Once a month is a good rule of thumb if things are slow, but if you are preparing for trial or, in my case, for an administrative benefits hearing, contact with you and your lawyer should be more frequent and specifically scheduled. A civil lawsuit based on something like a breach of contract can take a considerable amount of time to resolve. In this case, months could go by without anything significant happening that requires communication from your lawyer. This doesn't mean that the lawyer isn't working behind the scenes, it just means that there's nothing that needs to be discussed yet.
Your lawyer may not be able to respond to you right away because you are dealing with another client's negotiations or judgment. Being busy with another customer is no excuse for not fully responding to another customer. Even if your lawyer is working on another case, they should contact you within a maximum of one or two days. Communication is an important component of the client-lawyer relationship, and is essential if you want to get the most money for your claim.
Communication is so crucial that it appears as one of the first points of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct of the United States Bar Association. There is no set formula for how often you will hear from your lawyer. However, the key to a successful lawyer-client relationship is communication. Whenever there is an important event in your case, you will be contacted or notified.
This will range from calls to discuss the discovery in your case, the results of working with a private investigator, offers according to the guilty plea, or simply a simple search. It's important to note that if you have any questions about your case, you should contact your lawyer. Bar associations in charge of supervising lawyers go after lawyers who steal or violate specific ethical rules, not lawyers who are simply not very good. The agency can impose monetary fines, require the lawyer to make restitution (such as returning stolen money), suspend a lawyer's license to practice law, or disqualify the lawyer.
When it comes to case management, large personal injury law firms with hundreds of lawyers and perhaps numerous moving cases generally use an automated assembly approach. Naturally, your lawyer will be informed of all discussions you have with the support staff and will contact you personally if necessary. If your personal injury lawyer finds that your case is only worth a fraction of what you thought the potential payment was in the beginning, you may see a dramatic drop in your lawyer's responsiveness and urgency. The answers to these questions take into account a variety of factors and vary from lawyer to lawyer; however, providing some basic details about the relationship with the lawyer in various types of alternative cases can be useful if you are concerned about the interaction between you and your lawyer, as well as how often lawyers update your customers in general.
If you have agreed to pay your lawyer a contingency fee (the lawyer only charges if you win), make sure you know exactly how the fee is calculated and who pays the costs that arise while the lawsuit is ongoing. If you think your lawyer isn't serving your best interests, see What to Do When You're Angry at Your Lawyer. Personal injury lawyers are people, too: some of them genuinely care about their clients; others care much more about money.