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What can I do if my divorce attorney doesn't do his job properly?

San Francisco, CA |

I hired attorney to represent me. Clearly I told him that I would like him to file a court order to force my ex to make a car payment and not ruin my credit (both car's are on me, we don't live together). He filed the papers without court order, than when my ex was late filling response, he didn't ask me if I want to file for default judgement, just made decision on his own. He didn't show up to our last appointment, and I have a problem to contact him. Now I have second strike on my credit because my ex doesn't pay, and I can not afford to do it. I paid him $2500 ahaed for future fees and I don't know what to do or what's going on with my case. Can I do anything?

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Attorney answers 1


You always have an unrestricted right to fire your lawyer, whether you owe him money or not. If you don't think it's too late to salvage the representation, fire this one and hire a new one, The lawyer is not ethically allowed to withhold your files so you could get a new lawyer started on things of immediate concern.

The decision not to request a default was probably a wise one, since defaults are easy and routine to vacate and just cost both sides more in legal fees and you've got a reasonable concern about keeping costs down.

However, not addressing the car payment issue and then missing your last appointment are pretty bad. It might be possible to express your concerns to this lawyer and get these things address, so you might want to make your wishes clear before you fire anyone. if this can't be fixed, there are plenty of lawyers out there.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.