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Labor Law Violation Hearing Conference.

San Diego, CA |

A wage complaint against employer was filed. And a hearing conference has been scheduled by Labor Department. How can I do if my attorney (with retainer agreement) doesn't want to accompany with me for attending the conference? Or, can I hire another labor attorney in stead? Thanks!

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Attorney answers 5


Whether you have an attorney represent you at the conference is up to you. If your current attorney is unwilling or unable to represent you, then you may want to see if another attorney will represent you. You can locate one via the Find a Lawyer tab on Avvo.


If your attorney is not doing what you want, get another attorney. You are entitled to change attorneys at any time and the prior attorney cannot withhold your file from your new attorney once you give him or her notice of the change.

Good luck in the conference.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


Hire an attorney whom you feel comfortable with. Be advised, however, that if your current attorney is working on a contingency fee basis, they may be entitled to the reasonable value of their services if you drop them for someone else.

This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.


All good advice. Tell your current attorney what you plan to do and take it from there. Clients are free to choose their attorneys just like attorneys are free to decide which clients they choose to represent.


I'm surprised that your attorney does not want to accompany you to the conference. The pre-conference meeting is important in Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE, or Labor Commissioner) claims. Many cases are fully resolved during these conferences.

Under California law, a client has the absolute right to dismiss his or her attorney without having to provide any reason. However, if you want to try reduce any fees you may owe the attorney, it is probably best to let the attorney know you are dissatisfied and why, and to do so in writing. This documentation could support you in a fee dispute down the road.

A better course is to find a new attorney first, and work with the new attorney to resolve the representation and fee issues with the previous attorneys. The new attorney may be able to arrange a later conference date due to his or her just coming into the case.

Your current attorney may not retain your file or charge you anything to return it to you, under California law. This is true even if you owe your attorney money. Again, it is best to let your new attorney handle getting back your file.

To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.

I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.

@MikaSpencer * * * * * * PLEASE READ: All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. * * * No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis.