No matter the specifics of your case or the reason you hired an attorney, it is absolutely imperative that you are equipped with the best person possible to help you navigate the legal process, make your claims, and receive your due compensation. Unfortunately, many people who have a bad attorney lose their case before reaching the courtroom. Keep reading to discover the telltale signs of a bad attorney and learn how to find a good DUI lawyer in Oklahoma City.

7 Signs of a Bad Attorney: What to Avoid, and How to Find a Good DUI Lawyer

1. Poor Communication

You and your attorney should be a team, which means that it’s necessary for them to fill you in on significant developments, strategize the next steps, and seek your opinion. If your attorney isn’t doing these crucial things, your case can fall short because the two of you may not be on the same page. And even if your attorney is communicating with you on a regular basis, you could still run into problems if your communication styles don’t match.

For example, an attorney should not be calling someone who has a busy 9-5 during typical workday hours when they will not be able to respond unless the communication is essential. Additionally, if a person isn’t as knowledgeable about technology, an attorney should never communicate with them in a digital way that they don’t understand. Finally, if you have a disability that makes certain types of communication difficult, the ideal attorney should be able to accommodate.

2. Lack of Priority

You have other things going on in your life, and so does your attorney; from other cases to outside commitments, they certainly keep busy. However, this is in no shape or form an excuse to drop the ball on your case and your needs. During your meetings with your attorney, it should be clear that they have dedicated a significant amount of time to consider your case and are prepared with a goal in mind that matches your focus.

Even if your attorney never verbally expresses that you and your case are not at the top of their list, keep your eye out for physical and behavioral signs that suggest you aren’t prioritized. Tardiness is a prime example, and you should be extremely wary of working with an attorney who regularly runs late to meetings, misses important dates, and neglects other commitments. Additionally, your attorney should appear professional, well-groomed, and reputable in front of the judge.

3. Improper Billing

You may be billing your attorney on an hourly basis as opposed to a flat fee, which is quite common and nothing to worry about. However, nefarious individuals can take advantage of this by costing you money without providing the help you need. Unfortunately, attorneys can drag out the time that they spend with you and your case to rack up a higher price tag while getting paid for work that they could have done in a shorter time frame.

If excessive time is an issue, it’s worth having a discussion with your attorney before giving them the boot. However, if problems persist, feel free to search the market for a better attorney. And although it would likely be viewed as impolite to keep a stopwatch on your attorney, you should have a vague idea of how many hours they have worked so that you can make sure both of your records tally and you aren’t being overcharged.

4. Personality Clashes

You and your attorney don’t have to think identically, but at the end of the day, you should have the same goals in mind while not disagreeing on the process to reach them. Depending on your individual case, you have to be the judge of the type of attorney that would be a good fit. Do you want someone with large amounts of energy and a loud voice, or would a more serious and less energetic preference suit the situation?

In addition, we recommend that you consider your own personality type when browsing through available attorneys. If you’re feeling especially anxious or upset about your case, ask around for suggestions of reassuring attorneys. Additionally, if you gravitate toward a quieter presence in the courtroom, it may be beneficial to seek out someone with a bubbly, engaging persona to do the talking and balance you out.

5. Lack of Relevance 

You want your attorney to fit your specific case, which means that it’s essential for the attorney you hire to have dealt with similar cases before. Experience is the best teacher and, even if they look great on paper, we encourage you to be wary of an attorney who lacks experience with your type of case. This doesn’t mean that they’re a bad attorney; instead, it simply means that they might not be the best for you.

When considering the relevance of an attorney, the narrower you can get, the better. For example, a divorce attorney is a good place to start when you’re looking to end a marriage, but if you can narrow it down further to divorce involving military spouses, your attorney will be able to provide the most help. Similarly, if you’re in search of an attorney to help you collect compensation for an injury, find one who has experience in the area.

6. Fabrication

You are entitled to the full and honest report of the proceedings of your case from your attorney, and you also want someone who engages in honest behavior to represent you. It is an automatic red flag if your attorney gives you a dishonest update of your case, such as painting a more positive picture than actually exists. Additionally, your attorney should never recommend a course of action that wouldn’t be possible or advantageous.

An attorney lying to you is never good, but if your attorney lies to the court, judge, or jury, this could be even worse. You can’t completely know what your attorney’s behavior will be before the actual day, but you should keep your eyes and ears open for possible predictors of poor behavior. Ultimately, fabrication of evidence or dishonest behavior inside and outside of the courtroom can completely derail your case, so get an honest attorney to represent you.

7. Inability to Plan

Your attorney is not required to have a complete step-by-step process from beginning to end, but the more information they can provide, the better. A planned case is the best case, and you never want to be unprepared. If your attorney isn’t outlining the next steps in your case, you could lose valuable time and weaken your case.

Additionally, if your attorney is charging you for your time without providing a plan, this is even worse. By taking your money without offering a solid plan in return, your attorney is taking advantage of you. Don’t allow this to happen; instead, make sure that you choose an attorney who has a history of honesty and respectability.

Now that you understand the warning signs of a poor attorney, it’s time to discuss the characteristics of a positive one. If you’re in the market for an attorney who has the skills, experience, and ability to represent a case involving injury, a DUI, or military divorce, we recommend Cannon & Associates incredibly. John Cannon is a great option when seeking lawyers in Oklahoma City—he and his team will relentlessly advocate for you, so contact Cannon & Associates today!