I have a four year old son. I have been in a paternity suit involving him since 2009. We are in day 4 of trial which was scheduled for 6 days. I have not been able to present my case at all. My attorney wants to quit. Opposing counsel contacted him last week and told him that I intended to fire him, and I did not. He became very angry with me, and said that I had purjered myself on the stand, which isnt true, and has made application to withdraw. Not only that, he now states that if the Judge will not allow him to withdraw he will not put my son's father on the stand, he will not enter my key evidence, and he will not even ask the questions to the custody evaluator. This case has been a disaster from the start. I have a Police detective involved because my son's father has been stalking me by proxy for 2 years. His lawyers say that I am insane because I say that it is him, however the GPS trackers, video surveilance cameras, are real. In May I found beercans and cigarettes in my attic where someone had been sitting and listening in my home. The district attorney is willing to prosecute this as we are waiting for dna results to come back, but I am at wits end and have no attorney and I have no chance at a fair trial. Any suggestions? can I get a mistrial? or may I request a mistrial from the Judge?
State/Country relating to question: Oklahoma
Finding representation, legal aid wont get involved in a case during trial, and Earle Lilly won't either. I have no way of getting an attorney, I am leveraged out. I can't borrow any more money.
Hi, and Welcome to JustAnswer,
My name is XXXXX XXXXX X am a Licensed, Practicing Attorney,
I am very sorry to hear how your attorney is treating you and he is certainly not protecting your interests. It also appears that opposing counsel told your attorney this lie as a very unethical trial tactic - that is, have your attorney believe you said that, have your attorney abandon you in midstream to fend for yourself, have you lose the case by default. At this stage of the trial, you have very few options, but I would recommend the following - You cannot speak to the Judge directly in his Chambers because that would be considered an "Ex Parte" communication (Without the other party being present). Therefore, you should call the Judge's Chambers, speak to one of his Law Clerk's and tell them exactly what is going on and that you would like to meet with the Judge and opposing counsel. Tell the Law Clerk: 1. Opposing counsel lied to your attorney about firing him, You never said any such thing to opposing counsel. Now, your attorney is going to ask for "Leave to Withdraw" (Permission to withdraw from the case); 2. Opposing counsel lied about this as a trial tactic to win the case for his client because he cannot disprove that his client is the father. This was totally unethical on the part of opposing counsel; 3. That your attorney has his plans already mapped out - That is, if he is not allowed to withdraw, he is not going to question the alleged father on the stand, he is not going to present any evidence, basically he is not going to put on a case at all;
4. Then tell the Law Clerk you must ask for a Continuance because you need time to find other counsel to represent you. And, for all of the above reasons, you need a meeting in Chambers with the Judge, opposing counsel, and your attorney, if he is still in the case. Regardless of which State an attorney maintains his practice the Rules of Professional Conduct are all basically the same. Please click on the link below for information on how your lawyer's conduct falls below the standard set by the Oklahoma Rules:
Since your attorney is either going to withdraw, or if forced to remain in the case, he is not going to put on a case at all, you have nothing to lose. Report him to the Oklahoma Attorney Disciplinary Board. Actually, you should report opposing counsel also:
Oklahoma Bar Association
General Counsel www.okbar.org
1901 North Lincoln Blvd.
Post Office Box 53036
Oklahoma City, OK 73152
Fax:(NNN) NNN-NNNN If the Judge grants your request for a continuance, you should try contacting Legal Aid again and tell them they will have time to prepare because you have been granted a continuance: Legal Aid of Western Oklahoma Inc. 2901 N Classen Blvd, Ste 112Oklahoma City, OK NNN-NN-NNNNbr/>General Phone:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>Fax:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>Counties Served: Canadian, Oklahoma Case Types: AIDS/HIV, Adoption, Bankruptcy, Consumer, Custody, Dissolution of Marriage, Domestic Violence, Education, Elder Law, Employment, Health, Housing, Individual Rights, Public Benefits, Real Estate, Termination of Parental Rights, Torts, Wills and Estates You should also contact the Oklahoma Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service and ask for the names of several attorneys who are on the Pro Bono Committee. These are attorneys who volunteer their time to represent individuals who cannot afford private representation. You should do the same with the Bar Association Referral Service of your County. and for the American Bar Association:
Pro Bono Legal Assistance - http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/probono/directory/alabama.htmlPlease be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent", If you rate me at anything less than 3 stars, it will appear as a negative rating against my name, If you need clarification, please let me know by pressing the "Reply" button, Thank you for allowing me to be of service, ANDREA.
