In Georgia, claims for legal malpractice are subject to a four year statute of limitations, that runs from the date of the negligent act. You may also have additional claims against this attorney if they are not time-barred. Unfortunately, there may be some problems with the lawyer's malpractice coverage for your claim.
In situations where a lawyer steals a client's money, the State Bar has a client recovery fund that provides compensation on a discretionary basis. However, before you can recover from the fund, you must exhaust all efforts at recovering in a civil suit, and also must pursue a grievance to suspension or disbarment of the lawyer. You should not delay in retaining competent counsel to assist you in this matter.
I am sorry to hear about what happened with your prior attorney. What Mr. Hinds suggested is absolutely correct. You need to hire another attorney immediately to pursue your claim; the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to collect what is owed to you. I handle such cases on a contingency basis, and it shouldn't cost you any more money than you would have otherwise paid. Please contact me at your convenience; there are several questions I need to ask you to ensure you have a viable claim. Ralph Hughes, Decatur 404-373-3458