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Did you have a written contingency fee agreement?
Did the attorney have your approval to settle for the amount received? Did he go over the terms of the settlement with you and what your net would be?
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Your attorney has a duty to protect your interests and if he failed to adequately explain the settlement, its disbursement and how the liens would affect your net recovery then you may have a viable claim for malpractice. He would be liable to you for money damages for the ruinous effect this has had on you.
Additionally, you can also file a disciplinary complaint with the California State Bar. They will investigate and, if warranted, they can suspend or even revoke his license to practice law.
There is really no excuse for failing to communicate with you.
Here is a link for filing a State Bar Complaint:
While the State Bar complaint is something you can do yourself, if you, additionally, plan to sue the attorney for malpractice it is strongly recommended you retain local counsel to do so. If you need assistance finding local counsel try Martindale Hubble (site rules prohibit us from referring specific attorneys). Many attorneys themselves use this site to locate attorneys outside their jurisdiction or expertise:
http://www.martindale.com/Find-Lawyers-and-Law-Firms.aspxIt is a huge worldwide database searchable by location and specialty. The attorneys are all peer rated. So, they represent the top of the profession.
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