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What to do if attorney doesn't show up to court/do anything?

Lake Milton, OH |

I'm not entirely sure what happened with my attorney but he basically hasn't gotten back to me since I paid him 5 weeks ago except for a brief email saying he was busy. He missed my court date today and I'm ready to fire him. Am I out of line if I ask him for a refund since he didn't do anything and delayed my case?

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Attorney answers 3


Keep in mind that there may be good excuses.

However, there is no reason why he couldn't tell you what was going on or get cover for the court hearing. Everyone is entitled to legal representation, particularly if you are paying for it.

Ask for an itemized hourly statement and a refund of unspent monies. Find another attorney.


I would start by attempting a phone call one more time, but trusting your lawyer is incredibly important. Much like a doctor or your car mechanic; if you don't feel 100% comfortable in your choice of representation you owe it to yourself (and to the attorney) to discuss these concerns. If that doesn't alleviate your concerns, then by all means make a switch and ask for a full accounting and refund of any remaining monies.


The answer to your question depends on a number of factors: what type of case do you have going? What stage is the case in? Why did he miss the court date? You are not necessarily out of line, but I would try to get in touch with him, and speak with him, to find out what the problem is.

I would send him another email, and let him know that you are really concerned and considering going with alternate counsel. If that is not enough to get him to respond to you, then by all means, I would ask for a refund. If that is a problem, then you can contact your local Bar Association, and they may be able to help mediate for you.

Attorney Mark A. Deters
Deters Law LLC
(937) 224-1100
371 W. First St.
Dayton, Ohio 45402

Legal disclaimer: Mark A. Deters is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio. All information given is based only on Ohio law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state

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