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Elizabeth Prentice
Elizabeth Prentice, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 174
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can you claim ineffective assistance of counsel in a divorce

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can you claim ineffective assistance of counsel in a divorce case and obtain redress other than an attempt to sue for malpractice. Next to no legal malpractice attorneys want these cases and they will not consider taking them on contingency.
I am an attorney and I would be happy to assist you. Generally when obtaining an attorney to sue for malpractice, it is standard for an attorney to ask for a retainer. Civil malpractice litigation does not typically permit clients to obtain an attorney on a contingency basis. However, there is a better way to achieve results as a pro se litigant, without the need for legal action in state court. If you contact the MA state bar, you are permitted to file a complaint regarding the attorney. Further, most state bars also allow you to submit a claim for your attorneys fees back from the attorney. The Complaint will permit the state bar to investigate the facts of your issue with the attorney you hired. They have the power to sanction the attorney, fine them and potentially assist you in receiving a refund of your attorney's fees you paid. I would recommend you start with that route first. You should call the MA state bar information line for further information on how to proceed. Complaint forms can be found here:

I hope my answer has assisted you and that you will leave me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. You explained this more clearly than the malpractice attorneys I talked to and the bar. The bar told me that they don't do discovery on complaints. It was not clear that in MA that I would get any money back. I was told I had up to 6 years to file a complaint.

I would like to claim ineffective assistance of counsel on my appeal as my lawyer left out key documents such as comparables and competitive threats in my business valuation that made my husband's exaggerated and unpayable valuationof my business more credible than my own expert. My ex-husband's valuation of my business does not pass the "sanity check" or have comparables. My lawyer was also not able to compel my husband to divulge his business interests, which were therefore not valued and divided.

Thank you for your added information. You should make sure to follow the directions as stated on the website for the MA bar complaint above. You should complete that process first and make sure to include all facts which you believe support the claim that the attorney failed to comply with MA rules of professional conduct. If the MA bar find that you have a valid claim, then you may have more support in retaining an attorney within your 6 year period of statute of limitations. Good luck with your matter! Please remember to rate me for my service.
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