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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16721
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
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Ispoke w/ a lawyer on the phone one day & hired her as my legal

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Ispoke w/ a lawyer on the phone one day & hired her as my legal representation. That same day paid her by way of depositing the funds into her husbands checking account(because she said her firm did not accept credit cards) I deposited x amount of cash,w/drew x amount off my c.c.,deposited that cash as well. Never signed a retainer fee agreement @ this point. To summarize, later on that day I had a family emergency(the passing of my father) & called to let the lawyer know I will be utilizing her services later in the week but had an emergency @ the moment and needed the money I deposited into the account, back. I was then told that the money was used to register a vehicle and I would not be receiving my money back even though there was no flat fee agreement nor a retainer fee agreement signed prior to the depositing of the funds. Since then I left a msg on her v.m. stating I would not be wanting/needing her services & had fired her. I have made numerous attempts to contact her to no avail. I then receive a txt msg 3 days later stating she was sick & wouldn't be able to perform the services originally hired for. To remain w/in my legal parameters, what action can I take to ensure she doesn't violate the Rules of Proffessional Conduct again?

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Did this attorney refunded the fees that you have paid to them at this point?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
In answer to your question to me "has the lawyer returned my money that I have paid them" NO they told me they had to register a vehicle & that I wouldn't be getting my money back. Furthermore, they have provided no services & my legal matters still exist.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You said you answered my question but you only asked ME a question. Are you done or should I wait patiently for you to answer my question & respond w/ your expertise?
What was the amount that you gave to this lawyer?

Do you have a copy of the deposit slip/receipt showing cash being deposited into her account?
I am going off-line for the night, and will continue answering your question in the morning.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
YES! I have a copy of the bank statements because I walked directly into her bank and deposited x amount of cash and w/drew x aamount from my credit card @ this bank & again deposited x amount directly into her husbands account.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
When are you going to get back to me?
Sorry for the delay, here is your answer:

I would suggest that you file a formal complaint with the California Bar (state agency that regulated all attorneys licensed to practice law in California).

Here it the link

They will investigate your complaint and will take appropriate disciplinary measures against this attorney, which might include ordering this attorney to refund the money that you have paid to her.

You can also file a small claim court action and seek to recover the money that you have paid to this dishonest lawyer.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have already filled out the paperwork you're speaking of: The Application For Reimbursement from the Client Security Fund and The California Attorney Complaint Form. When she told me that the money I deposited into her husbands account is non-refundable because retainer fees are non-refundable is that true? and what if no services were provided? what if she never quoted me a price? and what if I never signed a retainer fee agreement? and is it alright for her to spend the money (2hours later) I deposited into her account on (supposedly) registering her vehicle?
1) This is not true, unless agreed in writing by the client and attorney.

2) If the attorney does not provide services as agreed, not only the retainer should be refunded, but the attorney might be subject to further claims if any damage occurs due to the attorney's failure to provide legal services.

3) Retainers can be for a set fee, contingency fees, or billable hours. In any case the type of fees has to be satisfied.

4) Retainer agreement do not have to be in writing, however it is highly suggested that they should be in written form.

5) This would depend if this was a non-refundable set retainer fee (which is earned when received) or some other type of retainer.

The fact that this attorney requested that you deposit this alleged fees into attorney's husband account, sounds very shady and I am sure will be investigated by the California Bar, as most attorneys would deposit fee into their operating or trust accounts.

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