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How to request a refund from Bad Lawyer?

Ontario, CA |
Filed under: Professional ethics

My friend engaged a lawyer to represent his immigration case in Ninth circuit court in November 2004, but in 2011, he found out that his lawyer had not yet admitted to practice before the Ninth circuit court, his lawyer only admitted to practice before the Ninth circuit court on November 2005. Based on this fact, can my friend ask for a refund from this lawyer? What should he do to get a refund from his lawyer?

Thank you in advance for an answer.

Attorney Answers 2


He should write a letter to the attorney asking for a refund. In this instance, there may be grounds, but generally there is no obligation for an attorney to refund fees paid. An attorney cannot guarantee success.

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

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A recent case addressed a very similar issue with surprising (to me) results:
Warner v. Reiter, No. C 09-06030 RS, 2010 WL 4704310 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 12, 2010).
The district court denied a request for sanctions against a lawyer who filed a client's "pro se" pleadings in a bankruptcy proceeding, but promptly applied for, and was granted, admission when the issue was raised.

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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