Today I called the office of the immigration attorney who has been handeling my case, as i had question regarding the requested documents. The receptionist told me that she is no longer with them and stopped practicing, she couldn't (or didn't want to) give any other contact to her. The attorney didn't send any notification about this "tiny" fact, that she is moving/stop practicing. She has all my and my husband's personal information and papers along with the retainer fee. I paid her, but she hasn't even started to fill out the papers. Called the management of the building where she had her office, they don't have any forwarding address, email nor phone number. Called the bar of california, they have the same contact information I do. What should I do next?
File a written complaint against the attorney with the California State Bar. You can get the complaint form online. You may be entitled to recover the fee from the client security fund of the state bar. Hopefully they can locate him and get your paperwork back for you.
It is recommended that you keep trying to reach/find your old attorney, but at the same time, you should seek another reputable and trustworthy immigration attorney for your case. I am not sure what type of petition/application/etc. you have retained the service for, but it certainly could be time-sensitive. It certainly is unprofessional and unacceptable for a lawyer to behave in that way, nonetheless, it is foremost essential that you get your necessary service done first. As my colleague pointed out, you should contact the State Bar of California and file a complaint with them.
Please be advised that this response contains only general information based on hypothetical facts given in the question. This interaction does not form attorney-client privilege and the response should not be relied upon to either act or refrain to act without first consulting a licensed attorney. The author disclaims any and all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on his comments.
You should be able to get contact information for her via the State Bar website. And that may also be your route to getting your paperwork back. The most important thing for you is to get your case back on track.
File a report with the California State Bar.
nothing in the answer above constitutes legal advice. nothing in the answer above creates an attorney-client relationship between myself or my firm and any persons on AVVO.
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