How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27650
Experience:  Lawyer
26798026
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

California- Retained a Criminal Specialist Attorney for dual

Customer Question

California-
Retained a Criminal Specialist Attorney for dual arrest of both spouse and I in mid 2012.
(In Summary: an altercation occured between another couple in our home celebrating my spouse's birthday. My spouse told them to get out of our house which they did, but we're pulled over at some point and said they had no choice to drive drunk because they were beat up by us. They were upset we wouldn't let them back in the house). I solely paid $6,000 to the attorney, but nothing happened thereafter. No charges were ever formally filed and my paranoia cost me $6,000 atty I never got back.
Needless to say, it was a huge eye opener and my attorney pointed out that more than likely a conviction from 3 years before that was the assumption for the officer to detain us. The arrest was 6 weeks shy from my probation ending.
Shortly after, I received a Request to Appear for possible violation due to being arrested. Both my attorney and I appeared and it was not pursued by the courts.
A few months later now early 2013, I received an expungement, clearing my one and only EVER criminal record. I wrote my declaration, attorney filed the Petition for Dismissal form CR-180 and no appearances were needed.
The arrest really changed me because I truly wasn't engaging in trouble and a mistake I made in 2009 labeled me as the automatic culprit. As a result, I began to disassociate from any risky environments and people that still believed they were invincible. It wasn't worth my marriage or kids. Unfortunately, my decision to tighten the reins created a weight on my spouse. I stayed home, spouse went out. It was slowing becoming a nightmare.
By mid 2014, I called my attorney and paid $1,500 to assist me with a subpoena I received to testify about a recent domestic violence incident where I was the victim and spouse was the abuser. My spouse/once best friend was full fledge on drugs. My spouse and his ex-spouse were in an ongoing ugly child custody battle. My attorney knew everything about me and my spouse. He asked me to get the police report since I was the victim. I did. He sent his colleague to represent me. He then began discussing the case with my spouse's attorney without informing me or my consent, he didnt even know my desires yet and gave my spouse's attorney a copy of the report, told me to plea the 5th when testifying at the subpoenaed child custody case (odd), talked me into not testifying in criminal court, to remove the protective order against my spouse then after all that. I later was subjected to my spouse's new form of abuse, my spouse purposely moved two blocks from my house, stalked me, etc. I was hit again. My attorney jumped ship and started to represent my spouse. He got my spouse the minimum time by using his advice against me. Pleading the 5th argued it gave the impression I had some guilt innuendo, removing the CPO argued I wasn't in fear, reminding the DA I had a past record, etc. I didn't even know he was representing him until I showed up at court for his conviction and my attorney that is now his after he saw me talking to the DA and walked up in a panic, spoke with the DA and had a random attorney on the spot fill in for him to sign the plea agreement. I have several witnesses including the DA, victim advocate, my friends mom, etc. There is so many more assertive facts I have logged but need someone to talk in person, etc. It's so much more corrupt and crooked upon discovery than I knew. I have documented hardships since this. Who advocates against Lawyers that do this to people?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Your lawyer violated attorney-client confidentiality and his obligation to you as a former client when he began sharing your privileged communications with a third party. Cal. Prof. Conduct Rule 3-100. He also violated his obligation to you by representing someone against you in another case. Rule 3-310.

The State Bar of California oversees attorney conduct. They can investigate and take action against the lawyer.

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation.aspx

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Lucy,
First and foremost, thank you for your timely response.
My spouse's Family Law attorney (FL) began representing my spouse in the Criminal cases right after my subpoenaed appearance as proven on public record. My Criminal attorney (CR) has been working with my spouse's FL attorney which is now representing my spouse on our divorce proceedings, systematically as my CR attorney began representing my spouse instead of my spouse's FL attorney. They responded to my divorce petition without serving me and the filed docs I had to purchase to view listed me served at an old address (although in writing my spouse and the FL attorney both knew of my current address), has my spouse's signature forged. By mere coincidence I looked up our case through public access only 2 court days before a hearing date they set. Thus further causing hardships, scrambling to borrow money to just find an attorney to make a special appearance to just continue so I may have time to review. They kicked and screamed but agreed to 3 weeks continuance. I borrowed money to retain an attorney, booked a flight etc. and as I got off the plane, my new FL attorney called to tell me they couldn't make it. they scheduled the next date for divorce 2 weeks after his sentencing and my spouse taken into custody. Therefore, all his income and assets are gone. The FL attorney has disciplanaries on his record already. I have significant losses since this and have been exhausted of available resources because of this. I need an advocate. If I file a complaint with the bar, how do I find an attorney to seek damages on my behalf?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

What an awful situation, all the way around. A record of prior discipline could actually help you, because the more complaints a lawyer gets, the more likely they'll be suspended or other negative action will be taken. The Bar will consider his history.

The State Bar also has a referral service link on their website, which you could use to find someone. I like www.martindale.com, because you can read reviews and ratings from former clients. You're looking for someone with experience in attorney malpractice and breach of contract cases.