Put in writing that you would like to talk to this attorney and specifically state your concerns. If this gets you no where look on this site for another attorney and see if you can get a free consultation.
Boy! This is the biggest complaint I hear about family law attorneys. You are entitled to a copy of your retainer agreement, you are entitled to a bill (showing what is going on with your account) and may request one once a month if the attorney does not bill on a regular basis. You are also entitled to the attorney of your choice. I always recommend that you pick one who will speak to you!
You are also entitled to dispute the fee that you’ve been charged. Most local bar associations have an attorney-client fee dispute mechanism/program for this. Consult your local bar association.
I understand that you feel a bit at the mercy of your attorney. If you want to fire the attorney, do it in writing and demand a refund of your retainer, along with your original file.
Best of luck to you.
Attorney Rebekah Ryan Main
This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.
I would suggest a certified letter will be more likely to get a response if prior emails have failed. The lawyer should not tell you that he can keep your money if he does nothing, because you would no doubt file a fee dispute at that point and may be successful. http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/MemberServices/FeeArbitration.aspx
If he continues to fail to communicate, I would suggest a complaint to the disciplinary board. http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation.aspx
I am sorry you are having this experience.
I am licensed in Pennsylvania. Members of my firm are licensed in various states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. We handle cases involving personal injury (car accidents slip and falls, etc.,) medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, workers' compensation and social security disability. This post is not legal advice, but instead contains general educational information. Please do not act or refrain from acting based upon what you read in this post. Also please remember that this post does not form an attorney/client relationship between you and me. If you have specific legal questions, you should contact an attorney in your state for assistance.