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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I dont want to sound mean. If the old attorney fails to respond

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I don't want to sound mean. If the old attorney fails to respond and delay the case to the extent that damages my chance to win, is there a ground to sue him for mal-practice. I ask this question because he keeps saying to call me back but he never does. Is termination my only option?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

To answer directly, provided you can show that the delay was material and it either missed a statutory deadline or caused harm or prejudice, then yes, that is very much a potential claim for legal malpractice. An attorney cannot harm his client even by inaction so failing to file in a timely manner would permit you to consider filing a grievance with the disciplinary board and suing for damages. Termination is not quite the only option (you can threaten him with a complaint to the local bar), bt if you and your attorney are not in sync, it may potentially harm your case if he remains as your attorney.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. My case was first filed in September of last year. Then it went through service by sheriff, special bailiffs and warning order attorney.
Finally the defendant hired his attorney to avoid default judgment order.

In each of the above steps, my attorney usually spent a month or two when the ball was in his court when the actually paper work/filing was just at most a week's job. There is no any complicated filing except the initial complaint draft.


A month ago, in the first hearing, the judge wanted both side to do two things. 1) evidence and 2) Mediation. For 1) I have prepare all the contacts, procedure and how to get evidence. The only thing I need from my attorney is a judgment order(subpoena) in order to have KY government to release information (HIPPA). But for one month he didn't do anything on getting the judgment order even if I keep sending at least 10 emails/calls to remind him. I also didn't see his action to contact defendant for mediation although I told my attorney my botXXXXX XXXXXne of settlement and asked him to talk to defendant's attorney. Now there is no ground to even set the next hearing. I think the defendant is buying time to transfer his asset away to avoid collection. The damage could be in-reversible.

Thank you for your follow-up, James. I do appreciate the additional information.

Waiting a month to file is generally not considered too long to claim malpratice--typically discovery itself can last 45 days so the lack of progress is not, by itself, a showing yet of some sort of violation. But you can demand progress or consider retaining counsel that moves faster and provides you with services that you feel are more adequate and more on par with your expectations.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq. and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The defendant's attorney suppose to respond the complaint motion by Jun 13. This is after all the long process including warning order attorney. I asked my attorney whether the defendant's attorney responded or not. He said it is probably in the mail to him. It is a week after that deadline, my attorney still not answer my question about whether there is a response or not.


What is the procedure to terminate attorney this attorney/client relationship? The new attorney insists I send a certified letter to terminate the relationship. But I may need to get some document from the current attoney. In the meantime, we may have billing dispute regarding his time and charge. If he withold the document before solving the disupute in billing, will that be a trouble to my trial? I feel that I should put money in retainer account and pay by performance.


I am sorry you are having such problems. There is no formal procedure if you are not yet in the middle of trial. Sending him an email, calling his office, sending a letter, or flat out telling him in person that he is fired is all sufficient. If you do need documentation, sending a letter severing the relationship and a demand that he provide you with your case file would likely be the wisest option. As for how to pay him, it very much depends on your agreement--most agreements are not by performance but exactly as agreed upon when you signed the agreement with this counsel.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The problem is we never signed an attorney/client agreement. He started to work on my case about a year ago. But we established a fact of his working on my case and represent me. He probably charges $200-$250/hr.But he never sent me the bill. He paid on his pocket on warning order attorney, special bailiff fee and case filing fee. I will pay those expenses as well as his time reaonablely for his time. But what if he hold my file before I have to pay him in full (in his term). Actually, he does not have really important document because the initial complaint has been filed to court. He didn't really do anything else significant besides that. I keep asking him to get court order (subpoena) in order to collect evidence as required by court, but he did move on this at all. It is been a month and he still not moving ahead on this. He is not a bad guy but he is so passive and inactive. My case is never on his priority list.


If you never signed anything then by default he is entitled to an hourly based on the length of time and work he performed. He is also legally permitted to hold your file until you cover his expenses. He would only have to give them up if there is a judicial order stating otherwise.

Hope that clarifies.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Termination attorney /client relationship is not the best option giving his involvement so far. But I am really pissed off. Do you think I should have a honest discussion with him about this? But it is so hard to communicate with him. He ignores my calls and emails asking the update because he does not do what I ask him to do. For example, he does not answer my question of whether there is a response from defendant's attorney who supposes to respond by the deadline set by last hearing.


Now he filed initial complaint on my behalf, ordered specail bailiffs and warning order attorney. I believe those records are at court or filed to court. Does it matter whether he give them to the new attonrey or not if a dispute arise?

Thank you for your follow-up, James.

It does not hurt to place all your cards on the table. Attorneys need to be told if you are unhappy--the attorneys then obtain feedback and either change their behavior or cancel representation. As for what he filed, you yourself can contact the courts, speak to the clerk, and potentially attempt to obtain a copy of the documentation for a copy fee. Your new attorney would likewise be able to obtain the documentation.

Good luck.

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