What to do about my lawyer who is incompetently handling my case?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do about my lawyer who is incompetently handling my case?

My lawyer has filed a divorce decree that has statements I never made to him and he has charged me fees that I feel are unwarranted. My husband was verbally abusive to me and has thrown a key at me and pushed me but left no marks. In the divorce filing my lawyer stated that I had bruises. I never told him that, in fact, I had a protective order that was dismissed because of lack of physical violence. I did not even get to review this document before he sent it to the court and my husband’s lawyer.

Asked on August 11, 2010 under Business Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your attorney can file an amended divorce decree correcting the statements you cited.  If you are unable to resolve the disputes with your attorney, you can fire your attorney.  If you do fire your attorney, you should give him written notice.  You will still be responsible for paying for work up to the date of discharge.  Review the retainer agreement carefully so that the attorney won't be able to claim that you did not comply with requirements if any for his discharge.  Another option is to contact the State Bar in VA.  Sometimes a call from the State Bar will result in the attorney correcting these problems and resolving the dispute with the client.  The State Bar may also have fee arbitration where the fee dispute can be resolved.

If you do fire the attorney, you have the right to obtain a copy of your entire file; however, the attorney can charge for copies of the file.

If you fire the attorney, have the attorney sign a substitution of attorney form in which you are named as the attorney.  This would be in effect until you find another attorney at which time the new attorney will sign a substitution of attorney form to become your attorney of record.  You might also want to ask the opposing party's attorney about agreement to a continuance until you can find another attorney or if that isn't feasible, ask the court for a continuance.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption