How To Know If Your Lawyer Is Selling You Out: Major Signs You Must Know

As a regular citizen, if you are involved in any judicial concerns that you are unsure how to address, you will require the services of a special attorney.

Yes, the lawyer you will retain to handle your case. But, before you engage him, you should be aware of some facts and his areas of specialty that can ostensibly assist you in finding the best lawyer to get the best results.

how to know if your lawyer is selling you out

signs that your lawyer is selling you out

Rather than regretting it afterward, it is preferable to locate the best and most appropriate lawyer for your case. You will easily understand “how to know if your lawyer is selling you out” after you hire him.

And if you have hired one and you think he is selling you out, it can be addressed easily through the given information below to help you. 

How to find a good attorney? Attorney in Fact

Don’t chase the personalities of legal professionals; learning the best areas of their competence will help you achieve your goals in judicial situations.

Choosing the best and correct lawyer is not an easy endeavor, but you can give it your best shot.

As it is a critical decision that might leave you feeling both guilt and happiness. So, before making a selection of the proper lawyer, learn everything about him, including his demeanor and approach to cases, among other things.

Everything is detailed in depth below so that you may understand “how to know if your lawyer is selling you out” and “how to choose the best lawyer”.  

It is important to trust the attorney, but what should you do if there is no conclusion to the case? Learn about all of the difficulties and warning signals that your lawyer is giving you.

8 Signs of an incompetent lawyer or Bad Lawyer

It is really paramount to know the exact characteristics of a bad lawyer if you are considering hiring a new one or have been struggling with the old one. This can help in gathering points about “how to know if your lawyer is selling you out”.  

So, here are some facts and figures to help you holistically know everything about a bad lawyer so that you can easily make an analysis without wasting time before it goes.

What are the Characteristics of a Bad Lawyer?

Here is the top signs of a bad attorney from where you can judge and take suitable action for particular attorney.

Ineffective communication and transparency

One of the major signs that your attorney is selling you out is that he will let you know directly when he is having bad communication.

If he is not good at communicating and responding to you, this means he doesn’t have any transparency. 

Without this major aspect, he won’t be able to understand your interests and won’t be able to represent them in a good manner. Moreover, transparency in strategies, fees, and progress is the most effective sign of an attorney and client relationship.

If you are not getting this, this means you are not in the right hands and will not get the desired results in your cases.

Competing Interests

If the lawyers show the same interest shown by the clients, that means they are good at handling them. Also, it is the primary and utmost duty of a lawyer to know his client’s best interests. 

But if there are no such things happening, this means there might be reasons to raise trust issues and conflicts for sure.

This can also exacerbate the client-attorney bond for the further proceeding of the cases. Therefore, it is crucial to resolve the concerns you have, and you can also get advice from legal ethics experts to learn more about them in a good way.

Lack of Competence or Expertise

It is also an important part of handling good cases to have adequate competency in the legal market as a lawyer. The best knowledge and skills show the same expertise.

If this is not getting you what you are expecting from him and you are confronting the issues knowing the relevant laws and regulations, this means he is not adequate for the role for which you are seeking to hire him.

Excessive billing and unaccounted-for expenses

Transparent and reasonable bills are signs of good lawyers. But if, in your case, the lawyer is overcharging more than the required amount and adding unnecessary charges or expenses, he is not the one to handle the case. 

He could be someone who prioritizes his own financial interests over yours. Because maintaining the trust of clients is also crucial for a lawyer, requesting an itemized invoice can be a good move to save yourself from paying extra charges.

Pessimistic Attitude

Behaving well and not being pessimistic in attitude are signs of a hard-working and cooperating lawyer. If he is not having the same behavior and is being rude about the case and the communication, don’t trust him for further things. 

Also Read: Who can override a Power of Attorney?

Because gaining the interests of the client and their trust is more important than anything else to a lawyer, A kind-hearted lawyer will always behave in a better manner, which will motivate you and bring positive results to the case.

No Feelings for Others

When a person goes to court in distress, he needs motivation and positive vibes from the person he is trusting to handle the matter.

A little sympathy from the lawyers can instantly motivate the person in court to confront the situation in a better manner. 

If there is nothing such and the lawyer has no feelings for others, he can’t even understand the distress, pain, and situation of the client. Stay away from such ones.

The Attorney Is lying

Being trustworthy, polite, and truthful are the essential qualities an attorney must have. If you want to know if Your Lawyer Is Selling You Out, you can identify it easily by knowing whether he has such qualities or not.

Because a lawyer is completely supposed to tell the truth with his client, if you find him lying to you, just get rid of him and don’t give him another chance to exacerbate your case.

Dragging the Case without Results

A bad lawyer will surely think of his own benefit, not the client’s. Dragging the case for nothing can also be a sign of the greed of a lawyer because, if there are no consequences, that isn’t worth anything. 

If he is taking too much time for hearing dates then always ask yourself – why is my lawyer taking so long to settle my case.

Self-interest can’t give a good outcome in this case because understanding the situation and building a good relationship with the client are important.

Without knowing things, dragging cases only benefits the lawyers, not the clients. So, beware of such greedy lawyers and rely on honest and helping hands.

Get your money back from your Attorney

If you find such things as those mentioned above, you have the right to get rid of him. Also, there are certain methods that can definitely help you make the right decision about leaving that lawyer and getting your money back. 

how to know if your lawyer is selling you out

Therefore, it is first important to know the return fee methods. If you have paid the attorney according to a method that can help you get your money back from the lawyer, surely you can have the resolution.

Method of Fee Retention

The fee retention method can be a good way to get engaged with the lawyer until the end of the agreement. If, in this case, he is not behaving and handling the case properly and is without results, you can have your money back for sure from him. 

