I had a medical issue, and there was a very slim chance that I could have ended up as a ward of the state. As a result, I was given a court appointed attorney. However, I have not heard from the attorney at all, and I've tried contacting them since I've been discharged from the hospital.

As far as how I've been contacting them, I've been leaving a brief voicemail that pretty much follows this format: "Hello, this is ________; I'm calling regarding case number ________. If you can call me back at __________. That would be great."

I've done that at the start of business hours, for 3 days in a row. I hope I'm not bothering them too much, but I'd like to make sure the case is resolved. If it's resolved, then by statutes in my region it will be sealed.

However, if it's open, then I cannot pursue certain business plans, because I need to have good health to proceed for licensing.

I'll be sending an email next Monday, and I might stop by the law office next Friday.

So the meat of the question is this: Should I keep contacting them via phone? If I'm unable to establish contact, does it warrant contacting the bar association after several weeks?

1 Answer 1


This sounds like a critically important issue to your well-being and livelihood, so yes, continue trying to contact. I would note that you should indicate you are his client and/or mention that he is your court-appointed attorney. He may not recognize that his client is calling him and therefore prioritizing said phone call at the bottom of his to-do list. He should be returning his calls nonetheless, but in this situation it can hardly hurt to drop the fact that his client is calling him instead of just anybody.

Also, I would not hesitate to put a little more urgency behind your message than "if you can" / "that would be great." It would not hurt to explicitly mention that "I am awaiting the [conclusion/outcome/determination] of this matter because without it I am unable to [make a living/get a job/pursue my business ventures]."

If you don't get any help and you're put in a bad place as a result, it would surely warrant contacting the bar after several weeks. Indeed, that is also part of the reason why you'll want to make clear (whether by voicemail or email, but preferably both) what the detriment to you is in this situation. That puts him on notice and will have you in a better position should you need to lodge a complaint.

Of course, this is not legal advice and should not be taken as such.

  • In what sense is it not legal advice? You're not describing what the law is, you're saying what he should do, and telling a person what they should do is advice in my book.
    – user6726
    Jun 24, 2017 at 17:51
  • It's not legal advice in that a) I'm simply expressing an opinion, b) I'm deriving that opinion from what I believe to be general best practices professionally (e.g., when or how often you should follow-up with a person providing you professional services and why you would want to document specific items to that professional) as opposed to addressing any legal question, c) due to variances in rules and laws across jurisdictions, it is not possible to provide the individual legal advice, and d) as is the case with all non-attorneys, a non-attorney may not furnish legal advice.
    – A.fm.
    Jun 24, 2017 at 17:57
  • Reason (a) is a reason for closing. Reason (b) suggests the answer is not an answer since it doesn't address a legal question. Reason (c) suggests that you think there is some jurisdiction where your advice would be incorrect – details of that would be rather interesting. And as is the case with all attorneys, an attorney may not furnish legal advice here. It factually wrong to say there being a law against non-attorney providing legal advice (the laws pertain to practicing without a license, and in some states such as Washington specifically allow personal advice).
    – user6726
    Jun 24, 2017 at 18:33
  • Closing what? My point is the answer to the individual’s question is inherently non-legal and the answer to the question is inherently an opinion. There is no factual answer. You may think, for example, calling once per day is excessive. I don’t. Opinions. Also, had the question been “should I keep calling my doctor?” Or “should I keep calling my plumber?” My answer would have been nearly identical. There is no legal question posed. Also, I never said there was a law against non-attorney providing legal advice and providing legal advice is practicing.
    – A.fm.
    Jun 24, 2017 at 18:35

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