Professional ethics

I fired my attorney and later found out the the lawyer..see details...Should I report them to state bar or refuse to pay them?

I fired my attorney and later found out that the lawyer that was working on my case (whom was fired from the firm) was later suspended. The firm never told me that he got suspended only that he was no longer working there. Also come to find out in my attorneys words, "with the loss of our litigation attorney, the only way to satisfy our FEL was to bring in co-counsel." This point was also never brought to my attention. Fast forward three years later I dropped the lawsuit and I fired my attornys because they were not making any progress on the case. They sent me a bill which after complaining they reduced 40%. Should I pay them or should I refuse and report them to the bar?

Nathan’s Answer

The State Bar has a Fee Arbitration Program for fee disputes. The fee agreement likely controls. It may have a provision that the law office is ultimately responsible regardless of what attorney works the file. It may not. You may want to consult with an attorney who can look over your fee agreement and the specifics of your case. Such attorney should also review for potential malpractice and whether it can be proven that had another lawyer acted competently, the result would have been different - in other words, have you suffered any damages as of now?

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