You need to do several things right away. First go online to the following site: http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/Search/AttSearch.asp
This will let you enter the lawyer's name and see his current status. Another tab on the results will also let you see his disciplinary history and status. Figure out from that data if he took your money while barred from practice, or was he barred during your representation?
If your lawyer is currently ineligible to practice, call the regulatory counsel (numbers and stuff on the same website). The receptionist will tell you how to file a complaint.
Yes, lawyers can be barred from practice for not paying child support. I suspect that there is probably more, because an attorney being barred for that reason, usually has a number of other problems as well. However, lawyers usually get 30 days from the date of the order to its effective date to inform their clients of the problem and refer them to other attorneys. And no, he cannot finish pending cases - they must be picked up by another lawyer of your choice.
In all likelihood, depending on when you paid and when he was barred, you are entitled to all your money back. If the attorney was in proceedings for example that led to this order suspending his license, and didn't tell you when he took your money that he might not be able to finish the case, then the Regulation people may require him to pay back the fees.
Also, does your court know that he is barred? If not, you need to file a notice with the court, and serve it on the lawyer for the other side, or the party if no lawyer.
Like many attorneys we will sit down and review your situation with you without charge.
Your best bet is to find a good lawyer who provides advice on this kind of issue on a regular basis and review your specific facts; the lawyer will be able to give you an analysis of the law and your options.
By the way, some attorneys sell "unbundled" or "limited" legal services where you pay for just what you need and can afford. For example, some attorneys will prepare letters for you to sign, legal documents, or sell the paperwork for the court filings; then you can proceed on your own, but knowing that your paperwork is correct and having a road map as to how to proceed. Or who will attend a hearing for a flat fee even if they are not handling the whole case. Neighborhood Law Office is such a firm.
At Neighborhood Law Office we never charge for an initial consultation, and at that meeting we can go through your specific facts and give you options. Please call us anytime for an appointment.
Neighborhood Law Office
7225 E. Hampden Ave.
Denver, CO 80224
NOTICEâ€” This answer is based upon a partial understanding of the facts and may not be relied upon as legal advice. It does not create an attorney client relationship between the writer and the attorney. It is provided for general information. You should always consult an attorney about your important legal rights.
3. Call the state bar
4. Call the state bar
This is general legal information, not intended to apply to your specific case. And I may not be licensed to practice in your particular state. Under Federal Law, I am a debt relief agent.
We in the legal profession hate to hear of stories such as yours -- they are difficult and can potentially give our industry a bad name.
It seems that you can clear up many of your questions with a call to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel in Colorado. Those folks work hard to make sure we attorney-types are playing by the rules and doing right by our clients.
I wish you luck!!
In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights. Legislation may have recently been adopted that changes the law in this area.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.