a file. Just Served? I offer a free consultation. Contact me today.

Attorney Bryant Dunivan is a foreclosure, real estate, and consumer protection attorney who focuses his efforts on making his clients feel like people and not just a file. Just Served? I offer a free consultation. Contact me today.

Posted in Attorney Can't Be Reached, Foreclosure Defense, Loss Mitigation
2 comments on “What if Your Attorney Stops Doing Business or You Can’t Reach Them?
  1. Bill Sharp says:

    I need help for a motion hearing on thursday, May 28, case No: 14-CC-000412. Our bankruptcy closed in 2014. Now we are being sued by a homeowner’s association for fees. We believe this was covered by the Trustee abandoning assets. Our attorney retired and cannot help us. She apparently filed a reply on the case in 2014 but I have no way to access it. I am disabled and often very ill as has been the case for the last few months. I hope to be able to delay the 28th motion and determine if we owe this.

    • Mr. Sharp,

      Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment. I am sorry to hear of the position you are now in. I’d be happy to speak with you regarding your comment to my blog post if you would like. It sounds like this may be a final hearing, and if so, we may have to act quickly. Please do not hesitate to call my office at 813.502.6768.

      – Bryant

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