Legal Question in Legal Malpractice in North Carolina

ineffective lawyer

My daughter was bitten by a neighbors dog last June. My lawyer seems to be doing nothing. I call and get put off. They don't gather information unless I call and prompt them. I am very concerned than my case is not a priority, and my settlement will suffer for it. What should I do?

Asked on 4/10/04, 11:00 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

William Horsley William F. Horsley, P.A.

Re: ineffective lawyer

The first thing is to bring your concerns to the lawyer's attention. If he or his staff are not returning calls, write a letter and ask for a written reply outlining the status of the case. Frequently, the problem is not lack of attention to the case, but lack of communication with the client about the case. If that doesn't work, and if no lawsuit has been filed, you may ask for the return of the file and discharge the lawyer. In most states, a lawyer cannot ethically retain a file, even if he/she has not been paid. You will be expected to reimburse the lawyer for any out of pocket expense. If you have continuing problems, you can always contact your state bar association with a grievance. Hope this helps.

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Answered on 4/12/04, 9:08 am

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