25 yrs Family Law, Real Estate & Business Law, Criminal Defense, Immigration, Employment Law
Thank you very much for your answer. My Judge set a hearing for Monday to consider my attorneys request to withdraw. Do you think I should request this meeting prior to the hearing? I believe I will not get a fair trial. Is it possible to get a mistrial on a noncriminal matter?
You are very welcome, Thank you for rating my service as "Excellent" Thank you also for your follow up quesitons, 1. A mistrial cannot be requested in a civil case 2. If the hearing on the lawyer's Petition for Leave to Withdraw" will be on Monday, there might not be a need for requesting an in Chambers Meeting. You should have been served with a copy of the Petition..
1. Were you served with a copy ?
2. If so, what reasons does the lawyer give for his request to withdraw ?
He stated no "reason" he said : pursuant to the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct Title 5, Ch.1, appenidcs 3-A., Rule 1.16. I am not sure what it means but from what he told me it is bc I had done something inethical, lime purgery on the stand, fromy interpretation of oir conbersation.
The last response I received from you a sentence stated "Please press "ACCEPT"... I cannot find an "accept" button or icon :( ,
Hi, again, Apparently we are having technical problems again. I wrote a rather lengthy Answer for you and also included the section you cited. sent it about 90 minutes agom but I see it never got to your screen. I have re-written my Answer, but in condensed form so that I can send it to you faster. I am also including the section of the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct again for your reference. If your lawyer said that you committed perjury, he is referring to Section 1.16(b)(2) through and including Section 1.16(b)(6).
At the hearing on your lawyer's Petition for Leave to Withdraw, he will tell the Judge the reasons he wants to withdraw. He may not have given you an exact reason, but he is going to have to tell the Judge hiis reasons. From the way your lawyer was talking it sounds like he is in collusion with opposing counsel to have you lose your case. After your lawyer speaks, the Judge will ask you if you have any questions or if you want to say anything or if you oppose his Petition. if the following statements are true, be absolutely sure you tell them to the Judge. If necessary, take notes with you to the hearing, it is perfectly acceptable, Your Honor,
I do not understand everything that Mr. ____ said, but I would like to make the Court aware of certain things that have transpired and that make me feel very uneasy. 1. You never spoke to opposing counsel. You never told him you were firing your lawyer. Opposing counsel lied to your lawyer;
2. Mr. __________ (Your lawyer) has already told me that he does not care if you refuse him permission to withdraw from my case because he said if he is forced to remain in the case, he will not question my baby's father, he will not present to you any of the evidence I worked so hard to get, and he would not present any case for me at all; 3. Mr. ___________ is accusing me of perjury. I promise you, your Honor, I have never lied to the Court, everything I said was true. 4. The way I see this, it appears that opposing counsel's lies, my lawyers false accusations, his threats not to put on any casse for me if he is forced to remain in the case, When I take all of these things together, it seems like these are all calculated moves between the two of them for me to lose the case. They have done something wrong, more than just unethical and they are trying to use me as the scapegoat. Their conduct is extremely unethical. I never heard of a lawyer telling his client that regardless of what a Judge says, he is not going to put on a case for his client. I could not believe my ears when he was telling me this and I still can't believe it.
That is why I am asking the Court for a Continuance so that I can find other counsel. It will be to your benefit to mention everything in Paragraphs 1 through 4, above. It will be telling the Judge what has been going on, it will turn the Judge against both opposing counsel for lying and against your lawyer for showing no respect for him as a Judge. and hopefully, will buy you some more time to find another attorney who will work Pro Bono.
