Legal Question in Legal Ethics in California

I would like to know if the manner in which my attorney is handling my court case is in my best interests or if its just to bring it to an end and be done with it?

Brief background: I retained counsel to represent me in a family law custody dispute with the understanding that in order to proceed further there was an immediate need to request attorney fees (as I had made an oral motion in open court during an ex parte hearing while I was pro per, citing fam. codes 2030-2032 & their subdivisions). The judge didn't rule on it and continued it to the next hearing date. That date came and went followed by a couple others (ex-parte) with no orders made leaving me completely frustrated and confused so I went to my attorneys office without an appointment (just waited in the lobby until he had time to talk to me). He found the time to see me, but this ended far different than I expected because instead of explaining my case he initiated a sexual relationship that seemed to pay my legal fees from that point on, which after approx. 18-24 months of continuations, temp orders and venue jurisidiction arguments the case seemed to be in the same stage as when it started. With the exception that I was finally granted a venue change. After I refused to meet my fam law atty. at his office after hours anymore he filed a motion to be relieved and it was granted. That was situation #1.

After filing a complaint with the state bar, I found an attorney who was willing to go after my fam. law atty for Professional Neg. This is where the issue to which my question is directed.

This case had been progressing fine then mediation was requested by the other side to which I was never at because it was supposedly handled over the phone between attorneys. I was concerned with the outcome because I wanted my attorney to at the very least do discovery on the attorney I was suing but he didn't and just took his word that he had no money/assets and that he would settle with a 4 figure amt that would be made in payments.

But when my attorney failed to appear in court on an important hearing - my fam law atty filed for a dismissal and it was granted, without prejudice. Now my attorney has finally admitted he doesn't really know what to do next and has to research it. What should I do?

Asked on 6/21/13, 9:18 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach
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You have a knack for hiring really bad attorneys.

Your second attorney has to file a motion for relief from dismissal, based on an attorney affidavit of fault for failing to show up at the hearing and whatever else it was that he or she was supposed to do. If your attorney fails to go to court, you don't really have an attorney.

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Answered on 6/21/13, 1:45 pm

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