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dumped by attorney

Discussion in 'Divorce, Separation, Annulment' started by for4kids, Aug 9, 2001.

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  1. for4kids

    for4kids Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Can an attorney that has already been retained for about 3 weeks call the client and state that he has decided not to take the case? And then say all the files etc will be hand delivered along with the full retainer? Its that easy...?...attorney can get some pressure from outside entities and then just let go of the client? The attorneys office just happens to be in the same city that the stbx is employed in and it is an 'official' position. Well...now the stbx has been caught in some unlawful acts and will be facing charges. The attorneys client informed this new attorney of EVERYTHING involved including current IA inverstigations. Apparently the attorney assumed these possible crimes would 'go away' as many others acts committed by this husband onto his wife. Although those allegations were ignored and covered up, the charges he faces now deal with acts committed internally. So...all the sudden the attorneys office calls the client and says he is not representing but maybe client would be better off with a female attorney. Help me out on this one please. I didnt know attorneys could do this. The chain of events from the last 9 months have been absolutely unbelievable.
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    My understanding is that an attorney may withdraw from a case, although there are times when there are certain restrictions, e.g. a public defender. I'm not sure exactly what is going on (stbx - soon to be ex?) but it appears that the attorney does not feel confident about his ability to perform -- and returned the retainer in full. It also doesn't seem that the attorney's actions materially affected your case in any way.

    If there are matters such as outside entities affecting your ability to choose a competent attorney, it might be an issue to discuss with the local bar association.

    Note that as with most personal service contracts, one is usually unable to procure specific performance by that person for the service nor would you probably want someone to provide services who really doesn't feel comfortable about doing so. The last thing you want is a disgruntled ballplayer who hates the team and managment!
     
  3. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Adding to the reply to for4kids, an attorney can generally withdraw from a case before the case goes to court. If that is what happened and the attorney returned the retainer it does not seem to be a problem. Once the case has begun, the attorney typically would petition the court to withdraw as the attorney of record on a particular case.
     

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