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Orange, CA |

Not happy atty sent associate in place of them self to represent their client at a MSC.
Opposing atty's under assumption, both parties are moving towards a settlement when no discussions with principle atty retained with & plaintiff, have occurred. Seems firm is busy. Responses are slow & none on several inquiries. Left feeling not to impose on them when I'm the client often feeling as though I'm walking on egg shells. Receptionist is a serious gate keeper. Inaccurate info on docs despite client having to correct & acknowledge. Seems like no action on threats to opposing atty vs follow through. Maybe it's time to replace? Can't imagine this is common practice. Perhaps naive to staling & controlling factors on legal representation.

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It sounds like your case is slipping through the cracks, so to speak. There are situations where counsel, for whatever reason, is not able to appear. And rather than request a continuance, the hearing maybe such that a special appearance on his/her behalf is appropriate. Judges do not like this practice, and neither to clients unless they are prepared for it (not a surprise). It sounds like you need to have a discussion with your attorney to find out what is going on. You already have a relationship with this person. S/he may not be fully aware of your concerns. Before investing another retainer on another attorney, it may be a good idea to try and talk to your attorney - put the request in writing. If that is not an option, I would suggest that you speak to someone else about your goals and concerns and try to find a process and a professional who is a better match for you and your situation.

You are correct that litigation is a frustrating process. You do have other options. It sounds like you are on a seriously nauseating roller coaster. You need to find someone who can help you get off before you vomit. I'm so sorry for what you are going through. It sounds like it may be time for you take a more active role in how you move forward.

Good luck. I hope this is helpful. Feel free to give us a call - I may have some additional resources that could be helpful to you.

Since the information provided in your question is very limited and I have not had an opportunity to review all relevant facts, information, and documents, you should not rely on any specific responses to your questions. The information offered here is general in nature given that the slightest bit of additional information could change a specific answer (i.e. we separated 1 year ago and he has been paying all my expenses. Q: Do I owe him that money back? A: Yes. But what if he used money from a community asset, like a retirement account, to pay it back. A: maybe some or maybe none). In short, consult an attorney to review all relevant information so s/he can properly and accurately advise you. This free service IS NOT a substitute for legal advice and should not be considered legal advice at all.

Hillary Johns

Hillary Johns


I'm sorry that you are going through this at an important point in your case. It ought to be about you handling your divorce business, not your attorney. Both Ms. Martinez and Mr. Lewis are right. Speak with your attorney first about your concerns that your file is being passed around at the pre-trial stage of your case and that you are not comfortable with it. See how your attorney responds and if they put their words into action. Do you have a trial date in your case? The reason I am asking is because you have certain deadlines for discovery, witnesses and the like. If you retain another attorney (and I'm not saying whether you should because that is your decision) that attorney will need time to prepare your case for settlement or trial. My office handles trial work in Orange County or I can suggest three or four very skilled lawyers in your county who you can speak with about the merits of your case, if you wish. Do try to work it out with your attorney first so you don't have to pay two firms to essentially review your case and prepare it for you. It could be a situation where your lawyer will be sensitive to your concerns and take action to correct it.


You are 100 percent correct it is not proper and although it may be common practice to some attorney's you are the client and you deserve to understand every portion of the case. Call and scheudle a telephone or office appt to get an understanding. take care.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.

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