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Can I file a complaint with the CA State Bar against an opposing attorney?

San Francisco, CA |

She has since been fired by my ex in our divorce. They kept filing motions to jack up the fees, made ridiculous claims, etc... Also, if my ex wants to represent himself from this point on is it my best interest to keep my attorney? Or reduce our costs by working together? There are numerous contentions between us (finances, support, child visitation) He wants to proceed with divorce. I do not, but am not willing to roll over and let myself be taken advantage of.

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Attorney answers 1


I am not licensed to practice law in California so the following should not be taken as legal advice, but simply as information intended to educate. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds California licensure.

I see several questions here:

1. Can you file a complaint with the California State Bar against your wife's former lawyer?

2. Has your wife's former lawyer committed some breach of ethical conduct which warrants discipline by the California State Bar?

3. Is it in your best interest to continue with your lawyer or to represent yourself?

First question: You can file a complaint with the State Bar, yes. Lots of people file complaints with the State Bar. Filing a complaint doesn't mean that the lawyer gets disciplined or that he did something wrong. Lots of people are mad at their spouse's lawyers, but that doesn't mean they did something wrong.

Second question: The information you provide does not give me a basis to evaluate whether that lawyer did something wrong or not. So the answer I must give is "I can't tell one way or the other."

Third question: If you want to know whether you should represent yourself, talk about it with your lawyer and see what he thinks. If you do not trust your lawyer, you should terminate that relationship and find a lawyer you trust to discuss that issue. Be prepared to pay the second lawyer at the time of the consult for discussing the issue with you. Often a consult with someone knowledgeable you trust will illuminate many issues that might never otherwise have come to mind. The answer to your question is, it depends upon the complexity of your circumstance and the relationship you have with your soon-to-be-ex-husband. It can be very costly if one party goes pro se and the other has counsel who must be paid. On the other hand, it can be very costly to accept a settlement in which one has agreed to substantially less than one is entitled to.

Your lawyer is supposed to help you by counseling you in this regard. Find a California lawyer in whom you trust, and consult that person. Good luck.

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