But you have to keep in mind that the refund can only be given to you for the non-working time of the lawyer, not the working one.

Payment per Hour

Being paid on an hourly basis, lawyers charge their fees. But if he charged you for the advance payment and only worked for a few hours, you can claim the refund for the work undone and for the non-working hours.

He is really entitled to refund that amount to the client. Getting such agreements in writing can help you better, as you can head off the bar counsel for not resolving the issue and seek help as soon as possible.

Method of Contingency

This is the alternative method of contingency if your lawyer is working on this, and he will be paid according to a certain percentage of the recovered amount at the end of the case.

This means there is no such fee paid in advance, and if you fire him in the middle of the case due to his negligence of interest and responsibilities, the lawyer will definitely be responsible for the end of the agreement between you and the lawyer.

But this will decide the recovery of the fee, and at that cost, experts are there to help in both parties’ favor.

Reasons to file a complaint against an Attorney, lawyer is unresponsive

When a lawyer is handling your case, it is his utmost duty to respond to you, and if he is unresponsive and not answering your inquiries, you have the legal right to question him about the status of the legal matters. 

how to know if your lawyer is selling you out

There should be legal ethics in every lawyer who has been serving the clients in the store, and it is his responsibility to promptly respond to the reasonable request made by the client.

If he doesn’t, there are a few things that you can do if your lawyer is unresponsive or if you feel that your lawyer is selling you out.

You can find a better resolution to your problem with other practical tips that you can follow. If your lawyer is not responding to the emails or phone calls that you are making, he is continuously forgetting the status of your case.

Tip 1: Checking Your Attorney’s Contact Information

Well, it is always important to get all the details of the lawyer, including his contact information, email, and office address, but in case he has changed his contact details that may be the reason why he is not responding to you.

So you should double-check the contact information for your lawyer.

Tip 2: Send your lawyer a Follow-Up email

If your lawyer has not responded, then send him an email, and request about update on your case, and the timeline by which we can be available to answer you.

Tip 3: Try to get connected with him through social media

Most lawyers are supposed to respond to clients on time. But there are many people who are terrible at doing that.

This could happen in cases where the attorney is busy somewhere and is not reachable or does not answer calls and emails. You have another way to ping him on WhatsApp or you can connect with him on social media.

Because of this, the attorneys often reply to WhatsApp and social media apps which they prefer to be online at busy hours instead of not picking up the calls. Because it is not time-consuming to send a reply there.

Tip 4: Call Your Attorney’s office

If the lawyer is unreachable on his personal contact list as well, you may try contacting his office number.

The assistants can easily give you information about their absence and availability, and they can also deliver your message to the attorney as well.

Tip 5: Set a Time Limit for a Return Email or Call

Setting a timer for the attorney can be a helpful way to get their responses on time about the cases.

Because lawyers are very good at prioritizing their days and work, you may inform your lawyer to respond to you by mentioning a specific date and time for a quicker response.

Tip 6: Setting up an Appointment with your lawyer

Setting up an in-person appointment can also be another way to get the lawyer’s response. If you are thinking that your lawyer is selling you out and want to make some decisions, you need an in-person conversation with him.

Book an appointment and take the proper time to get the actual reason for not being reachable to you and the response to the case, whether that is going to be helpful to you or not.

Tip 7: Take your case back from the lawyer

Negligence and not being the responsible one to answer back to the client can be reasons for a lawyer breaking the client’s trust.

Because the client is completely relying on the lawyer for the hearing and the results of the case, you can easily withdraw your case from him and ask him to return your file. 

Therefore, you may prefer to hire someone better lawyer than him if he is not serious for your case. It could be a difficult decision to make, but before that, just have a better perusal of the client histories of other lawyers as well.

Only then you should proceed further to hand over your case to a responsible, accountable, and communicative lawyer for your better ease.


This is really crucial for protecting the client’s rights and interests when your attorney sells you out. There could be major red flags that can directly inform you that you are on the wrong path.

So, this requires completely immediate action to leave that bad lawyer and head off to the right one who can stand by your side to give you the right direction and the right response on time, building your trust and a good client-attorney relationship.

Also, you have the option of consulting legal professionals who can help you address the issues and concerns you are confronting.

On the other hand, they can advise you well to hire an experienced and well-mannered lawyer to receive the best legal endorsement from the good lawyer you deserve and are awaiting.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is not common for attorneys to not respond to emails, calls, texts, and office calls as well because this completely goes against their ethical duty. They are completely supposed to promptly respond to the clients for their convenience and to build good faith in them.

An attorney is supposed to respond promptly to the calls, messages, and emails of clients. Because an attorney is ethically obligated to respond to clients, no such timeframe has been mentioned to respond to the email.

Meeting the deadlines of the client’s case is important to the attorneys. But if he fails to meet such an appointment, then you should talk to him immediately. If he tries to answer you back with a legitimate reason, then you should consider working with him further; otherwise, you can change your lawyer by finding a better one.

If the lawyer is directly letting you know all the details, strategies, and status of the case on time, this means he is doing a good job handling your case.

Yes, it is surely possible to get a fee retainer and get your funds back from him. Because he will only be paid for the work done by him, not for the non-working hours. If he refuses to pay the refund and manipulates you, you have the option to escalate this matter to the state bar association to get paid.

If you find the lawyer guilty, unresponsive, and incompetent in handling your case, you can easily leave him and ask him to return your file. Moreover, you can have the right to a fee refund according to the terms and conditions, and you can sue him in the state bar to get the best aid and response.

Not all, because there could be some lawyers who show unfaithfulness to the clients and become unresponsive due to their lack of responsibility and lack of interest. But to ensure that this does not happen to you in the future, choose the right lawyer at the right time.

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