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Old 05-01-2019, 12:19 PM
Remorseful900 Remorseful900 is online now
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Default Frustrated with Attorney

For those who have been thru this before
Did you have communication issues with your attorney?
I realize I am just in the beginning stages of my long journey but it seems like I should be talking more to my attorney.
I did the proffer with the AUSA and cooperating with the government but communication b/w my and myself does not happen on a regular basis
I just don’t know if this is just standard procedure or if he is just acting like a high priced PD who has many clients
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2019, 01:08 PM
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It depends on the lawyer, but be sure to discuss it the next time you do talk. You should understand what to expect, and be comfortable with what you are told. Best case, the lawyer is doing a great job, but that isn't always true either.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:07 PM
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The more you want your hand held through this process, the more you need to get a private attorney with enough time to dedicate to holding your hand.

The further you are away from the resolution of your case, the less an attorney has to say to you. Motions for discovery are in and who knows how much discovery has actually been turned over let alone digested yet. You can't write motions. You can't argue motions. Your case isn't going to trial next week. Every time you talk with your attorney for no good reason you are taking away from the time that attorney needs to actually work on your case.

Now, let's assume that an attorney must communicate each and every week with each and every client (and not their family members who all think they should talk with the attorney as well). Let's assume nothing is happening in the case, no plea deals have been offered, no transcripts of your cooperation or the video of that cooperation has occurred. In short, nothing is happening beyond a Notice of appearance. You call up, the attorney interrupts the motion to suppress she is writing for somebody else to take your call. 10-15 minutes later, you are convinced that nothing is happening and the attorney will let you know when something relevant comes along, and will meet with you at your next status conference. Then, the attorney turns back to the Motion to Supress which is on a deadline. As she is just getting back into it, Client 2 calls, and she MUST talk with client 2 even though she will be meeting with client 2 the following day at a status hearing. This goes on all day. As the attorney is sitting down with Client 37 who has a change of plea tomorrow, Client 23 calls and that call MUST be answered.

You can add it up - if everybody gets 10-15 minutes each week no matter where they are in the process, nothing will ever get done.

Let your attorney do her job. She will communicate with you when relevant, and will see you before or after every status hearing.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:00 PM
ttexrbomb ttexrbomb is offline
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During my time, I rarely heard from my attorney. Then, about a week before the hearing, my attorney called and said “Today is my xxxx (my name) day.” We spoke for three hours in his office. The next day, we met for 6 hours. We prepared for the hearing that was coming up. And I felt that we were as prepared as we could be under the circumstances.

You don’t have to hear from your attorney daily or weekly. No news is good news. When it’s time, you’ll hear from him (or her). If you’re paying a private attorney, you’ll appreciate not having to pay $400 an hour to just be told that there is nothing new.

When it’s your time, your attorney will reach out to you. If you have a public attorney and you feel like you’re not getting enough attention, then hire private counsel. They will be more than happy to bill you for their time. But no news is good news. Your attorney will reach out to you if there are any updates. Trust me.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yourself View Post
The more you want your hand held through this process, the more you need to get a private attorney with enough time to dedicate to holding your hand.

The further you are away from the resolution of your case, the less an attorney has to say to you. Motions for discovery are in and who knows how much discovery has actually been turned over let alone digested yet. You can't write motions. You can't argue motions. Your case isn't going to trial next week. Every time you talk with your attorney for no good reason you are taking away from the time that attorney needs to actually work on your case.

Now, let's assume that an attorney must communicate each and every week with each and every client (and not their family members who all think they should talk with the attorney as well). Let's assume nothing is happening in the case, no plea deals have been offered, no transcripts of your cooperation or the video of that cooperation has occurred. In short, nothing is happening beyond a Notice of appearance. You call up, the attorney interrupts the motion to suppress she is writing for somebody else to take your call. 10-15 minutes later, you are convinced that nothing is happening and the attorney will let you know when something relevant comes along, and will meet with you at your next status conference. Then, the attorney turns back to the Motion to Supress which is on a deadline. As she is just getting back into it, Client 2 calls, and she MUST talk with client 2 even though she will be meeting with client 2 the following day at a status hearing. This goes on all day. As the attorney is sitting down with Client 37 who has a change of plea tomorrow, Client 23 calls and that call MUST be answered.

