Legal Question in Business Law in California

I hired a lawyer on contingency for a malpractice cas. ,He convinced me he is a senior lawyer in a law firm and he is the best person for the job , , after a year he is telling me he is not expert in this and telling me look for another lawyer .Is that legal ?

Asked on 4/25/13, 5:38 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Joel Selik

No, but the only thing you can do now, is probably, to find another lawyer to take over for him.

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Answered on 4/25/13, 5:40 pm

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

It would be unethical, and perhaps also a civil fraud, for a lawyer deliberately to misrepresent his or her experience and abilities to a prospective client. However, when a lawyer or law firm is first interviewed by a prospective client, there can be any of several perfectly lawful reasons why a mismatch may result.

One major area of potential problems is inadequate communication regarding the case itself. Often, the client is misinformed about the applicable law, or the prospects for getting a favorable result in court. Perhaps equally often, the attorneys are overly sympathetic with the new client's view of the facts and the applicable law, and either don't recognize or don't stress the possible pitfalls along the way to a favorable judgment.

Another major area of potential problems lies in the other side's strategy and tactics once the case is under way. Among the surprises that are possible: (a) You get an unsympathetic judge; (b) The other side files a cross-complaint; (c) your witnesses become unavailable, or turn against you; (d) The other side comes up with a clever defense; and (e) so on.

The attorney here may have over-hyped his qualifications.......or may have found, later on, that the defendant's case was better than anticipated by you (or by him). I'd suggest having a frank discussion with your attorney as to why his change of mind, who he recommends for another attorney, and whether a change of representation alone is what it'll take to get your case moving to a successful (or the best possible) conclusion.

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Answered on 4/26/13, 8:44 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

"legal"? Yes, as long as the statute of limitations has not expired. Find someone you can trust.

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Answered on 4/26/13, 12:11 pm

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