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What can I do if my attorney won't answer my calls or emails and hasn't finished his job?

Burbank, CA |
Filed under: Professional ethics

In his email: "Initial amount of $1,500 that would go half for the initial letters and negotiations, then the other half would be either for preparing the dissolution or preparing the agreement for you to take over the business, depending upon which route is taken." None of this even happened. He sent a letter (that my new partner and I wrote) and a BOD mtg minutes. Since she ignored it, the next thing he agreed to do was to help me get money back from her that she owed me. He keeps telling me he's going to do this or that but he doesn't and when I manage to get a hold of him, he tells me he was in court or just got out of the hospital (again). Ugh, I feel like a stalker. I just want him to complete this for me or give me back my money. He says we're at an impasse with her--not true

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

If you decide to go with another attorney, the State Bar of California has a fee dispute mechanism you can file with to try to get your money back.

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Posted

If you want to keep this lawyer, send him a demand letter specifying what you want him to do, and by when. Send it by certified mail, return receipt requested, FedEx, messeneger, or registered rPost email (www.rpost.com) so you can prove his receipt. Tell him if he doesn't accomplish these things, he's fired, and he needs to turn over the contents of your file and send you a final invoice and refund of unearned fees. You have the absolute right to fire him at any time for any reason, and the CA State Bar rules require him to turn over your file.

If there's any dispute about the fees, LA has mandatory fee arbitration, and he has to give you 30 days notice of that option before suing you. If you have to sue him for the return of unearned fees, you can use Small Claims court.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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