Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

Is there a certain recourse that one could take (other than Civil Court to sue) to recover money paid to an attorney (at least in part) when services were not performed, for the money given, and the attorney was fired because of misrepresenting (lying to the client) on his choice of plea/alternative action. This is a criminal case. The attorney had been given (hand delivered) every item from The Discovery to statements from defendant /and or defendants' family , on defendants behalf, For over a year attorney had only continued case. The attorney has NO other clients, and apparently stays heavily medicated. The attorney called the defendant the morning of Superior Court date and tells him, " You need to take a plea..I am not a TRIAL lawyer" and he was having another attorney stand in for him on that morning.

PLEASE HELP...with a FREE answer..as I am the defendants' mother, and we are out of money, and my son is INNOCENT. Thank-You..

Asked on 4/13/13, 1:43 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless
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Promptly request the court appoint a public defender to review the case and take over, requesting a continuance to sort this out. If that is denied, you will have to try to find a new attorney to hire, or go 'pro per', which is not a smart thing. If the court understands and believes your allegations about the attorney, it should allow you time and appoint the PD.

If the attorney actually misled you and failed to prepare the case, you can file a misconduct complaint the the State Bar of CA to have them investigate. You can also file a 'fee dispute' complaint with the local county Bar Association. They each have the power to order refund, among other things.

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4/13/13, 2:26 pm

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