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My lawyer refuses to take on my dog bite case. He says he won't make money. Should I report him to Bar?

Austin, TX |

My lawyer refuses to take on my dog bite case. He says he won't make money. Should I report him to Bar?

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Filed under: Professional ethics
Attorney answers 7

Posted

Not sure how “your lawyer” can refuse your case. An attorney does not have to take on a case, just like a doctor cannot be forced to treat a patient. If you signed a retainer with the attorney then that is another story and there could be legal reasons why he/she no longer wants to handle the matter.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

Asker

Posted

He says there is no evidence of injury and no jury will side with me based on my testimony alone.

David J. McCormick

David J. McCormick

Posted

I would agree that without a documented injury you would have a hard time proving up your case. Have you talked to another attorney for a second opinion?

Posted

Report him to the bar for what? If someone offered you $10 to dig a ditch for them and you refused because it was not financially rewarding for you, would you be in the wrong?

Find another attorney and be willing to pay them their hourly fee to make it worthwhile, when you end up losing money on it, only blame yourself.

Every legal matter is fact specific, and there are often nuances in every case. This is intended for comment only, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

Asker

Posted

He says there is no evidence of injury and no jury will side with me based on my testimony alone.

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

He is a wise man. You ought to listen to him. You weren't looking for him to take this on as a contingency case, or were you willing to put your own money at risk? (This is totally aside from the correct statements of other counsel that the ethical rules oblige no attorney to take a particular case, particularly one he feels is not well founded).

Posted

There is no ethical violation by refusing to take on a case. He may feel the case is without merit in that there is a lack of liability or an inability to prove damages. Certainly he can refuse. Go shop around if you feel you have a case.

Posted

You might be better off taking out to a bar for a drink, and maybe he'll handle it.

Posted

No. There is nothing to report. Lawyers are not required to take cases.

Posted

Why would you report this lawyer for declining your case? He may decline the case.

If you believe you have a viable case, your time would be more productively spent talking to one of the many lawyers in the Austin area.

Posted

If you pay your lawyer per hour, he will take your case.

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