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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 88307
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My fiance had an issue with the DMV and some medical reporting

Resolved Question:

My fiance had an issue with the DMV and some medical reporting that is being fixed.
However, her sister who works part-time in a law office mentioned it to one of the attorneys. He took it upon himself to contact lord knows who at the state DMV office stating that he "is her attorney" demanding to know what the "status of her license is" right away.

The problem is she NEVER discussed it with him and certainly never gave him permission to do anything regarding this issue! At NO point did she ever retain him for any reason!

What damage could he have done? Disciplinary action by the bar assoc? What action can she take/file against him?

Thanks!!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is Ely. Welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not necessarily to tell you what you wish to hear. Note: there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry to hear about this.

It is unlikely that he has done any damage per se, since if the attorney really believed that they were acting on behalf of the friend, then they would have tried to fix the issue, if anything. All the friend has to do is to call back (or visit) and explain that the attorney was never representing her.

Disciplinary action by the bar assoc?

Yes, if she wanted to. Since he acted without her permission, he broke the ethical rules that attorneys are bound by. If she wished, she could file a complaint with the North Carolina State Bar - here. The Bar may then investigate the attorney and even admonish them.

What action can she take/file against him?

To sue in state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state. Every cause of action has its own elements, and each element has to be satisfied for a cause of action to be successful in court.

The above complaint should be enough. However, if the attorney's actions caused permanent damage, then she could theoretically sue the attorney for fraud and negligence.

She could not sue them for "malpractice" because malpractice requires that the attorney and her actually entered into an agreement. Ballenger v. Crowell, 247 SE 2d 287 - NC: Court of Appeals 1978 (general discussion). But, the above causes of action would do.

IMPORTANT: Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces before submitting the rating, because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects negatively on me as an expert, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups for free after rating. My ultimate goal is your complete satisfaction.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mr. Ely,

I really appreciate the information and particularly the case citation as I was immediately drawn to legal "malpractice" prior to research. So, I thank you for setting that straight.

I don't believe he was in any way trying to be malicious, but attempting to help. Hopefully it will all "blow over" so to speak without any harm.

The truly unfortunate thing with all of this is actually with her doctor "misplacing" the forms causing them to be submitted past the due date. If they take her license away due to this, it will be permanent and life changing as she is only 27 years old. I assume that similar "cause of action" criteria would apply to her doctor? Malpractice, negligence, etc?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
B,

My pleasure; thank you for your kind words.

I assume that similar "cause of action" criteria would apply to her doctor? Malpractice, negligence, etc?

Indeed, although here it may actually be medical malpractice, since there was an doctor/patient relationship. For medical malpractice, plaintiff must offer evidence which establishes the following elements: (1) the standard of care; (2) breach of the standard of care; (3) proximate causation; and (4) damages. Lowery v. Newton, 278 SE 2d 566 - NC: Court of Appeals 1981.

IMPORTANT: Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces before submitting the rating, because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects negatively on me as an expert, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups for free after rating. My ultimate goal is your complete satisfaction.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Mr. Ely, You are truly fantastic and I can't thank you enough for all of your help and information! Have a great day! Thanks again! XXXXX

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
B,

It is really my pleasure, but thank you for your kind words. Remember - just because one can sue does not mean that one should, unless the damages are worth the judgment that one may get...

Best of luck, friend, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you – or, please REPLY to keep on chatting – I want you to be satisfied.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 88307
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Ely
Ely
Lawyer
88307 Satisfied Customers
Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.