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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55470
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I have an attorney that is working on contingency and he has

Customer Question

I have an attorney that is working on contingency and he has severely neglected my case, missing deadlines, not providing my file, not filing court paperwork that I asked him to. I have also caught him lying about filing the paperwork and then finding out he never did. What recourse do I have?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 4 years ago.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. Your lawyer is committing legal malpractice. You want to send him a letter by certified mail detailing all the problems and demand that he agree to terminate your attorney client relation with no further obligation or payments on your part and demand that he pay you for any damages you've suffered due to his lack of proper representation of you. Inform him that otherwise, you will have no choice but to: i) file a lawsuit against him for legal malpractice and to seek not only actual damages, but punitive damages as well; and ii) file a formal ethics complaint with the Texas Bar Association. This should get the action that you need, but if not, file your suit and your ethics claim.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What is holding that up is that I am currently involved in the middle of a lawsuit in TX and I am in PA. He is on contingency so I have not paid him anything except to pay for court costs. There is no way to go pro se and I can not afford to hire another attorney. It is an appeal trial he is supposed to be working on and it is scheduled for 5/17 and I have no information from the other side. It is an appeals hearing and he handled the initial one. I have no discovery information from the first case since he missed the deadline there as well. I feel that his neglect of certain aspects of the case ie. not getting discovery from the other side from previous trial, not giving me my case file after multiple requests, missing deadlines etc. has put me in a real comprimising situation. Due to his neglect, can he be liable if I lose the case due to his malpractice?

Expert:  Richard replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for following up. You might want to change the letter I referenced so that rather than terminating him, you demand he get up to speed on representing you and that if he fails to do so or his failures cause you to have any adverse consequences, you will file the suit and the ethics claim. If his malpractice causes you to lose the case, he can be held liable for the loss.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If it does progress to an ethics claim and malpractice suit, will the fact that he was working on contingency and hasn't been paid yet effect the malpractice claim?

Expert:  Richard replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the follow up. No, the contingency basis of your arrangement, will not impact your suit.

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