Legal Question in Legal Ethics in California

my question is: why is it that the state of california hasnt adopted some sort of fund to help people who have been completely screwed by there own attorney. this fund could be financed by lets say by, every single case in the state, that in the end, has a monitary settlement will contribute $100.00 from the winner of the case, to this fund. which will be controled by the California Bar. so that way when people file a complaint with the Bar, and if the Bar in there findings says, "that the lawyer did something wrong" and he is going to have some sort of punishment from the Bar, then there will be some kind of fund there,so the person the lawyer has hurt or in the laws way of wording things, commited legal malpractice, will then have the means to go hire a lawyer to sue the offending attorney. im sure most of you lawyers out there understand what i am saying, the legal fees to fight an attorney in a case like this, is completely out of the scope of most americans. we all don't have deep pockets to fight a case like this, which in most peoples eye's means that justice can never really prevail. because it always goes back to money. the reason i even brought up this topic is because i am in that position. i am probly just going to take my previous lawyer to small claims court, because it will only cost me a few hundred to try to help out with the damages i have because of his legal malpractice, or breach of contract with me, that i dont have the means to fight. atleast in California, they have raised the small claims to 10,000. so i really hope i can prevail in some way. bad part is the lawyer know this, and that is why justice will never prevail for all of us, who just work hard and try to live right. but dont make 6 figures a yr. hope someone out there who reads this, can help change the way we operate in the legal part of life.

Asked on 11/01/12, 10:13 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Joel Selik

There are funds to compensate victims, see


As to the costs, costs can be high, but many of the cases the attorney fee portion of the case is contingent and not paid up front.

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Answered on 11/01/12, 10:59 am

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

There is already a fund in place with the California State Bar, called the Client Security Fund.

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Answered on 11/01/12, 4:40 pm
Robert F. Cohen Law Office of Robert F. Cohen

There are a few difficulties with suing an attorney in small claims court: 1) the lawyer will probably ask for an elected/appointed judge and not agree to a temporary judge (usually another lawyer); and 2) you will have to prove that not only did the lawyer do something wrong, but that the case which the lawyer messed up had merit and you would have won. Thus, you might have to engage experts to testify as to your injury (if an injury case) and prognosis, or have an accident reconstruction expert testify about what caused the accident, all of which could get rather costly and create numerous legal pitfalls for the nonlawyer.

Many -- but not all -- lawyers carry malpractice insurance. If you were to obtain a favorable verdict, the lawyer's errors and omissions insurance most likely would pay.

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Answered on 11/01/12, 6:04 pm

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