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Ask Dave Kennett Your Own Question

Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27687
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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MY BOYFRIEND AND I RETAINED A LAWYER IN ORLANDO, FL LAST YEAR

Customer Question

MY BOYFRIEND AND I RETAINED A LAWYER IN ORLANDO, FL LAST YEAR AFTER HE WAS ARRESTED IN JUNE 2012. SINCE WE HAVE RETAINED HIM, HE HAS BEEN PAID OVER $3,000 AND EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE NOT MADE ANY RECENT PAYMENTS BECAUSE I WAS WITHOUT WORK AND HE WAS MAKING SURE EVERYTHING WAS PAID, WE CAN NEVER GET A HOLD OF THE LAWYER, HE DOES NOT RETURN ANY CALLS NOR DOES HIS STAFF. MY BOYFRIEND WAS CURRENTLY REARRESTED AND WE HAVE YET TO HEAR FROM THE LAWYER. HE HAS NOT SEEN MY BOYFRIEND AT THE JAIL. I BELIEVE THAT HE IS BEING VERY UNPROFFESSION AND UNETHICAL. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN BE DONE BECAUSE I AM TRYING TO GET MY BOYFRIEND OUT OF JAIL. ANY INFORMATION WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. THANK YOU IN ADVANCED
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
Dear JACUSTOMER - Whenever an attorney neglects a case you should file a written complaint with the Bar Association and explain the situation. I have provided the website for the Bar Association below for your convenience. It is unprofessional for any attorney not to return phone calls or at least offer an explanation as to why the calls are not being returned. If this arrest is a new or different case for which the attorney was hired then it is possible that the attorney does not consider himself as the attorney of record on the new case but this should have been explained to you. Your boyfriend can request the court to appoint a lawyer for his case if he cannot afford to hire a new lawyer. Here is the website for the Bar Association;
http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBConsum.nsf/0a92a6dc28e76ae58525700a005d0d53/dbac6623cf5c015f85257a3f0060b781!OpenDocument
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

this new arrest is indeed for the same case that he was originally hired for. so basically i should just put in the complaint with the fl bar association for him being unethical?


 

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
Yes, if he will not return phone calls or offer an explanation of why he is not representing your boyfriend then I know of no other way of getting his attention.
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27687
Experience: 25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
Dave Kennett and 16 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I put in a written complaint with the Florida bar association does that remove him as the lawyer on the case or does that only happen if he is fired? and if it does remove him, do we lose the money that has already been paid to him?
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
It doesn't automatically remove him but I assume he would remove himself once a complaint is filed. As for the return of your money, that would be up to him and if he refused you could sue him for the money and report it to the Bar as well.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What does it mean to have a trial management conference. does that.mean that a lawyer is ready for trial
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
Not exactly. It is a conference to go over the details of the trial as to number of witnesses, time alloted for the trial, the amount of exhibits and the number of witnesses that are expected to be called. It is a procedural matter done by the attorneys and the judge.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If a motion of continuance is denied by the court but neither the attorney nor the defendant are ready for trial, will the case still go to trial, regardless?


My boyfriend had court yesterday, which they didn't even take him to court and his "lawyer" supposedly told him that the motion for continuance and that now they were going to trial even though they are not ready. Is this possible?

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
Yes it is possible however it would be the basis for an appeal if he loses at trial. There is no requirement that the judge has to grant a continuance but if there was good cause for the request it can be the basis to have a verdict overturned on appeal. Obviously if your boyfriend is found not guilty there would be no need for an appeal.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Another question. Can he put in his own motions to be able to speak with a judge since his lawyer never takes him to court? if so which motions would he need to file? Can he file a bond hearing motion?

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
While he is represented by counsel the court would not accept any motions from him individually and I would not recommend that he say or file anything. I would have no way of telling you what motions should be filed since I have no way of reviewing the entire case file nor am I permitted to give specific legal advice on an individual case from this website as we are not permitted to actually represent clients from here. If the lawyer is not doing his job your boyfriend needs to ask for a new lawyer, not try to represent himself and he needs to file a complaint with the Bar Association.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

But asking for a new lawyer means we lose the money that has already been paid to this other individual right?

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
Not if you also file the complaint with the Bar Association and ask for a refund. What I would suggest, before you get rid of this attorney, is to find another criminal lawyer in the area and ask for a short consultation appointment and have the lawyer look at the case and what has been filed. The lawyer should be able to tell you whether your current lawyer has done something wrong on the case. I know it is frustrating, especially criminal cases, when there aren't a lot of motions filed or things being done that you may have heard about in other cases, but I have to tell you that most of the work a lawyer does in a criminal case is done behind the scenes in conferences with the DA or the court etc. and this may simply be a situation where your lawyer is not properly communicating what has happened. If that is the case it would not be a good idea to switch attorneys if, in fact, yours is actually doing the proper work. I can't make that determination from here so you would either need to get a second opinion like I suggested or simply file a complaint with the Bar Association.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can a person receive credit for time served after having been on gps /home confinement for 6 months? Also if a person is convicted of traveling to meet a minor does that make him a registered sex offender. He was also charged with solicitation via computer but in parentheses it says parent

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
These questions relate to specific criminal law questions rather than the quality of the representation. Generally home confinement does not qualify for credit for time served but it would be up to the judge. As for registering as a sex offender it is going to depend on the specific statute that he would be convicted of violating which may or may not be different from the charges that were filed so I cannot answer that question.

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