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rvlaw
rvlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 8386
Experience:  NYC Trial Attorney 30+ years; Law professor ; BUSINESS LAW; CONTRACTS; TORTS; Arbitrator
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I have retained an Attorney as I am filing for personal chapter

Resolved Question:

I have retained an Attorney as I am filing for personal chapter 7 with one of my assets being my business (S-Corp).
I had some very important questions on what they call "successor liability". In this sense I wanted to make sure I could open a new business after the business is complete. I don't think he was really familiar about how this procedure could work. I gave him an opinion about this issue from another attorney. I think this might have "ruffled his feathers."
That being said he decided to withdraw from the case. He wouldn't give me the reason why. He implied that perhaps I was suggesting a path that was fraudulent but he wasn't specific.
I have no problem with him withdrawing and basically I agree with his decision.
The part that bothers me is that he refuses to give me a reason why. He only claims that he can’t reply as it would put me in danger. I don’t buy that because we both should be covered by the attorney-client privilege. I feel he is putting me in more danger by not giving me the reason.
I am sure he has the right to refuse a client but after I have officially retained him I feel in good ethics he owes me a specific explanation.
I wanted to get the opinion of another lawyer on his actions before I contacted the ABA and/or the Better Business Bureau.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  rvlaw replied 2 years ago.

Hi and welcome

The attorney client privilege is a specific concept. It's irrelevant here, because you broke it by telling me the situation....and that's OK because you don't need the protection in this situation. THE PRIVILEGE IS THERE TO PROTECT YOU AND NOT THE LAWYER so that anything you tell your attorney, he is duty bound not to reveal......you could admit to murder or some civil illegality and he cannot reveal that information to anyone.

Your situation is totally different. An attorney has a right to withdraw from a case for any reason or for no reason. He does not have to give you an explanation. Of course if you have given him a monetary retainer, he must return it. If he doesn't, every local bar association has an arbitration procedure to handle fee disputes.

The only other thing is that if a lawyer wants to withdraw while he is attorney of record on a case that is in suit, he has to make an application to the judge to withdraw. Once again, that is not your case, unless bankruptcy papers have already been filed.

Please press 3 or 4 or 5 below so that I may get credit for assisting you.
Please do NOT press 1 or 2 since that will result in a negative rating for me
which you may not have intended. If you want further information or
clarification, just ask before you give a rating.

I ask you to be fair in your rating. For instance, in these actual examples , the expert should not have received a negative rating:
a. A customer says "I ALREADY KNEW THAT".....but the expert didn't know what the customer knew or didn't know.
b. A customer wants to hear "YES YOU CAN".....but the certified legal expert says "LEGALLY NO YOU CAN'T".
c. The answer is short, but ACCURATE. A customer simply wants a longer answer.

Thank you for reading this and for your consideration. I'm always ready to help further.

rich

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Rich,


I think I understand your answer.


I have no problem for him to drop the case. However he implied (while he was still being retained) that I may be taking a very dangerous path. To me it seems irresponsible that he has not delineated what that issue is and has left me as his client feeling completely vulnerable because I don't know what the issue is.
Since I had retained him isn't it incumbent upon him to alert me to any possible wrong doing whether it is intentional or not? I feel this is unethical and a betrayel of the attorney client relationship.
BTW There is no issue about money. He has returned the retainer.


You may have already answered this question but I wanted to be 100% sure because it just doesn't seem ethical for him to withhold any information that may be putting his client in danger. (while he is being retained)

Expert:  rvlaw replied 2 years ago.

As I said, he can withdraw for any reason or no reason. He has no ethical duty to tell you why. And as I say the attorney client relationship is there FOR YOU only. If you tell the lawyer something incriminating he cannot tell anyone else. That's the ONLY application of the privilege. It has nothing to do with his telling you what he thinks. And like you suggest, he may be in over his head and just said that as an excuse to save face and get out.

And as you said ".............I don't think he was really familiar about how this procedure could work. I gave him an opinion about this issue from another attorney. I think this might have "ruffled his feathers"

I don't see a problem with your plan, and he is being strangely over dramatic in using the term "dangerous path" If generally a client suggested a course of action that had issues with, I would calmly point out the down side.

I would see another attorney for a well fleshed out an analysis.

You have to consult with an attorney in your state. This is not because I am a NY attorney, but as you can see from the language on the site here, it says that no attorney-client privilege exists and that you should contact a lawyer in your state for representation. In other words, even if I were a lawyer in your state , the same rule would apply.

To find an attorney, go online to Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory we lawyers use ourselves to find highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. These lawyers are NOT in Martindale because they paid to be included. They are there because they are rated as QUALIFIED by other lawyers in their field of expertise and geographic area as it applies to your kind of case. The process is this: other lawyers are asked to fill out questionnaires giving their opinion of the quality of the work of the law firm that ultimately appears in Martindale.

The site is organized geographically and by legal specialty. Consult with two or three and select the one you are most comfortable with. The Martindale listing will have the names of current or past clients. Contact those clients as references for the firm.

You have to consult with an attorney in your state. This is not because I am a NY attorney, but as you can see from the language on the site here, it says that no attorney-client privilege exists and that you should contact a lawyer in your state for representation. In other words, even if I were a lawyer in your state , the same rule would apply.

To find an attorney, go online to Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory we lawyers use ourselves to find highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. These lawyers are NOT in Martindale because they paid to be included. They are there because they are rated as QUALIFIED by other lawyers in their field of expertise and geographic area as it applies to your kind of case. The process is this: other lawyers are asked to fill out questionnaires giving their opinion of the quality of the work of the law firm that ultimately appears in Martindale.

The site is organized geographically and by legal specialty. Consult with two or three and select the one you are most comfortable with. The Martindale listing will have the names of current or past clients. Contact those clients as references for the firm.

Please press 3 or 4 or 5 below so that I may get credit for assisting you.
Please do NOT press 1 or 2 since that will result in a negative rating for me
which you may not have intended. If you want further information or
clarification, just ask before you give a rating.

I ask you to be fair in your rating. For instance, in these actual examples , the expert should not have received a negative rating:
a. A customer says "I ALREADY KNEW THAT".....but the expert didn't know what the customer knew or didn't know.
b. A customer wants to hear "YES YOU CAN".....but the certified legal expert says "LEGALLY NO YOU CAN'T".
c. The answer is short, but ACCURATE. A customer simply wants a longer answer.

Thank you for reading this and for your consideration. I'm always ready to help further.

rich

rvlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 8386
Experience: NYC Trial Attorney 30+ years; Law professor ; BUSINESS LAW; CONTRACTS; TORTS; Arbitrator
rvlaw and 7 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you

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