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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 90296
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Do I have the right to ask for a refund from my divorce attorney

Customer Question

I was represented by a collaborative lawer almost 3 years ago. She turned out to be extremely sloppy; she twice went over the retainer (which I paid), but when she sent a bill for additional work that I had not authorized and disappeared for a month without anyone in her office notifying me, I found a new lawyer. I notified her and she promised cooperation but did not speak with him or send him my records. The most egregious aspect was my discovery, with my new lawyer, that she had never asked my husband for proof of income and had arrived at my child support based on his misrepresentaton of his income. This number was written into what would have been the final agreement and was used in a letter that I took to landlords when looking for apartments. I was rejected for an apartment based on my income being too low, when the child support is a large part of my income. I paid $15,000 and now have no money left to pursue the divorce. Do I have grounds to ask for my money back?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
If your attorney did not perform the duties she was supposed to perform and failed to turn over files as required by the Rules of Professional Conduct, then you first need to make a complaint to the State Bar Office of Disciplinary Counsel AND also contact the former attorney's office by mail and demand a refund and ask for the name of her malpractice insurance carrier, which she is mandated under the rules of professional conduct to provide to you.


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Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 90296
Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
Law Educator, Esq. and 6 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am not interested in a malpractice suit but I do want my money back. Would you suggest writing to her asking for a refund and listing the reasons, with the threat of filing a disciplinary complaint?

Thank you?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
I think you write and ask for the refund for the reasons cited and as part of that say if she refuses you need the name and contact information of her malpractice carrier and the threat of a disciplinary complaint to back that up.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am trying to find a copy of the Rules of Professional Conduct; I've gone on the ABA website but haven't come up with specific rules other than "a lawyer should represent a client competently." Where can I search to find the specific rules?

Thank you very much?

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