What do I do if my attorney failed to contact me about my final court appearance in my divorce case? 8 Answers as of January 02, 2013

In February of 2012, I had an emergency court hearing where the judge decided to give certain orders to my husband and I. He wanted to see us back in court in 6 months. My lawyer did not correspond with me until September. In her email, she asked me to pay her more money. I asked her to show me where I should pay when the judge had ordered my husband to pay. She would not answer my question but continued to send me emails that were vague and finally in December she decided to tell me that I was supposed to be in court to finalize my divorce. I had called her office several times, but there were no return calls from her or her receptionist. She stated in her last email that she would go to court and ask to be removed as my attorney. I don't understand where this leaves me other than still married to a cheating jerk.

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DO IT YOURSELF DIVORCE, pllc | Robert L. Willis, Jr
There are times when an attorney and her client can no longer work together. Until she petitions the court to ask the court to dismiss her, she owes you a duty of fair representation which includes communication to you about significant dates. Before she is successful in withdrawing from the case, she must send you a notice that she has petitioned the court and you can go to court to talk to the judge. If the Court grants her request to withdraw you will receive an order allowing her to withdraw and within that order you will be given a short period of time to obtain another attorney to represent you. I would send her a letter asking her to detail the status of the case to you in a writing. In addition I would begin looking for an attorney and lastly, if you believe this attorney's behavior is substantially below acceptable standards, you can contact the attorney grievance commission and request and investigation of that attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/2/2013
Law Office of Eric S. Lumberg | Eric S. Lumberg
You should consult with an attorney to review what has happened with the court and how to get the matter resolved
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/30/2012
Graves Law Firm
Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
Your lawyer doesn't have to work without being paid. It's nice that the judge ordered your husband to pay your lawyer, but the order is not self-enforcing.? It doesn't relieve you of the duty to pay your lawyer; it just enables you to collect the amount ordered back from your husband if you can.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 12/30/2012
The Law Office of Erin Farley
The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
Gather your documents, including documentation of your phone calls and all correspondence. Speak with a malpractice attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/30/2012
Law Office of Kristine McDonnell | Kristine McDonnell
I suggest calling the Clerk of Courts to see if you have any other hearing scheduled. If not you need to re file your divorce, but it will eventually resolve itself.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 12/30/2012
    Zales Law Office
    Zales Law Office | Nicholas C Zales
    You need to discuss your case with a family law attorney who knows what they are doing. You failed to mention any marital settlement agreement. That should be prepared before the final hearing at which you must attend. Since your attorney is not cooperating with you, you really need another one.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 12/30/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    If you paid your lawyer a retainer that she was billing against, she may have used up the retainer simply doing the initial work on the case. If you have not missed your final hearing, go to the hearing, tell the judge you and your lawyer aren't communicating and you need time to find another one. If you have already missed the hearing and the judge has issued a decree and divided the property, you can file a motion to vacate or amend the final judgment based upon a lack of notice by your lawyer. Even if the judge ordered your husband to pay your attorney's fees, if he has not, your attorney does not have to work for free. You should pay her and get the court to order your ex to reimburse you as part of the final decree. Then, if he doesn't come up with the money, you can ask the court to hold him in contempt.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 12/30/2012
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    File a complaint with the State Bar of Idaho about your attorney. Even though you didn't appear you may be divorced. Look in the repository and find out the status of the case. As for the fee, even though he was ordered to pay, the initial obligation to pay your attorney is on you. If he then pays as the court ordered, that amount would have been refunded to you.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 12/30/2012
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