Do I have legal rights and claim to file charges against my lawyer? 36 Answers as of October 23, 2012I paid this lawyer a $1000 to represent my husband in a criminal matter. His fee for the case was originally $2500. I paid him he never showed up for court and my husband was sent to jail. He never filed any paperwork or anything. I asked him to return my money he said no and to write the bar. Is there something I can do?
The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq. | John J. Carney
I do not know the facts and circumstances of your case. If the lawyer provided three hours of services that would be $900 and you would not be able to get that back. He is entitled to the fee that he earned according to the rate in the retainer agreement. You should call him and ask for an itemized bill as to the time he spent on the case.
Answer Applies to: New York
Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
Write a letter to the lawyer asking for the money back since he did not show up to court - suggest that he has 10 days to return the money - give a specific date. wait 5 days after the date you give him - call and ask one more time if you still do not have the money or satisfactory explanation, contact attorney regulation at the Supreme Court.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
Yes, you have legal rights, and writing to the bar will help. Stealing money, which is basically what you are accusing him of, is taken very seriously by bar offices. You could also sue him in civil court, but that would probably cost more money to file court fees.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
As he directed you, you may file a complaint with the local bar association, or better yet, file a complaint with the State Supreme Court, who licenses attorneys. In Illinois, the agency is called the Attorney Registration and disciplinary Commission, I would assume there is a similar agency in every state. It sounds to me like he should return at least some of the money he took originally from your husband.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
Ask for your money back. The vast majority of my practice is handling legal malpractice cases, but I have never sued a criminal lawyer because we have a crazy case that says before a client can bring a claim against a criminal lawyer, the client must be exonerated completely of any and all charges. It's called the "exoneration defense", however, if he charged you money to represent your husband and then did not show up, you can always sue him in small claims court for breach of agreement.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Of course. He told you to write the bar. Do so. The bar has a grievance committee to hear such cases. he obviously has a different point of view from you however. Make sure you know what you are saying to be true and accurate. If you only paid part of the fee that may be the problem. If he did work you don't know about that may be part of the problem. Just make sure you know what you are doing.and make sure what you say is true.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman | Brian K. Wanerman
If he agreed to represent your husband and did not show up at his court hearing or never did anything on the case, that was a violation of his professional duties. You could report him to the State Bar. However, I note you mention that his fee was $2500. But, you paid him only $1000. If he told you that he wanted the full $2500 before he would begin work on the case, then, it was not a violation for him not to have done anything, because you hadn't paid the full retainer fee, yet. However, it might be a violation for refusing to give you your money back. It depends on the terms of any agreement the two of you made.
Answer Applies to: California
Attorney at Law | Michael P. Vollandt
Yes. Do write to the Bar and request a complaint form. They do not like the type of conduct this lawyer exhibited. Also, you brother may be the proper person to sue the lawyer because he has most of the damage. I your Brother does not want to to do that then you should file a small claims case because the amount of damage to you is not worth using a lawyer or the expense of court costs.
Answer Applies to: California
Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
Yes. You should contact the bar and file a complaint against him for professional misconduct; this is a serious matter. You should also consult with legal counsel because you have clear case of malpractice. You should also talk to another lawyer because your husband likely has a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel.
Answer Applies to: Montana
Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
You can contact the Bar Association and file a grievance against the lawyer. If your agreement was for $2,500 and you only paid $1,000, he can argue that you didn't keep your end of the bargain. If he truly did nothing, then he should have to return your money.
Answer Applies to: Alabama