Anaheim, CA asked in Civil Litigation, Personal Injury and Elder Law for California

Q: Why is it so difficult to find a lawyer for Dependent Adult Financial Abuse case when EADACPA awards attorney fees?

The case is well documented, proven and the crime has even been admitted to under oath in federal court....it seems as if there are few (none) attorneys familiar with or interested in taking a civil case involving financial abuse of a dependent adult. The Elder Abuse Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act EADACPA specifically awards attorney fees, punitive damages, etc. why would it be so difficult to find an attorney? I don’t understand. The case is well documented, the abuse has already been proven in federal court but when looking for representation for a civil suit, finding a receptionist that even allows you to get that far in your story when she asks what the case is regarding is impossible. What kind of attorney should I be looking for? Maybe that’s the problem. Is there a specific field this falls in? Any help would be much appreciated.

3 Lawyer Answers

Randall R. Walton

PREMIUM
Answered
  • San Marcos, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is not clear what you mean when you say the case has already been "proven" in court, but the remedies of attorneys' fees and punitive damages you mention are only realized after a verdict. That means your case must be tried, which you probably know is a long and expensive pathway. If your case is really good, that is you can meet the higher burdens of proof set forth in EADACPA, then you should have no problem finding a lawyer (I don't do the financial abuse cases), especially if the defendant is someone who can pay an award. If the abuser is someone who could not likely pay an award, then that could be an obstacle to finding a qualified lawyer too. Good luck.

William John Light

Answered
  • Elder Law Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you are having difficulty finding an attorney it's probably because your case isn't strong. By "strong" I mean either the evidence isn't as compelling as you suggest, or that there is no deep pocket to pay a settlement or judgment. If you mean to suggest that a criminal case has already been brought and that someone has been convicted, i.e., "proven", it is exceedingly difficult to collect money damages from someone who is in jail/prison.

Timur Akpinar and Gerald Barry Dorfman agree with this answer

Manuel Alzamora Juarez

PREMIUM
Answered
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: There are lawyers who practice elder law in California, however there are a few of them. Just keep searching and help the lawyer by providing financial information regarding the value of the case an the prospective defendant. Most lawyers in thèse type of cases prefer to work by the hour. Best of luck

Timur Akpinar and Theodore Allan Greene agree with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

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