Here is the section of the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct
Olahoma Rules of Professional ConductChapter 1, App. 3-A, Client-Lawyer Relationship Rule 1.16. Declining or Terminating Representation(a) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer shall not represent a client or, where representation has commenced, shall withdraw from the representation of a client if:(1) the representation will result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;(2) the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially impairs the lawyer's ability to represent the client; or(3) the lawyer is discharged.(b) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer may withdraw from representing a client if: (1) withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of the client; (2) the client persists in a course of action involving the lawyer's services that the lawyer reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent;(3) the client has used the lawyer's services to perpetrate a crime or fraud; (4) the client insists upon taking action that the lawyer considers repugnant or with which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement; (5) the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer's services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled; (6) the representation will result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer or has been rendered unreasonably difficult by the client; or (7) other good cause for withdrawal exists.(c) A lawyer must comply with applicable law requiring notice to or permission of a tribunal when terminating a representation. When ordered to do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue representation notwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation.(d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled and refunding any advance payment of fee or expenses that has not been earned or incurred. The lawyer may retain papers relating to the client to the extent permitted by other law. Please be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent", If you rate me at anything less than 3 stars, it will appear as a negative rating against my name, If you need clarification, please let me know by pressing the "Reply" button, Thank you for allowing me to be of service, ANDREA.
Thank you so very much. It is vindication to me at this point. I will see what I can do about finding other counsel. Are you by chance a practicing attorney in Oklahoma?
I will be right with you,
I think I need to log on my computer. I will ne home in about 45 minutes if that okay?
1. Did opposing counsel ever speak with you ?
2. How did he get the idea that you were going to fire your lawyer ?
I look forward to your reply, ANDREA
No, I did not speak to opposing counsel at all. Last week after trial, I had dinner with a friend. I told her that I was not being permitted to enter my pertinent evidence in the case. She said that her agency uses an attorney, and she gave me his name. We spoke with him that evening and he came to join us for dinner. At dinner we discussed the fact that I have an attorney, but felt that we needed more help because O.C. has a "team" and we only have one lawyer, with no paralegals, etc. My attorney had left that evening for a week long trip and was unable to take calls or answer email, during his absence. This "new" attorney, that I met at dinner, did some research on my case, and found that his secretary used to be employed by O.C. So, the "new" attorney contacted o.c. to ask if she would waive the conflict, and she refused. She then contacted my attorney prior to my having any discussion with him upon his return, and she told him that I was going to fire him and hire the "new" attorney. When my attorney confrounted me with this allegation, I said that was not true, that I had only asked "new" attorney to help because we were so out-manned. He then said that o.c. had told him that I had perjured myself on the stand at trial and he didn't know how he could even represent me now. I was very frustrated and told him that o.c. was lying, and he said that he was making his motion to withdraw. I spoke with him yesterday and he informed me that if the judge did not allow him off of my case that he felt that all he could try to do was allow me to tell my side of the story, and was unsure of putting any witnesses on the stand.
Thank you for the additional information, Obviously, I do not know either your lawyer, or opposing counsel, but just from what you have stated in your facts, their conduct and their reaction is extremely juvenile and immature. Lawyers often have disagreements with their clients; they talk things out, the lawyer does not throw a tantrum, turns a deaf ear, and storms our of the room. Your lawyer telling you that he will not submit the evidence you gave him, that he will not question the father of you child on the stand, and that he will not question you either, is like a two year old having a tantrum, picking up his toys, and saying he does not want to play any more. Telling you that he will allow you to tell your story means he is not getting involved at all and will not be asking you questions either. This does not sound like the conduct of an experienced lawyer. That might be the reason he wants to get out of the case because he has no idea what he is doing. If this is the case, he should never have taken on your case, and never taken your money, He has a lot of explaining to do. All I can say is be prepared to tell the Judge all that I have outlined, It is all well and good that you will report him to the Attorney Disciplinary Board, fine. But, you have to let the Judge know that both lawyers are using you as a scapegoat. Please do not let me think that all the work I put into your Answers was wasted because you wil; not use it. Thank you for asking if I practice in your State, I do not. I am Licensed to practice in New York and Pennsylvania. We are not permitted to take on customers as clients, nor have any contact with customers outside of this website. The New York State Bar Examination was 16 hours long ,over a 2-day period, and the b is 16 hours long over a 2-day period and the Pennsylvania Bar Examination was 14 hours long over a 2-day period, I have no desire to sit for a third Bar Examination. . It is important that you be prepared for your lawyer's hearing on Monday so that you are not accused of things you did not do, especially perjury, and that you not allow them to use you as the scapegoat, especially for something rhey did wrong and for your lawyer's inexperience. Please let me know on Monda how the hearing went. Please be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent", If you rate me at anything less than 3 stars, it will appear as a negative rating against my name, If you need clarification, please let me know by pressing the "Reply" button, Thank you for allowing me to be of service, ANDREA.
