Lawyer Red Flags To Keep You On Your Heels

Agatha Legal


Agatha Legal
Do you think that you have hired a bad attorney or you are just insecure? If yes! Then watch out for these lawyer red flags to keep you on your heels and ensure that you don't hire a bad attorney again.
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Do you think that you have hired a bad attorney or you are just insecure? If yes! Then watch out for these lawyer red flags to keep you on your heels and ensure that you don't hire a bad attorney again.

When paying for your legal services, you can always get your money's worth when you are represented by competent and good lawyers. To know more about a good attorney and a bad one, do well to read this article to the end.

Who is a lawyer?

A lawyer is a trained person who is qualified and licensed to advise people about the law and represent them in a court of law. A lawyer can also be called a legal adviser, solicitor, counsel, and attorney.

An attorney applies the law to specific cases assigned to them. They examine the facts and the evidence given to them by discussing with their clients and reviewing documents. They also prepare and file the pleadings in court. At the trial, they submit evidence, argue, interrogate witnesses, and ask questions of law and fact.

If an attorney does not win the case, they may seek redress or a new trial in the court of appeal. In many cases, they can bring about the settlement of a case without trial through reconciliation, compromise, and negotiation.

The law gives individuals the power to arrange and specify their legal rights in many cases and various ways, such as through contracts, wills, corporate bylaws, and attorney aid in many of these arrangements. There has been rapid development in this field of work since the 20th century, the representation of clients before the administrative committees or the courts of law and before legislative committees.

Attorneys have several loyalties when it comes to their work, to their clients, to the community, to the administration of justice, and themselves. The standards of the profession are intended to affect reconciliation when these loyalties conflict. Here in Nigeria, all attorneys are admitted to the bar as solicitors and barristers of the Supreme Court without any difference as to their roles or functions.

What are the duties of a Lawyer?

When it comes to attorneys, they fill a crucial part in our lives and society at large. These are the duties a good attorney performs in most cases, especially in Nigeria.

  • An attorney helps you to draft legal documents that vary from demand notice to a debt, business letters, or legal agreements like Deed of Conveyance. For instance, when you buy a piece of land, the agreement prepared to be signed by you and the land vendor is done by the attorney. They prepare a tenancy agreement or Deed of assignment.
  • An attorney can help recover your debt, evict that stubborn tenant, and enforce your right when violated by anybody or other law enforcement agencies.
  • An attorney gives other duties that help you to register your business name, incorporate trustees, like social clubs, churches, and schools, and incorporate your companies (limited liability company). If you'd like to change the name of your registered company or change directors or increase shares capital. An attorney can help you achieve all these and more. An attorney can also serve as a company secretary.
  • Are you a family man with a lot of properties and assets? Then there is a need for you to write a will to leave your properties to your wife and children, and not the hungry brothers to devour all you have worked for when you are gone. Thus, an attorney can help you draft your will and get it registered with the law properly.
  • An attorney can also help you get a Letter of Administration in a situation where your father, mother, husband, or wife dies without writing a will.
  • They can also help interpret an incomprehensible document and clarify it to you in a simpler sentence you can understand. And do not forget, an attorney is a person who represents you in court or any other official engagement.

What are the qualities to check out for in a competent lawyer?

Here are signs demonstrating that you've hired a qualified and competent attorney to handle your private injury case. Do you know you need a competent attorney when it comes to leading a legal life, from offices, houses, and other places? Here are the qualities you should check out for in a competent attorney.

1. Experiences

When hiring an attorney for any type of personal injury claim, it's in your interest to find someone with a great experience. That means, in the number of years each attorney has been practicing, it can be important to look for someone with a good background. For instance, there are a few questions you might want to ask yourself or determine during the first consultation phase.

2. Judgments

Mostly, trying to check out an attorney with a logical conclusion, the ability to draw reasonable conclusions from limited information is important for a good attorney. The attorney must also be able to consider judgments critically so that you can predict potential areas of weakness in your argument that must be strengthened against.

An attorney must be able to spot points of weakness in an opposition's argument. Perseverance is also a part of the judgment. There will be a lot of significant judgment calls to make and little time for sitting on the fence.

