Client - Attorney fee dispute -

Asked 8 months ago - Laguna Beach, CA

We hired a lawyer for my special needs son to file against the school district. We have already paid over $65,000. He consistently overcharged by bill and task padding, and over staffing. He also mishandled our case as one of his attorneys that worked on our case will attest to. She has left the firm because of his dishonest practices. He lost our case and claims we still owe him $115,000. We don't have the means to pay him. We have been advised that he is now waiting for our statute of limitations to expire to bring a malpractice suit against him, after which he will file a civil suit to collect. What can happen to us as a result of a civil suit if we can't afford a lawyer to defend us? Even if the judge rules in his favor, how would he be able to collect if we don't have any assets

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Christine C McCall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A judgment is good for 10 years and can be renewed, so the party who obtains a judgment may in fact eventually be able to collect even f you presently have no assets. You can file for mandatory fee arbitration with the State Bar rather than wait to be sued for the fees.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more
  2. Michael Raymond Daymude

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . In many cases, a good defense is a good offense. However, if the statue of limitations runs on your malpractice claim, you will only be able to use those facts defensively.

    The mere fact you lost *your son’s* case does not amount to malpractice. Frankly, your allegations of being overcharged, padding, dishonesty, and over staffing ring hollow after the fact.

    If you do not have the funds to retain counsel or to settle the matter it appears your only option is to wait until suit is filed. You may wish to consider bankruptcy as an option either now or after suit is filed. Good luck.

    SINCE 1974. My answers are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers assume California law.... more
  3. Brook D Wood

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . If the facts really are as your post states, you should contact the California State Bar Association immediately to report your concerns. The phone number to file a complaint about an attorney is 1-800-843-9053. Also, consider consulting with a malpractice attorney. Try clicking "Find a Lawyer" above. Good luck and Happy Holidays!

    For informational purposes only and not to be relied upon as legal advice or for the formation of an attorney-... more

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