Can an attorney dismiss a case without notifying the client?

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Once again I am writing hoping that someone could give me an answer. I have an attorney who had filed a Declaratory relief on my son's behalf to clarify his rights to the apartment. My lease says me and my three children. My landlord has accepted rent checks from my son for several years. But they wanted him out, and filed a claratory relief in September of 1999. The case was heard in October 2000, and they lost. The Judge said, the lease says "and her children" so his rights are derivitave of mine. If I go, he goes. Since then, they refused to take my son's check for the rent, saying that he is not a tenant, and hoping that one day, if I pass, they could evict him. That's when my attorney said: "Now, we can file a delaratory relief, asking the court to decide once and for all what's my son's right. Based on Santa Monica Rent control ordinance: A tenant is: A subtenant, lessee, sublessee or any other person entitled under the terms of a rental housing agreement to the use or occupancy of any rental unit". The declaratory relief was filed around March 2001. I paid my attorney half his fee ($1,500.00) plus filing fee. There was going to be a hearing in Novmber 2001. Since March, I had a bad feeling that my attorney was not going to fight for me. When I went to see him, before the November hearing, he said that the landlord had filed a motion of ....? something, asking the court not to consider the case, based to the judge decision. So he advised me to dismiss the case without prejudice, and that he was going to file it again, making another argument. I said no, I dont want it dismissed, lets go to court, I dont think that the judge will ignore the Rent control ordinance. I left, and we agreed that he was going to go ahead and fight for me. Today, when I called him to se where do we stand, he said that he dismissed the case without prejudice. I could not believe it. He offered to refile again.

Does an attorney have the right to dismiss a case without his client's knowledge?
Can I ask him to reimburse me? and if he does not, can I sue him?
Please give me an answer. Thank you.
I have the same kind of situation. I am the Plaintiff. My attorney defected my case. He dismissed the case with out prejudice. He was the only one signed on the dismissal document. Even though I have not approved and signed for the dismissal, how the court allowed for the dismissal? Is it legal to dismiss the case by the Attorney without the prior approval and knowledge of the client? Please reply.
Why would your attorney do this? Was there any good reason to "refile" the case? There may have been so consider that before you take any action.

No, the attorney cannot disregard your wishes with regard to strategy provided it does not violate any rule of ethics or law. Before you start running to the Bar Association to report a bad attorney, have a conversation with him or her. If you say the above words, I guarantee that you'll have his/her attention. Try to understand the reasons given. If they make absolutely no sense and you still feel that you were railroaded, you may want to raise this issue with the Bar as well as with the Court. It's not so simple with the Court as it is with the Bar. Let us know what happens.
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