3. Reasonable communication skills

An attorney must be orally articulate, have good written communication skills, and also be a good listener. To argue convincingly in the courtroom before judges and juries, good public speaking skills are quite important. You can figure out a competent attorney with communication and speaking skills when they take part in activities such as meetings or general public speaking.

Although it's not all about prediction. To be able to analyze what clients tell them or follow a problematic testimony, an attorney must have good listening skills.

4. Good analytical skills

The study and practice of law involve absorbing large quantities of information and then having to digest it into something manageable and practical. At times, there will be more than one reasonable verdict, or more than one precedent favorable to solving a situation. An attorney must therefore have the evaluative skills to choose what is most suitable.

5. Effective research skills

Furthermore, being able to research quickly is an essential skill to understand your clients, their needs, and your dedication to legal strategies. Preparing legal strategies entails absorbing and understanding large amounts of information, and then clarifying them into something effective and useful.

6. Inter-communal skills

The law is believed to not be an abstract practice. Irrespective of how well an individual does academically and physically. In the end, the law works on behalf of people, and the decisions that are made in people's lives. Lawyers must be able to influence and read the actions of others.

7. Persistence

Studying to become an attorney takes a great deal of persistence and commitment before you even start any work. "Persistence is not a long race; it features many short races one after the other." When working on cases, you must have the persistence to complete the work necessary to drive it to a successful finish.

8. Utmost creativity

The competent and top attorneys are not only logical and rational, they display the utmost deal of creativity in their problem-solving. The best solution is not always the most noticeable and to out-maneuver your challenger. It is often important to think outside the box; to find out if you have the right integrity to be a successful attorney.

9. The neutrality

Going hand-in-hand with persistence and integrity, an objective attorney will likely be more willing to make sound decisions on your behalf. Any sort of prejudice or conflict of interest should automatically disqualify the attorney from accepting the case you offered. So it's important to ensure your forthcoming candidate maintains neutrality from the first consultation to the courtroom.

Top red flags of a bad lawyers

It is important to take action as early in your case as possible, but are you wondering if you hired a bad attorney for the question case? The earlier in your case you try to change attorneys, the smoother it will go with the court. Here are red flags to beware of.

1. They are too busy to talk

The first sign you see when you hire a bad attorney is that he is always busy with things other than the case. If your attorney can never take your calls or doesn't call you back within a few hours of your call, it is a big red flag with a long stick. Your attorney should always be available to discuss your case with you in great detail. If they have so many clients that they can't take your call quickly, then they may not have enough time to dedicate to your case.

2. It's always their way or the highway

The second red flag you should take note of if you have hired a bad attorney is that it is always their way or the highway. Your attorney is there to teach you about what is going on, notify you of your options, and then give you an opinion about each option.

They should help you discern the pros and cons of each option, at the end of the day, it is your case and your decision. If your attorney is not willing to do anything besides what they want to do, then you may have hired a bad one.

3. Always too pushy about a plea deal

A red flag with a longer stick is a sign of a bad criminal defense lawyer. The lawyer would always want you to plead with the opposing side. They are always too busy to do pretrial actions, investigations, and prepare for the prosecution that may push you to take a plea deal very quickly. This might also be a red flag that they are scared to go to court.

Either way, you have some pretrial work done on your case before you are encouraged to take a petition deal. It is difficult for them to evaluate a case before some additional work, whether they are sending investigators out or arguing motions in court.

4. They don't care about you as a person except for the work

When someone is caught up in the criminal justice system, then perhaps they are going through a traumatic life experience. False accusations can be very hard on you, and charges arise out of very stressful incidents. Your attorney should take care of your well-being as a person. For instance, If you are struggling with addiction issues, they should find ways to help your treatment resources.

Naturally, there are attorneys whose high energy can come off as spontaneous or abrasive. If the attorney frequently displays abrasive traits and cares more about work than you, then they are rubbing you off the wrong way.

5. Their pays are quite confusing and not clear

You're probably more willing to pay more for a good attorney when your future is on the line. But you want your attorney to be honest with you about their payments and you want to be sure to understand the payment structure.

Although legal fees are often more than what you might imagine. While cases are often unpredictable and sometimes require written motions, more court appearances, or payments for hiring experts. But fees should be listed on your bill, vague charges are a red flag.

Also, clarity is essential because you need to know how much time, attention, money, and other resources you need to have or set aside for your case.

