What to do if I live in a different state than the attorney that I hired and they will not directly communicate with me?

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What to do if I live in a different state than the attorney that I hired and they will not directly communicate with me?

My mother passed last year and I contested her Will because my brother, the executor, has not communicated with me. Both he and I are the sole beneficiaries. It has been over 1 1/2 years and the past 6 months I have been communicating with the attorney’s secretary. I have emailed and called but have not received any information via phone mail or email. What do I do to have them call me?

Asked on July 29, 2013 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Inform the attorney in writing that you will discharge the attorney if he/she does not respond to your letter within ten days, and you will then hire another attorney.

You can also file a complaint with the State Bar in the state where that attorney is licensed to practice law.  A call from the State Bar will usually result in the attorney responding to you.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to force the attorney to call you directly, other than, perhaps, giving him an ultimatum, such as that if the attorney does not communicate directly with you, you will terminate the representation and hire someone else--which is your right, if you are not satisfied with how this attorney is handling your case. If it turns out the attorney has mishandled your case or caused you any damage, missed opportunity, or extra expense, you may have a malpractice claim and/or be able to file an ethical grievance with his state bar association.


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