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unresponsive attorney

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In March 2007 I sought legal advice from an attorney who thought a settlement would be in my favor. He agreed to take on the case, and actually sent the demand letter last November. I have 15 months of documentation of his not communicating to me for weeks/months at a time. I've kindly requested through emails and phone messages for him to make some contact with me and let me know what the status is. He goes FAR too long without communicating with me, and is causing a simple matter to drag on. He ignores my emails (and I'm not being pushy...I don't overdo it with messages), but he has not made any contact with me in almost 2 months now! Do I have any recourse in dealing with this attorney??? (Besides finding another attorney, as it would be very time consuming, frustrating, and the attorney I have has already agreed to work on this case and is getting away with very poor treatment of his client). I live in MA.

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There are a couple things you can do (assuming that you aren't being completely unreasonable in your demands on this attorneys time and therefore causing the problem yourself)

1) Write him a letter (or call) and say you are firing him.

2) Write or call and say that if you don't hear back from him by date X and don't recive more reasonable levels of communication in the future you are terminating his employment and seeking another attorney.

Both of these options would hopefully light a fire under him and show your level of frustration with his lack of professionalism. If you are hesitant to fire him (which is understandable) then just lay out the facts as you see them, tell him what you expect moving forward, and try to stay calm (despite all the aggrivation) and be as rational as possible since nothing will come from getting overly emotional especially if he is already, for whatever reason, disenchanted with you or your case.

3) Fire him and file a complaint with the state ethics board. This is something that you should think about seriously before doing however since it is involves the possibility of very serious penalties and also opens you up to counter arguments about you or your case that he believes will help to disprove your claims.

Best of luck.

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Thank you for your time in replying. I really do feel I am not the cause of his unprofessional treatment of me, as he started out this way and has progressively gotten worse. Also, I am not one to yell and react irrational to people, because it's too uncomfortable for me; he does know I'm not happy when I'm left waiting and wondering what's going on for such a LONG time period, because I've simply stated so. I will absolutely consider filing a complaint, and I have the documentation to prove his lack of effort (dates of messages and the content of each message is logged), and email print-outs of our correspondence. This is all unfamiliar to me...how would I go about filing a complaint and finding out what justifies filing one (& if, in fact, this is the best option for this situation)?? Thank you to anyone who can help.

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Thank you very much for your help...I hope not to have to do this, but knowing I can do something about it if I need to is somewhat relieving.

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