Q: After 7 years of representation in a real estate matter, our attorney said we should consult a "real estate attorney".
Attorney appointed by insurance co. This matter has always involved real estate. I was abandoned by this attorney two years ago, but my husband continued to try to resolve this. It's not going to happen. We have lost a strong six figure amount of provable money out of our pockets. Please advise.
A: I can't tell with the short facts that you have stated, but it sounds like your attorney may not have been competent, especially if he only recently stated that you should see a real estate attorney. I wonder if the attorney had a real estate license of broker's license. At any rate, I can't imagine a case going on for 7 years without either you getting suspicious, or your attorney not disclosing that the matter was over his head. Then again, some attorneys (especially attorneys who work for insurance companies) are happy just to get paid, without feeling any obligation to do a competent job. I say all of this without really knowing anything about your attorney. However, something sounds wrong.
The problem is, after spending a lot of money on attorney's fees, you would have to sue this attorney for malpractice, which would be another long and expensive lawsuit. Nonetheless, if you have money to spend, I would hire a local real estate attorney to review your file. At least he or she would probably clear up a lot of issues. The statute of limitations on suing an attorney for malpractice depends on when you discovered your attorney was incompetent to handle this matter (assuming that he was). The statue is either 1 year or 4 years depending on when you found out that he wasn't getting the job done. You can look up California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.6 for more information on this. Another thing to consider is that if the attorney was working for an insurance company at the time, that insurance company may also be liable to you for damages. Insurance companies are not always your friend. Again, this is only my best guess without knowing all of the details of the case. I hope this has been helpfulGood Luck.
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