I haven't liked how my lawyer has been handling my case. Nothing that crosses the line into malpractice, and even there was something like that I wouldn't want to go through the hassle of hiring another lawyer to sue him. And I of course don't want to get in trouble for badmouthing him.
We were passed off to an junior lawyer that made mistakes that delayed the case, and then when the junior lawyer left it seemed like nobody was handling our case. For example he would say we didn't need a document for a few weeks, and then suddenly tell us we needed the document, which then took a few days, or a few weeks, to get from the US. This added considerable time to resolving our case. My attitude is that if we are waiting three months for Polish office to do something then we need to be ready with our response immediately. The law firm seems to take the attitude that they need to take as long for their part as the government office does for theirs. I'm sure if we added up all the delays caused by bad communication with our lawyer, we might have three months total in avoidable delays.
I that I'm getting really close to a deadline that will cause me a lot of problems if I miss it, I started calling often. All that got me was an email saying from now on I need to make appointments to talk to someone or use email, which is still answered slowly.
Assuming the reviews of the law firm you choose are not fake, you can still get a lawyer who took on to many clients right before your case, hired a new junior who is assigned to your case, had to many employees take leave at the same time, etc. There are lots of reasons that your particular case can be handled slowly that might not correlate with reviews on the internet.
I really want to post all my emails and descriptions of phone calls and meetings, but do to the nature of the case that would not be a good idea.
Maybe I should have changed lawyers at the first sign of trouble?
Maybe I should have hired a local lawyer and paid for him to travel instead of hiring someone in the town where the legal issue is?
Maybe I should have been more of a pest in the beginning to see how he'd react?
I have personally had the experience of 2 very bad lawyers in Poland. One was to do everything so that I could obtain/confirm my Polish citizenship and then get me registered and obtain ID dowod and passport. He took my money (cash in hand) and messed things up so much that I discontinued with him (nicely), and took on the case myself. Got my confirmation after 6 months of heavy slog and have now spent over 9 months trying to correct things with Sad Okregowy so that my correct name/surname can be entered in the registers. In front of me yet over a year of paperwork and bureaucracy. Frustration and anger doesn't really cover it, I could have happily wrung his neck, but suing him for malpractice would not get me anywhere. The other one just took money from me and did absolutely nothing of value in a dispute with a neighbour who wanted to build on my property, I sacked him and wrote to the Departments myself and got things resolved. So, I would NEVER use any lawyers for any civil matters, but would first try to resolve things myself.