You can add it up - if everybody gets 10-15 minutes each week no matter where they are in the process, nothing will ever get done.

Let your attorney do her job. She will communicate with you when relevant, and will see you before or after every status hearing.
I see both sides, The Atty's and clients. As a client I had a million questions I wanted answered throughout the case. I had two private attorneys. One I considered my hand holder and the other was all business. I didn't plan it that way but, thats how it worked out. I understand this was a luxury. Both were on retainer so I was not billed hourly. The hand holder was there to answer my calls almost 24 hours a day and, would see me at the drop of a hat. I peppered him with questions but, direct questions. I must say, it educated me immensely. By answering the questions it put me at ease but, also helped my case by being able to add input, suggestions, etc. I was able to concentrate on the little issues and bring things to their attention they might not have thought about. For instance certain wording in my PSR, prison recommendations, issues to bring up with the AUSA and so forth. Point being, you need to be able to contact your Atty and stay on top of them but, not to the point of being a pain in the ---. Kind of a fine line

From the Atty's view, they do things last minute and when they need to do them. They do not waste time on speculation or issues that do not require immediate attention. Most Atty's when your case comes up, will devote all of their time, resources and brain power on you. It usually happens last minute. This is what you want however. You want their undivided attention when its most needed and most important. You don't want them working on 20 other things when its your turn to go to trial/sentencing. My advice. Write your questions down, pick and choose what questions you want answered and pick a time to have a short phone conversation or email him the questions. Make the questions as direct and easy to answer as possible and, I think you will find he appreciates it and, will be more willing to speak with you in the future.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:47 PM
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It doesn't happen last minute for the attorney. It may feel that way from the perspective of the client, but it doesn't happen last minute for the attorney. Every status hearing you have to show up for, the judge asks about discovery, about expected motions, about timing, about where you are in plea negotiations. Judge also asks if you, the client, are there. Think of it the same way - as your attorney, I am filing motions, examining discovery as it comes in all the way down to going to the evidence vault with an order for independent testing (that I had to write, present to the court, argue, counter the State's argument, and then get a written order detailing what would happen to that evidence). I have an idea of how many more motions need to be produced and researched because the law is always changing, how many more oral arguments need to be made, how much shaping of the evidence is going on. I know how far I am out from trial, how many witnesses we may need to subpoena whether we go to trial or not, and all those legal technicalities. So, I can answer all of those questions, usually with some discussion. The shortest portion of a status hearing is whether or not the defendant is there.

The full case is the same way. You feel like everything is last minute. It isn't. You may take a back seat the week I have a trial in another matter, but that doesn't mean I do not even look at your case that week.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:09 PM
rockchalk1 rockchalk1 is offline
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That's the benefit of hiring a private attorney when you can afford it. There are handholders and there are attorneys that are well, NOT handholders to be blunt.

You may be best off at this time making and keep a list of questions you have as they come along and then have a sit down with your attorney and ask the questions. That is what my husband and I used to do. We would meet him when something was coming up with his case, and then I would go through our list of questions. Often a lot of our questions were asked during our meeting before I even had to ask them. A seasoned attorney knows this and has generally heard the same questions over and over so he is also prepared for what is coming. It's hard for some of them to understand what the defendant feels like however.

First thing though is that the government should have turned over all discovery and evidence against you to your attorney. He should have then in turn sent that over to you as well. You can take it upon yourself and review it for accuracy or any discrepancies that can help your case to then question your attorney if you think you may have a shot at going to trial. He will then shoot them all down or not.

At the end of the day, yourself is correct. You're not the only client of your attorney's so you just need to be patient. It stinks, but most don't do anything until just before a hearing is coming up. As frustrating as that is, it is true.
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