I filed a police report for fraud and have filed in state court a suit to recover my retainer fee from prior attorney for failure to complete any of the services of the (their) agreement. It actually was a firm and during the course of my representation I had approximately 7 different attorneys within 4 months and no (zero) action taken. After termination of this firm they actually sent a demand letter which further complicated matters and then after having received a letter that they had returned all of my information they actually had kept all of my information which was provided to them electronically (CD). Then they mailed me hard copies of my documents that they printed out after the termination (some were totally needless). Then actually had the audacity to threaten me with numerous BS. I asked the firm to return my retainer and I would not pursue any further actions. I do not want to wait 11 months to get my $7,500.00 back so I have filed suit in small claims court and I will be filing grievances against the attorneys. It is important that the Bar be aware of this firms unprofessional, unethical behaviors.
Buy addressing this issue in small claims court (and I am not only asking for my retainer back I added the fees it took to acquire another attorney) Do you think I am better off than going through the long drawn out 11 month process. It's a bad case of legal malpractice. I need my money back now.
2 Answers from Attorneys
With fee disputes it would have been smarter in most cases to use the state bar fee arbitration processs on day one. In suing, you have lost that ability and lessened the likelihood the bar will be interested in the matter. Note that even if you win in court, they can do an appeal in a higher court.
In the long run, it won't likely be any faster IF it is litigated. They can appeal to superior court and have a new trial.
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