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Category: Personal Injury Law
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Can a lawyer drop ones case right before trial

Customer Question

I had an attorney since March 2005 court day was supposed to have been November of 2008. I went to arbitration and they didn't come up with anything. My attorney send me a letter and I called them to see when we were going to do the pretrial meeting and all that. I called after receiving the letter and they told me that he no longer was representing me a few weeks before pretrial and court date. they told me to find someone else. I called another lawyer and she looked it up and basically his reason was we didnt get along. I never directly spoke to him maybe once at the 1st visit. They never called me maybe a few times during these past years. Now is it ethical to do that? Can I file a complaint against him? I had to go to the pre-trial meeting by myself and ask for time to find a new lawyer. He is a Las Vegas attorney. and when I requested my file. They said a different lawyer had it. why?

Thank You,
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Experienced Attorney replied 8 years ago.

Hi Vanessa,


Thanks for sending us the question.


What kind of case is this?


Was there a complaint filed in court or was it some sort of administrative proceeding?


What type of pre-trial was it, with a judge?


What was the judge's reaction?


What type of fee/billing agreement did you have with the attorney?


Did this all happen in Las Vegas?




Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I was a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk and I got hit by a for explorer crosing the crosswalk. The cab was stopped at a stop sign and I walked and got hit while the driver wasnt looking. I had a case for this in Las Vegas since March of 2005 and we were going to go to trial (court) to settle withe the cab company. Well, trial date was supposed to have been November 21, 2008. I recieved a letter from my attorney a few weeks before for a pre-trial conference with only my name on it and the defendents name (cab company). This was Late October 2008. I called my law office to see when we were going to do all this before trial date and they said they were no longer representing me in this case. All this happened in Las Vegas.
Expert:  Experienced Attorney replied 8 years ago.

We're sorry to hear that this has happened.


As soon as possible you need to go to the courthouse where your case is filed and ask to review the file.


After the reviewing the file if you still don't know what happened or if you need clarification, you also should call your attorney and ask for a meeting. Actually, you will need a meeting no matter what because you will need to pick up your file from your attorney.


Again, during the meeting you need to clarify what happened and get your file from the attorney. You might also ask for a referral; although you may not feel comfortable from this attorney but it can't hurt to get a name. You don't have to go with that attorney.


You also need to retain a new attorney as soon as possible. The Nevada State Bar Association has an online referral form but DO NOT WAIT to get something back. If you mis a deadline in your case, the fact that you didn't hear back from the Bar Association will not be an excuse.


Here is the link for the form:


You can file a formal complaint against an attorney with the Bar Association. However, remember that a formal complaint against a lawyer is a serious matter.


Before you do that, again, call your former lawyer and let the office know that you are unhappy or confused and ask for a full explanation in terms that you can understand. We hope that will clear up the problem.


We hope that this is helpful. Thank you for using Just Answer.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I wanted to collect my file from them and they said they sent it to another attorney> so I called the other attorney and they said that when I find a new lawyer to represent me my lawyer should call them and they will send the file by CD rom which is much easier is that true?
Expert:  Experienced Attorney replied 8 years ago.

Arguably you are entitled to your file.


Here is the link to file an initial email complaint with the State Bar Association:


They will need as much detail as you can give them. I recommend that you followup within a few hours of sending the form AND that you go to the Courthouse and review your file ASAP.


Good luck.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

So if I called my so called attorney and they said they were not representing me anymore I asked for my file and they said they didnt have that they gave it to another attorney an that other attorney told me about the cd rom. Who should I file a complaint against? the original attorney or the second one they passed it to?


and another question...... how can I find out what court house my file is located in? and when you say go to the Courthouse as soon as possible to REVIEW my file...does that mean I can only see it? or can I get a copy there?

Expert:  Experienced Attorney replied 8 years ago.

1. First thing in the morning call the new attorney and say you are coming to get your file, the paper file and the CD. Thus far you have described nothing to show that this new attorney has any business having your confidential information and he should turn it over ASAP. I'm assuming that you may have given them paper documents that are not on the CD and even if they scanned them in and have copies on the CD, you may need the originals.


2. You have a right to copy your file at the courthouse; however, the courthouse file won't have the items that you gave your attorney such as bills, letters, letters from your attorney to you. All the court file will have are things that were filed by the attorney. You want the court file because you want to find out if you have any deadlines and you want to get that file to a new attorney.


3. Didn't you go to a pretrial conference? Where was that held? The clerk's office for that court will have the file. Here is a directory of Nevada's courts:

Experienced Attorney and other Personal Injury Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

the pre trial conference was held at the defendants attorneys office....where I showed up by myself and the defendants attorney was there along with a pro tempore judge. and if they refuse to give up my file then I can tell them that I will file a complaint aginst them?



Thnak you youve been very very helpful.


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