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Thread: kept in the dark, not following agreement. California

  1. #1

    Default kept in the dark, not following agreement. California

    I have a lawyer representing me for a traffic violation.

    The lawyer told me not to go to appear in court because they were going to take care of everything.
    That was a month ago; the drop dead to appear in court was today 8/30/2013. I never got an update when he was going to court or the status of my case; even-though, I asked a few times, and the Agreement and terms of retainer spell out that I will get an e-mail informing me of the trial date.

    Today, I called the office; the Lawyer answer and he said that he was not in the office and could not give me any information because the file was not in his hand. To call next Tuesday, or we will e-mail info.

    All the reviews on-line on this lawyer appear to be good…he gets good grades on "Keeping clients informed"; however, I would give him 0 on a rating from 0-9. Consequently, things are not making sense.

    I am wondering what my consequences are, if the lawyer did not appear in court and took care of my citation? Is he trying to get more money? Will I get a penalty from court if he did not try to take care of the citation because it was the drop dead timeline? I feel I want to change lawyers immediately before the situation gets more complicated because I was not informed "still in the dark and the timeline is gone". I like to get informed as e contract spell out.

    Please advice on what my options are?

    Thank you all.
    Last edited by lgs; 09-03-2013 at 10:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Utah
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    2,063

    Default

    You're paying, right? You have a contract in hand, right? Ok, sometimes all you can do is trust them. Not hard to do, either. You hired him for a reason. Let him do what he's supposed to do for you. Paranoia is not bad, it means experience. BTDT x100. But sometimes you have to put that paranoia on the back burner.
    I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
    Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
    I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
    Don't worry, be happy.

    http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

  3. #3

    Default still in the dark!

    I send an e-mail to my lawyer, NO RESPONSE. The CITATION online is posted that I owe $300 to the court. I want to drop this lawyer ASAP. Any advice on what my options are? I WANT MY MONEY BACK. Pay the court fee and be done with it. Or try to get another lawyer and take a chance for another drama, waste my time episode?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by lgs; 09-03-2013 at 10:15 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Charlotte
    Posts
    291

    Default

    If the lawyer won't communicate with you, call the State Bar and ask for their help. It is probably not a malpractice situation, but rather a busy lawyer who is not in his office often because he is in court taking care of cases all the time, and a client who is overly anxious. Call the Bar and they will call him and he will contact you. If he is competent and already paid there is no reason for you to fire him and switch lawyers. That will just complicate your legal matter.
    Bob Bollinger, Attorney
    Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
    Charlotte, NC

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    Utah
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    And you might be able to appeal the case based on ineffective counsel.
    Just a thought.
    Last edited by cactus jack; 10-11-2013 at 07:47 AM.
    I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
    Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
    I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
    Don't worry, be happy.

    http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    514

    Default

    Before you do anything else, you should find out from the court whether an order was entered against you by default (that is, because you failed to appear) or on the merits. If the former, you should talk to an attorney immediately because you may still be able to set it aside and have your day in court.

    If it was decided on the merits, it is hard to justify taking any further action for $300. The time and expense would probably not justify it, though that is obviously your call.

    In either event, it sounds like your attorney did not do a good job of complying with Rule 3-500 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct:

    Rule 3-500 Communication
    A member shall keep a client reasonably informed about significant developments relating to the employment or representation, including promptly complying with reasonable requests for information and copies of significant documents when necessary to keep the client so informed.
    David K. Staub (www.illinoisbusinessattorney.com)
    Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.

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