I hired an attorney to represent me in a Dmv hearing for a refusal for DUI, he lost the dmv hearing and the appeal and the Reviwe of appeal in Sacramento. Initially he told me he could handle all appeals necessary because the case was clear cut. After the denials from sacramento he said he didnt know how to appeal the dmv decision and referred me to and very incompetent lawyer. Lawyer 2 was to request a stay of dmv decision, petition for writ of mandate. The second lawyer was paid a $2,000 retainer by me but I told him may change my mind on pursing it. Immediately sensing his incompetence, I said i didnt want to use him anymore and to return my retainer, this was hours after giving him the check. He said no it is too late he has done too much work. now he is bungling my cases, HELP!
Did you sign a representation agreement with the 2nd lawyer? If yes, did it mention whether the retainer was refundable or nonrefundable?
There is a difference between firing your lawyer and getting your money back. You have the absolute right to terminate your attorney - for any reason or none at all - and the attorney is not permitted to further work on your case. Whether that attorney must refund the payment is a different issue, and if you cannot resolve it informally, you have the right to demand a fee dispute arbitration through your county bar association.
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