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RayAnswers
RayAnswers, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 42257
Experience:  30 years as a family law lawyer .
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I have a hearing in one day re: child custody and child

Customer Question

I have a hearing in one day re: child custody and child support but my attorney didn't contact me. I called him on Friday and his secretary told me he will get back to me. I contacted him again today but didn't hear back from him.
Does attorney have a duty to discuss strategy with his client prior to hearing? It could be that I have to file some documents and there won't be enough time for him to prepare them.
Can I fire my attorney based on his lack of communication?
If I lost my attorney one day before the hearing could it be the reason to ask court for continuance?
Thank you!
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 4 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 4 months ago.

Does attorney have a duty to discuss strategy with his client prior to hearing? Absolutely so he can represent you zealously here and present your case in the best light.

Can I fire my attorney based on his lack of communication? Yes you don't need a reason here, they work for you and can be terminated.

If I lost my attorney one day before the hearing could it be the reason to ask court for continuance?
Yes but make sure you have a couple of names of other lawyers you are going to call , make it seem like you have good cause and aren't just stalling here.

I appreciate the chance to help you tonight.I think you have the right idea.It is not normal for lawyer to not return a call and prepare with you for court.It is unprofessional to say the least.You may want to file a grievance after court with the state bar.

If you can positive rate 5 stars it is much appreciated.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you so much. Could it be an attorney ethics violation if he yelled at me while I was asking for advice? Can I ask him to pay some of my retainer back if I believe he billed me unfairly? Thank you.
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 4 months ago.

Yes to both here, he should never yell at you and you can ask for return of part of your retainer.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 4 months ago.

Arbitration program about fees

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/MemberServices/FeeArbitration.aspx

Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program

The State Bar's Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program (MFA) is an informal, confidential and lower cost forum for resolving fee disputes between lawyers and their clients. MFA arbitration is mandatory for the lawyer if the client requests arbitration.

Most fee arbitrations are conducted through local bar association programs. To request fee arbitration, contact the local county bar program where the majority of legal services were provided, typically the county where the lawyer's office is located. The State Bar provides fee arbitration only when there is no local bar program. Mediation of a fee dispute is voluntary and may be available through local bar associations.

Mandatory Fee Arbitration:

This podcast provides an overview of the fee arbitration process.

For more information or assistance, call the State Bar Office of Mandatory Fee Arbitration ***-***-****.

Thanks again and thanks for rating 5 stars