Fontana, CA asked in Legal Malpractice for California

Q: How do I file a lawsuit on a person that represented himself as a lawyer and mishandled my car injury lawsuit.

He won't give me a copy of my case or medical file. I then after looked up his name and it didn't appear on the California bar website.

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8 Lawyer Answers
Alexander Bakhache Perez
Alexander Bakhache Perez
Answered
  • Fullerton, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I think you would report this action to the Califnornia Bar, the same website you checked, they should have a hotline or phone number for you to call to report the action and that he would not give you back your file.

Dale S. Gribow and William John Light agree with this answer

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Answered
  • Mill Valley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Assuming this really is a crook practicing law without a license, in addition to the California State Bar, you can make a police report, and you can file a civil suit. Perhaps most importantly, contact a personal injury attorney to see if there is still time for you to file suit for your injuries (or take over the case if the fraudster actually filed suit).

Dale S. Gribow and William John Light agree with this answer

Theodore Allan Greene
Theodore Allan Greene
Answered
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You should do everything Mr. Dorfman said. You can get a copy of your own medical records. You should also check the Superior Court records for the county you live in to see if an actual lawsuit was filed. When you have the consultation with a REAL personal injury attorney go over all the items suggested to you and good luck.

William John Light agrees with this answer

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is against the law to practice law without a license. File a complaint with the State Bar. http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/forms/2015_UPLComplaintFormrevised4-10-15.pdf. It's unlikely that this person has assets to collect in the event that you win a lawsuit against him. However, if you want to recover up to $10k, the easiest way to do it is to file in Small Claims. http://www.sb-court.org/Divisions/SmallClaims/TurboCourt.aspx. You would need to prove that, due the negligent actions of the "lawyer", you lost your case. Without knowing your case and what this person did, it is impossible to say whether you would win.

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Though this does not happen often there are some people who represent themselves as lawyers when they are not license in California to do so.

Sometimes they are lawyers in other states or suspended by the State Bar of California.

In either event contact the California State Bar.

They will initiate a prosecution of the person by the State Bar and the District Attorney's Office will file a felony charge of practicing law without a license.

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Of course you should contact another license attorney for that state to see if they can still file a lawsuit or if already filed to take over your representation to protect you.

Robert James Reynolds
Robert James Reynolds
Answered
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If he is not a licensed attorney, he may not be subject to the actions of the State Bar, but may have committed a crime. The State Bar should be able to give you some direction. He is legally liable for damages caused by his misrepresentations, nonetheless. There are many facts that need to be determined before a conclusive opinion can be given, so you should speak with a lawyer in your jurisdiction, without delay.

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: REPORT HIM TO THE BAR AND HOPEFULLY THE DA WHO WOULD FILE CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST HIM/HER.

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