Ask an attorney

What can I do if my attorney is handling my case inadequately?

Asked by user in Ohio.

From day one, my attorney never questioned me about my case. I am not a criminal, nor am I educated on how the court system works or what an attorney’s responsibilities are. Everything that I am stating, I have evidence and proof of all of it.

Social Services took my children and then the social worker lied and told me not to go to court because it didn't involve me. I received a letter a few weeks later stating that numerous attempts were made to find me and I didn't show up. I kept asking my attorney how they were allowed to take my kids without even talking to me. I should have been allowed in court at the time but I didn't know what was going on.

I eventually threatened to contact the news media, and then the lawyer told me it was too late to do anything about it at that point. She has also been involved with conversations with the social worker which I thought she wasn't allowed to do unless I was there or gave her permission. I've left 3 messages with her the past 2 weeks and no calls were returned. She entered a plea in court without even consulting me. She made a decision in my case without even asking me how I wanted to proceed. I had an open case against the social worker. She made a decision without even looking my way. I have been beside myself since. I need help.

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

I am so sorry you’re going through all of this. It may be that there’s some sort of breakdown in the system if you’re not permitted to have any type of involvement in proceedings related to your children’s care and custody. If you feel that your lawyer hasn’t been handling your case adequately, you can look for another lawyer.

Be sure that whomever you choose is experienced in family law and handling cases involving Social Services. Your lawyer does have a responsibility to communicate with you about updates to your case and to make sure that all court appearances are made and documents filed on time. It sounds as though there might also be a criminal proceeding if you entered into a plea agreement, so make sure that you have the correct type of lawyer (or multiple lawyers if necessary) for the types of cases that are pending.

If you need assistance or an advocate, you can contact Ohio Legal Help for additional resources.

Best of luck. I hope that the situation resolves swiftly.

Free downloads

Your First Meeting with an Attorney
A worksheet to prepare for your first meeting with a personal injury attorney – what to bring, what they'll ask
Download in PDF format

Enjuris Partner Attorney Spotlight
Representatives answer calls for attorney services. Dial 800-734-4134

Legal Rights Defenders

Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Lawyers


(800) 734-4134