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Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33926
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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The same attorney represented me in a maritmonail case and

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The same attorney represented me in a maritmonail case and his balance of legal fees is presently in arbitration. Another case he is currently handling and has been paid in full with a retainer to which there is a credit balance due me - he now because of the arbitration on the marital case is looking to file a motion to be relieved of counsel on the second case based once again on the ongoing arbitration of his first case. Should he be allowed to withdrawal as counsel based upon arbitration? He plans on using the balance on the second case to pay off the balance of legal fees for the first i.e. the mnarital case which has bee completed and to which he is no longer the attorney of record for the marital case.

JD 1992 :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.

JD 1992 :

In most cases like this the argument the lawyer would make is that there is now a case where you are on opposing sides (the arbitration) and therefore there is a conflict of interest in continued representation.

JD 1992 :

Most judges would be likely to allow the withdrawal.

JD 1992 :

However, you could ask that the judge order the balance returned to you on the case in which he is being asked to allow the attorney to withdraw.

JD 1992 :

That would allow you to use the funds to hire another attorney and I think it is at least probable that the judge would do that.

Customer:

what argments can i make to the judge as this case has been on the calender for over ten years and the judge was to order a trial date tomorrow 6/20/2013- it is difficult after all these years and preparation to start again- the cureent attorney has been on the case for 22 months.

JD 1992 :

To keep him from withdrawing?

Customer:

yes

JD 1992 :

You would argue the time the case has taken and the excessive delay that will occur if the judge allows the withdrawal and that there really is no conflict of interest in an arbitrated case.

Customer:

lastly- should the judge grant his motion- the current attorney has never sent me a monthly statement as to his time spent and fee charged for work done - he indicates he has used up a substantial portion of my initail retainer- I have no ongoing timely proof of what time his spent- I assume he will now send me for the first time a time statement of the hours spent- is this allowed?- I thought he was required by laws to submit on a timely basis his time statement and fees charged- What would I tell the judge about this? CAn I ask the judge to return a major portion of the initial retainer?

JD 1992 :

No, there is no law that requires him to submit a regular statement.

JD 1992 :

You really can't ask the judge to rule on the retainer other than asking him to return whatever is unused because that is a separate case.

Customer:

ok- thank you

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