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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I red an attorney brother appeal case. I informed the

Customer Question

I hired an attorney for my brother appeal case. I informed the attorney that I wanted him to file a supersedes bond for my brother. The attorney informed me that this needs to be done as soon as possible because there is a time limit. I didn't to miss
out on filing it so after speaking with the attorney I hired him. He informed me that I had to sign a contract in order for him to proceed. He charged me $10,000 dollars to handle the case. On the contract it said no refund of any kind will be giving, he said
he does that so clients won't be able to take him to court. At the time, I was not worried because the attorney reassured me that he is competent in filing an appeal and file a supersedes bail. So I had given him $4900 to start the job. The attorney never
said he needed his money upfront in order to being working on the case. He wanted me to give him dates in advance on when I will be making the remain payment or payments if I choose to divide the remain balance. I told him that I can not give him an extact
date and he advised that he has to place dates on the contract. I asked him what if I cannot make the payment on that date, he advised that I can reach out to him in regards ***** ***** when the time comes. When the time for the payment came around I text the
attorney letting him know that I was having issued with my bank due to the fact that I pulled out a large sum of money to pay him in the beginning. He said he understand just keep him posted. Time had passed and I thought the attorney was working on filing
the supersedes bail so I decided to get an update from him, and he advised that he will need the transcript in order to even begin working on the case. I made a second payment of $1100 to the attorney partner since he was not available to take it. I had an
medical emergency and due to that reason I spoke to the attorney in regards ***** ***** the fee he charged me originally and he agreed to lower it. He said since I am a friend of your sister just tell me how much you can pay and we'll do the case for that
amount. I advised him that I can pay $6500 or $7000 dollars and he said he can work with me but I will have to come into his office so we can do a new contract since the first one is void. AI was extremely relieve when he agreed to do it for either amount.
Sometime pasted but it was difficult for me to communicate with the attorney because of my work schedule but everytime I text the attorney he would say call him. So I decided to have my cousin involved so that he can speak to the attorney when I cannot since
there was a lack of communication between us. Per the conversation with the courthouse, I was advised that the transcript were ready. So I text the attorney that the transcript was ready so he can finally start on the case. The attorney replied that we need
to talk so I said can we text but he never replied back. So while at work I had my cousin contact him and he advise my cousin that I needed to come in to sign the new contract before he can start working on the case and he will need additional $3000 to even
start working on the case. I text the attorney and advised him thats not what we discussed and that I cannot afford to pay him additional $3000, I advised him since he never started on my brother case I would like my $6000 refunded to me because I cannot afford
to pay him an additional $3000. He never replied to my text. So I sent the text again and still he never replied. So When I was off I called him several time and he never returned my call back. I felt that I am qualified to receive my entire fund back because
the attorney never worked on my brother case. I worked really hard just to come up with the $6000 that I paid him. Yes I did sign a contract saying no refund but during our conversation he said that he has void the other contract and it is no longer active
so I had to come in to rewrite a new one. He even advised my cousin the same information. I just want justice. what can I do and he did mention that his contract protect him from client lawsuit.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

In general, when people sign contracts, they are bound to the contract terms they sign. So if you signed a contract for the $10,000 being non-refundable, regardless of what happens, then you could be bound to that. However, if the attorney never did anything he agreed to do, then he is in breach of contract and that is a basis for you to sue for breach of contract and also make a complaint to the state bar for violating rules of professional conduct.

You need to consider pursuing him to the state bar and also consider suing for the fact that he never even did anything on the case, which is contrary to the rules of professional conduct and also an unfair and deceptive business practice.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Start by seeing if the agent (and his broker) are willing to terminate the contract through direct negotiations (in addition to emails, send a formal USPS letter).

If that fails, you can try mediation (contact your local bar association and ask for referrals to mediators) - often a third party neutral can help you resolve a dispute if the two parties are at an impasse. (This will be much faster and more efficient than going to court and suing them to terminate your contract).

Finally you can sue them for breach of contract. You must show that the failure to perform was a "material breach" (so bad that they can do nothing to repair the damage that they did by failing to perform in a timely manner). Unfortunately this takes a lot of time (even small claims cases take 2-8 months), so I would recommend working diligently through the earlier dispute resolution processes first.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.


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