Can I sue my lawyer for negligence?

Asked over 1 year ago - Muscle Shoals, AL

I paid my lawyer up front for a simple chapter 7 . That was in Aug2011 . Since then my bank account was frozen and all money was awarded to a debt collector . Nothing has been done as of today March 1 2013 . I can't even get her to call me back . What do I do ? ?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Dorothy G Bunce


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I have several clients that paid me to file bankruptcy but never returned any of my phone calls, never responded to any of my emails, never provided me with the documents requested and never completed the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling. Frankly, I wish these folks had kept their money in their pocket. Bankruptcy requires a team effort, and if you did your part, your attorney should have done her part. Based on what you have said, I can't say whether you did or did not have a role in this fiasco. If phone calls don't work, try writing or faxing, but it seems to me that you should have complained long before now. Attorney's are regulated by the state bar association as well as by the bankruptcy court. Send a copy of your correspondence to the bar discipline board and to the local bankruptcy court. I bet the attorney will take a call from either of these parties! Hope this perspective helps!

  2. Matthew Erik Johnson

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes you can sue. You can also file a bar grievance. If AL is anything like WA, the bar doesn't like attorneys taking money and not doing anything.

    Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale... more
  3. Scott Benjamin Riddle


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Not enough information. Did the garnishment happen after the BR case was over? If so, did you pay the lawyer to handle the additional work?

  4. A. Wilson Webb

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . Yes, you can sue. There are several Alabama law firms specializing in Lawyer Malpractice. Do not delay in pursuing your case .

    No attorney-client relationship exists or is created by the answering of questions on Avvo or by any email... more
  5. Alex Salmu

    Contributor Level 7


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Typically, suing a lawyer for negligence means proving what is commonly referred to as showing that you would've won "the case within a case" but for the lawyer's negligent conduct. Generally, you will have to prove that the lawyer had a duty to perform, breached that duty, that the lawyer was the cause of the actual damages you sustained (this will be the toughest part for you to prove), and damages actually sustained due to the attorney's conduct.

    What you should do is determine whether you have a case by consulting at least three attorneys in the field of attorney malpractice. It is likely that you won't have a case, since the account was frozen and money was awarded for other reasons (not because of the attorney's conduct).

    Disclaimer & Helpful Information: This answer is intended to provide legal information- not legal advice. Such... more
  6. Robert Michael Fox

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Did you comply with the attorney's demands for documents and info necesary to complete your petition and schedules? did you complete the credit counseling course ? your damages may be limitted to the funds levied. Your best best is to consult with a lawyer and file a grievance with the AL State Bar.

  7. Rusty Allen Payton

    Contributor Level 2

    Answered . Certainly you can sue anyone for anything at any time - rightly or wrongly so. Perhaps the better question is: "Should I sue my lawyer?" What is it that you wish to achieve? Ask yourself if there is any other avenue besides a lawsuit to obtain what you desire. Perhaps you could ask a local bar association for your area to intervene or mediate your dispute with the lawyer. Filing suit is always an option, but its an expensive and difficult remedy that usually leaves no one happy.

    "I appreciate that you have chosen me to represent you.
    If I have served you well, please consider referring your
    friends, family and colleagues. Thank You."

    Rusty A. Payton
    Attorney at Law
    1225 W Morse, Suite 100
    Chicago, Illinois 60626

    c. 773-682-5210
    f. 773-856-6201



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