What should I do with an incompetent attorney? 26 Answers as of April 02, 2013

First I found out that my attorney was on suspension when he took my case 7 to 8 months ago. Now, he is not calling me to let me know on my personal injury case. Then he tells me that I need to see a Doctor for an ACL reconstruction surgery recommendation. I thought that was over with like in December. What should I do?

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
file a grievance and get a competent lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/2/2013
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
Get a new attorney. I can help you find one.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/1/2013
Lydy & Moan | C. Gary Wilson
You should be able to discharge this attorney and seek new counsel to represent you in the matter.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/28/2013
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
Fire him and go hire another attorney right away.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/28/2013
Sarangi Law, LLC
Sarangi Law, LLC | Fareesh Sarangi
First of all, in Georgia you have the right to change attorneys for any reason at any time. I always suggest clients try and work things out with their attorney first if at all possible, but if this is a case where you do not feel like you can work with this attorney, you should send him a certified letter informing him you do not want him to represent you from this day going forward. Also specifically request he send your file to you. Be aware that you may have a "quantam meruit" clause in your representation agreement that entitles him to compensation for whatever he has done on your case so far. Depending on how this clause is phrased, it may be more difficult for you to retain a new attorney because of how much the fee would be chopped. I would recommend you look for a new attorney immediately, and share a copy of the contract you signed with your previous attorney. Your new attorney should be able to assist you in negotiating that clause. As far as the case specifics and what you should do regarding treatment or the path your case should take. A skilled attorney needs to review the specifics of your case to provide that advice.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 3/28/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    Fire him and replace him.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    I don't know about your medical care but PI cases are based on proper medical care, not what you want or think or wish. As far as your lawyer is concerned get you a new lawyer any day you care to. Just fire your old one, pick up your file and go shopping for one who knows what he is doing and will return your calls.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
    Immediately fire him/her and retain another attorney. You should also report the attorney to the local bar association for practicing law while under suspension.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    Just as you are able to hire an attorney, you are able to fire an attorney. It is up to you to decide if you believe your attorney can help you or not. If so, stick with the attorney. If not, fire the attorney and hire a new one. If you are unsure if your attorney is helping/handling the case correctly or not, you can get a 2nd opinion from another attorney about how the 1st attorney is performing/handling the case. However, your 1st attorney could not really sign your case up/represent you if his license had/has been suspended by the Michigan State Bar Association.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    File a complaint with the State Bar and get a new attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    J. Norman Stark, Attorney & Reg. Architect | J. NORMAN STARK, ATTORNEY
    Dear Inquirer: Find and retain another, experienced Attorney to advise, assist and protect your rights and best interests, ASAP! Terminate your suspended Attorney, that's your right as the Client, and your suspended Attorney may not represent you for another minute, under the law. You are also entitled to all of your records and papers, which he or she must surrender immediately upon request. If you have any problems, tell the Attorney you will report him or her to Disciplinary Counsel of the Ohio Supreme Court. They will not tolerate any abuse of professional standards and duty. Retain new counsel ASAP. Good luck, God Bless...
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    Mike Lewis Attorneys | Mike Lewis
    You should terminate his services and find another attorney.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    He cannot take your case while on suspension. I would change attorneys if he is suspended.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    Law Office of Christian Menard
    Law Office of Christian Menard | Christian Menard
    You need to hire another attorney ASAP to review the status of your case and who will pick up the ball. I also suggest you contact the state bar and file a complaint against the first attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    Henry Lebensbaum | Henry Lebensbaum
    Replace.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    If you are dissatisfied with you attorney or question his competence the speak with and find another.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    Kram & Wooster, P.S. | Richard H. Wooster
    Find a new attorney. When was the accident, has your case been filed, do you have a statute of limitations problem? You have to start a negligence suit generally within three years. There are some exceptions and other claims have different limitation periods. Sounds like you need to find a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2013
    A. Dawn Hayes & Assoc. P.A.
    A. Dawn Hayes & Assoc. P.A. | A. Dawn Hayes
    Make an appointment with your attorney and have him explain to you what is going on. If you are not satisfied, you can terminate your relationship with him and hire another attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    It's usually not a good idea to change lawyers in the middle of a case for a variety of different reasons which I will not address here since you didn't ask. I suggest you make an appointment to see the lawyer or have a telephone conference. If you don't like what you hear, you can always change lawyers, if you can find one that will take your case. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    If you have enough time before your statute of limitations (2 year from the date of loss), you should request your lawyer allow you to have a complete copy of your file and take your case to another attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Johnson & Johnson Law Firm, PLLC | Richard Johnson
    Terminate the lawyer, get your file from him and hire another lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    If your attorney was suspended at the time he took you on as a client. This would suggest that the retainer is unenforceable. If you are uncomfortable with your current attorney; you should consult with another one.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM | I.Donald Weissman
    In California if you want to change attorneys or terminate the relationship with an attorney you may do so, without cause or reason. The contingency fee arrangement converts to an hourly fee based upon the hours the attorney can document spent working on the case. The payment is still contingent upon a successful recovery. (Check the retainer agreement signed with the attorney. It should set forth the rates and conditions for this arrangement.) Consult with another attorney. A new attorney will usually negotiate to share the fee with the prior attorney at the end of the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata
    Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata | Stan Lopata
    At any time in your case, you have the absolute right to fire/terminate/end your attorney. If you feel that the attorney is not doing everything for your case, get a new attorney. The easiest way to do that is to contact your new attorney and he/she will prepare all the papers necessary to change attorneys. You will have to pay only one fee. The two attorneys will have to divide the fee between themselves.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    David P. Slater, esq.
    David P. Slater, esq. | David P. Slater
    A client always has the right for a second opinion and to substitute new counsel. You only pay once and the attorneys will work out a fee arrangement and transfer of the file.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Law Offices of Tanya Gendelman, P.C.
    Law Offices of Tanya Gendelman, P.C. | Tanya Gendelman, Esq.
    If you are not happy with your lawyer, you should speak to another lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/27/2013
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