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Can I sue my divorce lawyer for negligence?

Pittsburgh, PA |
Filed under: Professional ethics

When I first went to my lawyer, she said "we'll get you this divorce right away". Nothing happened but bills.Then she said: We'll wait until the 2-year waiting period is over & he wont have a chance to consult a layer". Still nothing happened but bills. it is now 3 YEARS since the separation and I still get bills - Innumerable emails, calls and letters all unanswered. In a letter I told her that I refuse to pay for any more unless I know what it exactly is for. She sends me a bill from "Liberty" to this date she still sends me "liberty" bills and has not even told me who or what "Liberty" is. I believe 1) she has been negligent in my case; 2) has been stalling my case in order to continue billing and 3) her delays have cause me to be destitute and probably cost me any chance of recov

Attorney Answers 2

  1. Yes, but you'd call it "malpractice," not "negligence." You should first start with a complaint to the state bar association - they regulate attorneys.

    This answer is not to be considered a response to a specific legal issue in a specific jurisdiction - it is to be considered only a general response to a hypothetical scenario posed by the questioner. For specific legal advice, please consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

  2. You can sue for malpractice if you can afford to. These are technical difficult cases requiring you to prove that but for the attorney's acts and omissions a different result would have been obtained. This is an exceptionally high standard of proof. The difficulty of these cases is reflected in the very few attorneys willing to take them on contingency. So, if you have years to spend and thousand of dollars to commit to the effort, yes, you can sue. The suggestion to make your complaint to the state regulatory authorities (State Bar) instead may be very sound.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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