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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33405
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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My CA workers comp case settled two years ago by

Customer Question

My CA workers comp case settled two years ago by stipulations. I am entitled to medical care for my injuries pursuant to the settlement but my attorney has not responded to my repeated written requests for treatment. I want to file a grievance against my attorney (I am bound by arbitration) for abandoning me. How do I do that and what sanctions might I be entitled to? Is it worth alienating my attorney who I believe I am essentially stuck with to represent me in any future litigation on my case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

I'm going to answer the questions in the order you asked them but if you have any follow ups be sure and ask them in this thread.

How do I do that and what sanctions might I be entitled to?

You can file a complaint/grievance against your attorney by following the directions at this website address: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation/FilingaComplaint.aspx

As far as the sanctions, the State Bar doesn't actually award anything to you. all they can do is somehow "punish" the attorney if they believe there has been an ethical breach. This can include something as simple as requiring them to take classes all the way up to a suspension of their license to practice law.

Is it worth alienating my attorney who I believe I am essentially stuck with to represent me in any future litigation on my case?

That's really a personal decision on your part but likely if you file the grievance the attorney is going to find a reason to stop representing you at some point in the near future. It could, potentially, also make it more difficult to find another attorney to represent you since any attorney you interview is going to ask why you are no longer represented and when you explain you filed a complaint, or the old attorney tells them you filed the grievance, it may make them less likely to take you on as a client. It may not, but it may.

Also, you will want to look carefully at the contract you had with the attorney to see if they are actually still under an obligation to assist you. In many Workers Comp cases, as in other types, the representation stops at the time the initial case is resolved and the attorney is no longer under a duty to assist if there are problems with the insurance company not following up with the terms of the settlement, any agreements as to continued care, etc.

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