I paid a lawyer to file my divorce but he is not my attorney on record, can I get help from another lawyer? 10 Answers as of December 18, 2010

I paid a lawyer to file my divorce papers and he has not completed forms. He is not my attorney on record. I am now experiencing a second time that it has been weeks that it has been impossible to get a hold of him. My simple divorce has to still be finalized and it has been over a year and a half since I filed.

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Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
You can always change or bring another attorney into a case with a Substitution of Attorney. If you have already filed some documents and are in 'Pro Per' status, you will need to sign one with your new attorney to bring him or her into the case, as well. You will not need the prior attorney to sign, since he is not on record as your Attorney. It should be a very simple matter to finalize your divorce, and should not cost you much..
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/18/2010
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Seek help from another attorney to finish the divorce. Then sue in small claims to get your money back.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/17/2010
Goldberg Jones
Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
Yes, you can and should consult with a new lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/15/2010
Cutter & Lax, Attorneys at Law
Cutter & Lax, Attorneys at Law | Matthew E. Lax
If the person is not your attorney of record then you technically represent yourself. You can hire another attorney at any time to help you finalize the process. Many times, what may seem to be simple isn't always. If you would like to have us help you feel free to call me at the number below. We can offer a very reasonable price if the matter is as simple as you make it sound.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/15/2010
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
Yes, you are always free to change lawyers.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/15/2010
    Maclean Chung Law Firm
    Maclean Chung Law Firm | G. Thomas MacLean Jr.
    You can always seek help and advice from another attorney, as long as there is no conflict of interest. Your attorney is obligated to help you once retained, but you are not required to stay with the same attorney. Even if he was the attorney of record, you could use a substitution of attorney form to have a new attorney take over your matter.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    You can fire a lawyer at anytime for any reason, regardless of whether or not he is your "attorney of record." Thus, if he is not complying with your requests to draft and file paperwork, send him a letter firing him and ask for a refund of your money. Also, you can go ahead and hire a new lawyer at anytime to help you finish your case. Feel free to contact my office if you need help.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    It sounds as though you hired a lawyer as a consultant to perform "unbundled services" to file your divorce case, and if so, you would be your own lawyer, in Pro Per. If that is the case, you can substitute another attorney to take over your representation from yourself. From your question, I can't determine what forms the first attorney hasn't completed, but the attorney who you substitute in can complete the divorce case. The written agreement between the first lawyer and you should define what the first lawyer was supposed to do, and if he was paid to do something and did not do it, you can sue him in Small Claims Court for refund of the portion of the amount paid that he did not earn.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Yes, you can obtain another attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You have the absolute right to hire and fire an attorney at any time. The fact that he or she is not your attorney of record simply means that you do not have to substitute him/her out of your case. I would be happy to help you in your matter. Please feel free to contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
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