Many people hire and pay asked attorney’s fees so that a knowledgeable attorney can protect their rights and interests in court, but very few know their rights when it comes to an attorney that they have hired to represent them. The California code of ethics lays out very specific standards to which an attorney must adhere to when dealing with their clients.
One of the main obligations an attorney has to a client is to be open with communication. If a client calls the office, the attorney, or someone under their direction, must return the phone call within a reasonable period of time. A reasonable period of time does not mean within the hour, or as soon as possible. If a client calls the attorney on Tuesday morning, the attorney may return that call later on that day or on Wednesday. A reasonable period of time would be within that day or the next, unless of course the attorney feels that it is a matter that requires immediate attention. Matters that would demand a phone call right away would be if the client has been arrested again or if the client has a court date the following day and there has been a change to the calendar.
When you have hired an attorney to represent you, they must appear in court on your behalf, provided that they have been retained to do so. If you have a court date and the attorney has been notified but fails to appear they have violated their duty to you as your attorney. You are paying an attorney to protect your rights and interests and oftentimes a failure to appear in court can be detrimental to your case as well as your criminal record. Make sure that your criminal defense attorney is a professional and will appear on your behalf in court without you having to worry about it. A great way to check whether an attorney is responsible is to ask previous clients or look up the attorney’s record on the California State Bar website. An attorney can get sanctioned by a judge if they fail to appear in court and it has an effect on the client’s case. If an attorney has been sanctioned before, it will be on their public record as an attorney.
All in all, the attorney has a duty to accept cases that they feel they can handle in a competent and diligent manner. Any behavior that indicates otherwise will be cause for a case that they are not representing your best interests. You have hired a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer to protect you and to fight for you. Make sure your attorney is providing you with the best possible professionalism and is getting you the results that you want. If that is not the case, be sure to understand your options and protect yourself.