I hired a lawyer to arrange a hearing for me to see the judge in family court (divorce) because my wife had sent a letter to the judges chambers asking her to rule while I was out of town, and asked for much more money than was previously agreed upon by my wife and myself. When the hearing was set, my lawyer copied me in on a long stream of emails as my "notice to appear." However, the address to where the hearing was to take place was never listed. My wife's lawyer made it a point to give HER the address. So i was treated like a no show and my wife got everything she asked for. I cannot afford to pay what was ordered without losing my car and home. I emailed my lawyer and she basically said sorry about your luck, go talk to another lawyer. What Can I do?? Malpractice? PLEASE HELP!! :(
It may be possible to file a motion for relief from judgment under ORCP 71, on the basis of 'mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.' This can, if granted, overturn the judgment and re-open the case. If you can prove that your lawyer didn't notify you of the address, that could be a basis for relief from judgment. I'm troubled that your lawyer hasn't already thought of this. Whether this is malpractice I can't say, but it seems to have ethical implications. In any case, you will need a lawyer's assistance with this process, and it seems like you have rightly lost faith in the one you have. But while you're still represented, the advice that any other lawyer can give you is very limited. You need to start by having a conversation with your current lawyer about this - ask if she's willing to help you with setting aside the judgment. If not, you should ask her to withdraw and provide you with your file, and take it to another lawyer for evaluation. It's almost always cheaper to go with a lawyer you already have, because they know the case and don't have to get back up to speed; but if this person won't help you, another lawyer could be worth the investment.
Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and are not intended to constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or solicit business. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. Information not contained in these posts may create significant exceptions to the advice provided in any response. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br>
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