Can an attorney drop a client in the middle of a case for no reason?

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Can an attorney drop a client in the middle of a case for no reason?

I have an attorney that has been handling my divorce for a little over a year and a half. During my last court appearance my attorney did not show nor call me. I reached out to her and only spoke to her legal assistant. I voiced my concerns that I was the customer and client and they should have called me instead I waited for over an hour in the courtroom halls. It has been 5 days and still no word from my attorney. I am at a loss for words and can’t understand why I am being treated this way. What actions can I take?

Asked on May 29, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the attorney is going to withdraw from your case as your attorney of record, the attorney should notify you.  Not showing up for a hearing and/or abandoning a client can result in discipline by the State Bar.  The attorney can also be subject to sanctions (fines) from the court for not showing up for a hearing.  You might want to contact the State Bar.

If you retain another attorney, your former attorney will need to sign a substitution of attorney form in order for the new attorney to become your attorney of record.


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