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Good afternoon. You are absolutely correct....this is not right! What you want to do is raise the stakes on her so that she knows that not complying with your demands is going to cost far more in the end than simply refunding your money and returning your file now. You should send her a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the history and demanding she return your file and refund your money in total within a short specified period of time. Inform her that if your demand is not timely complied with, you will have no choice but to: i) file a formal ethics complaint with the state bar association, and ii) file a suit against her for your damages. Be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract
case, but also as deceptive trade practice
, legal malpractice, gross negligence, and bad faith causes of action, which will entitle you not only to your actual damages, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages
. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your ethics complaint and your suit.
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