Cannot reach this one particular attorney…anybody have any suggestions???

I do not wish to give away much of a backstory or front story, since I’ve already been through the wringer and I don’t to disclose too many more private details.

Here is what is happening:

I need to reach this one particular attorney — who I will call Mr. Smith (so he doesn’t get confused with my atty, who is also part of this story), in regard to an issue that more or less has to do with my future.

This thing started on May 28 and it’s now July 11 and I still don’t have an answer from Mr. Smith.  All he needs to do is examine data and the data is readily available. It should not take long for a yes or a no. I should have had an answer by June 5. Splitting the atom is not involved.

I spoke to him on the 28 of May at his office . Mr. Smith assured me he’d have an answer relatively quickly. A second person is also involved and Smith said he’d speak to “Jim” and discuss  with Jim what I wished to do.

10 days went by. No word from Smith. He did not reply to my atty’s emails, either.

I called Smith on June 8 and told him I was awaiting his reply and decision.  He never called me.

2 more weeks went by; now it is June 22. I left another message and said I still needed to know whether it was yes or no.

Nothing. Not a call, not an email, not a word. My atty did not get a reply, either from Smith.

On June 30, I drove to Smith’s office (a good 70 miles from here); I arrived at 3:00 — since he met with me at 4:30 the last time I needed to see him, I stayed around until 5. The office was closed and nobody was on site. I figured I’d wait for him.

As I was all set to leave, my atty phoned me. He said he heard from Smith and he woud call me later on.

I heard from Smith the next morning. “Refesh my memory what’s going on…” Refesh your memory?!  I already got kind of pissed –I lost FOUR WEEKS of time!!! He should have had a decision for me!!! (if you ask me that “refresh my memory” is bunk — he tried to cover for not replying to me long before he finally called me back on June 30 — Smith knew the entire time what the story was. Man.)

And what happened to JIM??? I didn’t even get a phone call from Jim anywhere during the time span of May 28- June 30! Didn’t Smith even mention what I wanted to Jim at all???

I had to recant the whole story to Smith. He assured me he would let me know if it is yes or no in a few days and what I was asking sounded like a good idea and that all he had to do was call Jim and then Smith would let me know if it is yes or no…….

And here it is, nearly 2 weeks later.. and I still cannot reach Mr. Smith. I did not hear from Jim, either.

He has no admin on site in his office. The admin who works for him is either part time or telecommutes, I think.

Whenever I call the office, all I get is voicemail. Nobody “live” ever gets the phone.

He’s got another attorney who shares the office (and he said he was covering for that atty since he is on vacation — but still…wow,, who doesn’t return a call in a reasonable amount of time???)

I don’t know whether Smith is part time, semi retired or what, but how long CAN you go without returning somebody’s call within a reasonable length of time???

(and I still do not know if Jim knows or not what’s going on! I never heard from him — which means I am being disregarded by Jim…or maybe Jim has no clue I requested what I requested!)

I sent a certified mail letter to Jim, telling him what I just told you guys — I did not load it up with a lot of conjecture; just the facts — and I asked Jim to call me asap and for him to give me his decision; I told him that I am under a severe time constraint and I need a yes or a no immediately.

That’s a long story why I don’t have anther phone number for him or email addy (Smith says that the number I have — I think it is a cell phone and not a landline —  is the only number he has for Jim. Not possible— how does Smith reach Jim, then??? When I call the number I have for Jim, I get a recording that goes “the mailbox is full; please enter your password…” That is all I have ever gotten when I’ve dialed that number. Something is flim flammy with that telephone number. Not possible your phone is out of commission since I’ve had that telephone number you gave me.

What’s going on here? Why hasn’t either person called me to let me know if it is YES or NO???? No reply from either party!

I cannot see how you can conduct business like this or leave somebody hanging regarding a vital issue.

Does anybody have any suggestions?? I can’t seem to get the ball moving on this and I need an answer now.

6 thoughts on “Cannot reach this one particular attorney…anybody have any suggestions???”

  1. If the matter is contractual, there should be a date in the contract by which the offer (or period of performance if he is providing services) expires. You have constructive declination of the offer by person receiving the offer if he does not respond to the offer, or grounds for terminating the contract for non-performance if he does not perform the agreed work.

    An option is yet another certified letter, return receipt requested, reminding Mr. Smith of the work that he was supposed to do for you and the urgency of your need for him to do the work. If Smith is Jim’s lawyer, you should not be contacting Jim directly.

    You could file a grievance against the lawyer, though this does not help you contact him. There is a code of professional conduct to which they are supposed to be held. https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/oae/atty_disc/atty_disc.htm

    Contacting him is one thing; getting him to respond is another. It sounds like Smith is in the position of conveying information, such as an offer, to Jim if and only if he thinks that the offer is a good one. I believe that Smith has a responsibility to Jim to convey all offers and other information, and then can advise him about which to take, if any.

    E-mail is a possible way for Smith to contact Jim.

  2. One of the things that I learned as a manager is that sometimes the absence of an answer is itself an answer. If you have a contractual relationship with Jim/Mr. Smith, then Madness’s advice applies; otherwise, I’d assume at this point that no useful answer is or will be forthcoming, and proceed accordingly.

  3. Fire Mr. Smith, and get yourself a new attorney to handle this matter. Then demand your money back from Mr. Smith for not providing the services you have paid for! Incompetence should never be rewarded.

    Also, did you read my advice on how to handle your’annoying’ friend. I posted it on your ‘house sold’ entry. 🙂

    1. Long story: Smith is not anybody I hired.

      I cannot understand how a professional person will refuse to call somebody back and how that same person will skirt somebody’s phone calls.

      There is a BBB and there is a county bar association and there is a grievance procedure. He’s a fool if he’s proceeding however he dern wishes to.

      1. The beat is still going on with these 2.

        My calls did not get returned.I stopped calling Smith.

        The certified mail letter I sent Jim returned to me unopened with “Return to Sender” written on it? Great.

        Something funky is going on here. To me, this is the same thing a collection agency gets when they are trying to corner a debtor. I won’t write any more letters; they will only come back the same way as the one I sent.

        1. You should ask Smith to return whatever materials that you gave him to evaluate. There is no reason for him to retain your information. If there was a written offer of some nature being evaluated, I would presume constructive declination at this point due to lack of response on Jim’s part. I hope that this problem does not delay the sale of your house.

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