Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

I have a personal injury case and I truly believe my lawyer is trying to defraud me of money. 1st, he hires a new lawyer he claimed was a product specialist two months before my case settled. 2nd, we have retainer issues. I signed a retainer agreement for 331/3 which he said he'd mail copies of everything I signed later. On the day of my settlement conference he has this newly hired lawyer come to me and tell me that the lead attorney(I hired) cannot find the retainer agreement and can't represent me in the SC if I don't sign a new one. I looked at the new Retainer agreement and I saw a new percentage of 40%. Under duress I highlighted 331/3 and signed. When the 2nd attorney returned with a copy he said "well it's looking my like could not see my high light on the copy. He also has inflated invoices of a additional 22,000 in admin fees. This was 30,000 but has since come down a little. Leaving the SC upset about signing the document. I felt that I had been manipulated(tricked). I called the lead attorney(I hired) and told him that I was on my way home and that I should have a copy of the original retainer agreement. Driving home I immediately started thinking he never gave me a copy. I don't think him not being able to find the original is no coincidence at all. He's been practicing for 35 years. I think these two attorneys are tag team crooks. He holding me to the first v/m saying I think I have it at home but I soon after left another message saying "you were suppose to mail me a copy of everything I signed the day you were retained but never did" I don't have any documentation signed that day. He does with the exception of the original retainer agreement. He wants 40% (160,000) + Admin Fees (22,000)...the bills are inflated. I need someone to help me look over them..HELP!!!!!

I was also awarded 25,000 from w/c and did have a attorney to represent in this case. My case has gone on for 4 years and we've spoken twice at which I threatened to relieve him of duty because of lack of communication. The PI attorney offered him $5,000. The state says I only have to pay him 3750..please help me!!! I have suffered enough and now I have to fight my attorneys...this should be against the law

Asked on 4/03/13, 1:13 pm

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1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

File a complaint with the State Bar, and file for fee arbitration with your local county bar association. Every county has a bar association that does fee arbitration or has a referral program to the state.

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Answered on 4/03/13, 1:43 pm

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