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My original DUI attorney (3rd offense) was paid 10,000 upfront. He withdrew from my case and abandoned me. Anything I can do?

Plymouth, MI |

I hired an attorney in 2008 to the tune of 20,000. He was paid 10,000 upfront by my mom and appeared 3 times to court. I had a hard time paying the balance and he went behind my back and motion to withdraw from my case. I did not know about the court date until after the fact by email that "he had withdrew and there was a bench warrant out for my arrest" I had an excellent case with some errors and loopholes. I was abandoned without proper legal representation. I was given a court appointed attorney and my case fell apart. Lack of proper information and guidance etc I was left between a rock and a hard place. Now 4 yrs later......upon reflection this does not sit right with me as my medical career is essentially ruined. he kept my 10.000. Any recourse?

Are you talking about the Attorney Grievance Commssion? if so, i just went to their site and there is No statute of limitations. however they stated that waiting a long time can hamper the investigation. Are there any other entities?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. It's doubtful you have any recourse. The lawyer is a) entitled to a fee for his work, and b) provided he follows the proper procedures to withdraw, is not required to continue working on a case on which he is not being paid.

    You might try contacting the Michigan State Bar, but I think you may be beyond the statute of limitations to bring a case even if you indeed have a valid claim to make.

    Responding to questions on AVVO does not establish an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and any attorney associated with Garrett Law Group, PLC. Responses should be considered and used for informational purposes only. Every case is unique in its facts, and all legal matters should be discussed with a licensed attorney prior to making any decisions or taking any actions.


  2. I agree. Unfortunately he did it all the right way and got released. Three court appearances could have earned $10,000, but the chance to complain has run out. The statute of limitations is two years.

    My answer to you question does not constitute legal advice. Only an in person or telephone consultation will result in an attorney/client relationship. Call me at (313)402-0853 to discuss your matter further.


  3. In Michigan, the applicable Statute of Limitations for a Legal Malpractice action is 2 years. You can still file a complaint with the AGC, but as you noted, the fact that you waited 4 years to do anything will likely work against you. However, if you do nothing, you have a 100% chance of getting no relief. I am sorry you had this horrible experience. All my best, Matt Catchick.

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