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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. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.
Is there a specific question with which I could assist?
It depends on what your agreement with the lawyer was. If he quoted you a price for handling the one matter and then price would have doubled or tripled to handle the other matter then most experts would say no, the lawyer was not under an obligation to handle the Order to Show Cause just because he was aware of it.
What you probably want to do is sit down and discuss with him the charges that are involved and find out why he didn't handle it in the first place. If his explanation sounds reasonable then you may want to consider negotiating with him to get the case handled and pay him but at the rates he charged back then and not the ones he charges now.
If you don't have anything in writing saying he was hired to do that job at the old rate then he likely wouldn't be held responsible by the court or the State Bar.
The issue won't be whether he know about the probate case or not, the issue is going to be whether he was paid to handle it or not. I'm not offering an opinion on whether he was or was not paid, etc. since I don't know the facts. I am just explaining how it will be regarded and who would have the burden of proving what.
If you believe you have already paid him to do the work on the probate case and the "civil case" then you can certainly tell him that and insist that he work on this part of the case as well. If he disagrees then you can contact the State Bar, they usually have some method of resolving fee disputes short of a lawsuit, or you can hire a lawyer to pursue him for whatever it costs you to hire someone else to handle the case or for whatever extra he charges you if you use him.
I am going to be offline for a couple of hours but if you have follow up questions feel free to ask them in this thread and I will pick up on them when I return.
If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.
Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.