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I asked my attorney not to represent me anymore hours after paying him a retainer, he said no and is now bungling my case to hel

Los Angeles, CA |

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!

Attorney Answers 2


Did you sign a representation agreement with the 2nd lawyer? If yes, did it mention whether the retainer was refundable or nonrefundable?

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I signed it after I had already paid him $2000. I asked for him to give it back to me he said he had already done too much work and i had no choice but to proceed with him as my lawyer. This is the next day. The contract was signed after this had occurred. And it says $3.500 is agreed to be paid to him regardless of anything. I am telling him to not represent me and he continues to do so, and at the hearing for a stay on my suspension he changed judges for some reason without telling me, lied to me and told me changed judges because he forgot to submit the police report as evidence, which he did but I suspect this is not the reason he did not want the first judge I feel he is lying to me about many things and is not providing me with court documents.


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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