6. No reply, they will just "look into It"

Another red flag you will see when you hire a bad attorney is that your criminal defense attorney never has any answers. When they reply to you with, "I will look into it," and never actually do, that's a problem. First, it might mean that they are procrastinating and not getting things done for your defense that need to be done. Secondly, it can mean that the attorney is inexperienced and doesn't have any answers. Surely, attorneys do need to look into things, like time to send investigators out and to do legal research. But if they are always telling you that they would look into it, and never give you the answers you need, then that's a problem.

7. Fabrication and false statements

If you catch your attorney painting, twisting, or bending the truth, then you should start looking forward to getting a new attorney as soon as possible! Although they may easily have their way with words. It may be as simple as lying to you about your documents or more.

Complete honesty is necessary for lawyer-client relationships, and your attorney should be able to give that to you as his client. Your attorney expects you to be truthful about everything that has to do with your case, while you also should expect the same thing from him or her as well.

8. Delay

Lastly, this is a key issue. Some people can even get late to their wedding party. If your attorney is late to your meetings or any court appearances, then he's not worth your money. Lateness is a red flag, which means your lawyer does not have a good time management system.

The lawyer might just not care about appearing disrespectful in front of you or the court. The worse thing is that it puts you at risk for delayed filing of documents which may result in huge fines and penalties that come with these failures. In court, failures to meet deadlines, especially those assessed by the law would directly affect you and your case.

How to avoid a bad lawyer for your cases in the Future

Just in case, you have to know the things to take note of, about bad attorneys and their effects on your cases, especially in Nigeria. And these are ways we can help you to avoid them, picking up your cases in the future.

When your attorney is too busy to talk and never gets back to return your calls, to avoid this in the future, pay attention to how quickly an attorney gets back to you when you call for an introductory consultation. The attorney should get back to you promptly and take the time to speak with you.

In the future, make sure your attorney listens to what you want and acts accordingly, not what they want. Likewise, before your attorney determines a plea deal, make sure the attorney is digging into the case and fighting for your rights, as it is the best course of action. You can as well ask the attorney during a first consultation what their approach is when negotiating plea deals.

Your attorney should be able to be at your service when you need them. Just in case, If you need mental health counseling, they should be able to help you find a good service provider. This is a sign of an attorney who cares. An attorney who cares will work much harder fighting for you than one who doesn't.

If your attorney won't give you the information you are asking for after a couple of conversations, then you might have to move on. Also, a good attorney who knows clarity and managed expectations are important and makes sure that you are getting these things from them. For the sake of late attorneys, always make sure that your attorney prioritizes meeting their deadlines and being on time.

What are lawyer issues with legal malpractices?

Legal malpractice is a type of failure or oversight in which an attorney harms his or her client, mostly according to law. Typically, this concerns attorneys acting in their interests for their benefits, attorneys breaching their contract with the client without prior notice. One of the most common of this legal malpractice in Nigeria is when attorneys fail to act on time for clients, either in court or at official events.

Can a lawyer be sued?

Firstly, have you heard about the word "rule of law" the sovereignty of law over everything, both the ruled and ruler? So yes, you can sue your attorney. He or she is not above the law especially if the attorney has made serious errors. You may consider suing an attorney for malpractice as well. But unfortunately, it is very hard to win a malpractice case, especially against a very skilled attorney.

Why do you need a family lawyer?

The Nigerian family law is here to protect and guide the rights of the family members, especially in the presence of disputes and challenges. Although a family is united by blood and has strong personal ties. The family is also filled with sensitive issues such as a divorce, and property division that can lead to complications, hence the need for a family attorney.

An attorney that represents a family will protect their rights, irrespective of the legal matter at hand. As a guiding principle to the attorney, they look after the interests of the represented person or people. Mind you, family matters are often very sensitive and require an experienced and steady approach, thus the family needs a qualified attorney.


Your choice of a defense attorney is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make, whether you're facing charges for theft divorce cases or any criminal cases. Especially when your future is on the line, you can't afford to have a bad attorney. By keeping an eye out for those red flags that you hired a bad attorney to keep you on your heels, hopefully, you can spot the issue earlier or get a new attorney to help you.

If you do a lot of research before you buy anything of great value, then you should exercise the same amount of effort in choosing a good attorney.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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