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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
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Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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I had an attorney working with me 2 years ago on a will contest

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I had an attorney working with me 2 years ago on a will contest (mother's will; brother contesting last will & testament. I terminated my relationship with that attorney on May 11, 2011. Last week I obtained a copy of supplemental affidavit of legal services from the court evaluator who was involved the in sham guardianship proceeding held earlier that year.
The invoice begins on May 16, 2011 and records the the following communications through August 22, 2011 (shortly before my mother's death on August 31, 2011):
1. Two conference calls with the court evaluator; judge who presided over the guardianship proceeding; my brother's and mother's attorney (1.6 hours total)
2. A half- hour call with court evaluator and my former attorney.
In all, 24 calls were billed for, all (or almost so) pertaining to my brother's motion to charge me with contempt of court.
My former attorney never notified me of these communications (as my attorney she had been dilligent in informing me of communications taking place). Is there something I missed in the explanation of attorney-client confidentiality? This seems to me an egregious violation of professional ethics, if not worse. Your opinion?

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good afternoon.My sympathy here for your dilemma and situation.

RayAnswers :

Certainly you have the right here to file a lawyer complaint concerning the failure here to communicate with you and to represent you properly in these matters.You may also want to consider a malpractice lawyer if you were harmed by these failures to communicate properly with you the client.

RayAnswers :

You may consider doing both.The state would investigate this matter and may take action against his license here including reprimand, or suspension if warranted.

RayAnswers :

Here is reference to filing a lawyer complaint in NY and having it investigated for action.

RayAnswers :

Here are the standards of professional conduct that regulate the lawyer's conduct ..

RayAnswers :

You may also want to pursue a legal malpractice claim as well here through the courts.You can locate a malpractice lawyer here.

Customer:

Hello, Ray. Thanks for your reply. Would it make any sense to speak to my former lawyer in person?

RayAnswers :

In New York, the Statute of Limitations for legal malpractice cases is three years. In general, a client has three years from the date the legal malpractice occurs to file a lawsuit against the lawyer.

RayAnswers :

So you would still have time to pursue this through the courts as well.You may seek damages including lawyer fees and costs as well.

RayAnswers :

It has been my pleasure to assist you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again and I wish you the best here.I am so sorry you have had to go through all of this.You have remedies with a complaint and a civil suit as well.

RayAnswers :



I hope that you will be so kind as to leave a positive rating. If you do have any additional questions about my answer please click the "Continue Conversation Link" so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. Please be aware that any rating of 1 or 2 is reflected as a negative rating and I receive no credit for my answers.


This communication does not establish an attorney client relationship here.Information provided is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.


 

Customer:

I would like to know from her what exactly she communicated about me. She certainly has information that would be very damaging personally/emotionally if she revealed it to the other parties. I am just shocked that she could talk to the other parties without my permission. I'm sure that I have expenses from my current lawyer regarding the contempt of court situation.

Customer:

Would possible damages include NEID?

Customer:

I assume I should not approach the lawyer about this issue?

RayAnswers :

You should consider filing a complaint with the state here.A lawyer might be able to access the documents in a civil suit for malpractice and other claims.

Customer:

I am already submitting a complaiint to to the NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct due to many, many violations by the judge in my mother's guardianship "hearing." I am now wondering about this possibly being another bit of malfeasance on the judge's part, as the court was informed that I had terminated the services of the lawyer>

RayAnswers :

You can file a judicial complaint here as well.

RayAnswers :

They would investigate the judge and all of this.

Customer:

Thank you, Ray.

RayAnswers :

You are so welcome and good luck.

RayAnswers :

If you can leave a positive rating it is much appreciated.

Customer:

You've been most helpful. You wouldn't believe what I have experienced from our "judicial system" in the last 3 years. "Nightmare" doesn't quite cover it. Thanks for your understanding, and again afor all the useful advice. Rating = 5, of course, plus tip.

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