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How do I get a new divorce trial based upon having a bad lawyer?

Show Low, AZ |
Filed under: Divorce

My lawyer did nothing, subpeonaed no records dispite my requests & his promises. Came to court disheveled & unprepared (no questions ready NOTHING), refused to dipose witnesses because he was going to "surprise them", did nothing to prepare me for court each time I was blindsided with every question. He did not prepare any witnesses for me. He allowed selected pages from jounals I'd written 7 years before to be used against me (anything where I showed my depair & depression was there but nothing about the abuse I suffered-those pages have dissappeared). He came to court with a blank yellow pad & I had to give him questions to ask the witnesses. I lost everything! He was the worst Lawyer EVER! What is my recourse?

Attorney Answers 1


Depending on how long ago the divorce was finalized, you may ask to vacate the case for a new trial. You do not want to make that kind of motion on your own. You really would want to have a good experienced family law attorney handle that kind of motion.

You can complain to the Arizona State Bar Association about the lawyer's failure to adequately protect your interests. Generally the ethical issue is whether the lawyer was competent to handle the matter. The Arizona Bar can also direct you to other rules applicable to lawyers. Keep the focus on the handling of the case. Complaints about his appearance (i.e., disheveled, etc) will simply create the impression that you're made that the case didn't turn out the way you wanted.

You can also ask the Arizona Bar about whether the lawyer has malpractice insurance. If so, you can make a claim. However, you would do well to at least consult with an attorney who does professional malpractice.

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