Today I attended the hearing regarding my attorneys application to quit. He stated that the reason he wanted to quit my case was because I had "committed perjury" which is not true. I told my Judge about the fact that opposing counsel had made these false allegations regarding perjury and my wishing to fire my attorney. The Judge did not admonish opposing counsel for lying. Also opposing counsel gave my attorney "case law" in open court on which to base this false allegation of perjury upon.I was granted no extension, and I must now represent myself in trial day after tomorrow. I have now been accused of perjury and I do not know if I will even be permitted to present my case, or if opposing counsel will make an allegation of perjury which will then evolve into a criminal matter.The only option I have at this point is to attempt preperation for trial, and pray that I get a chance to present my case at all, which is very doubtful to me at the moment.
I am very sorry to hear of the outcome of the hearing. I am very surprised that the Judge did not say anything when you told him that your lawyer did not care about how he ruled on his Petition or that he would not pursue putting on your case. The Judge cannot prevent you from putting on your case. All you can do is put on the evidence that you had asked your lawyer to do. The only way to avenge yourself for the lies that both attorneys are saying is to report both of them to the Attorney Discilplinary Board. It was very unethical on the part of your lawyer to say that you had committed perjury without telling you what the alleged perjury was. You should tell that to the Disciplinary Board and also that you said nothing but the truth on the stand and in telling this to the Judge,. he seriously jeopardized your case.
I have done research regarding the etgical breaches. It requires documentation of the offense, which I will habe to find in the transcripts, once they are available.I lost cistoday of my son. And since then, his FThsr has acheduled an elective surgery which noone will discuss with me, the gal wont even return my calls. I've had 2 visits cancelled. He took my son to NYC also.I dont understand why this is neing permitted. It is a horrible situation.
I am sorry to hear the outcome, but not too surprised after you told me that the Judge didn't really care to hear about any wrongdoing on the part of your former lawyer. I have a feeling that both lawyers are not above board and could even be working together. That is really sad, it is lawyer like that -who have given the legal profession an undeserved bad name,
Try to find an an attorney as soon as possible so that you can file an Appeal. Call or contact the websites I gave you in one of my previous Anwers and the Legal Aid Society
Thanks so much. I will start working on it as soon as I get the transcripts.The lawyer that I had went to law school with one of his lawyers. He went to his wedding and they are friends. My parents are helping me get a new plan together. And it will definately involve an out of yown attorney!!Thank you so much for all of your help and guidance. It is a huve relief to me to have someone who is ethical, not agree with how this has been done.
Transcripts of trial are important and they can be very helpful, so it is good that you ordered them, however, the time within which to file an Appeal is usually 30 days, and the Court does not grant a continuance on this. If the time period expires, it is gone because I doubt the father of your son will agree to waive the 30 days to a longer period Waiting for the transcripts will be reducing the amount of time your new attorney can work on the appeal. It would be better if you took a copy of the Judge's decision to the attorney you decide to retain, tell them you ordered the transcripts of trial, give a brief overview of the trial, metioning the highlight, and allow the attorney to ask you questions so that they will have what they need in order to file your Appeal,
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