Austin, TX asked in Immigration Law for Texas

Q: Can an attorney say he will take the case personally and then u find out it’s not him taking it?

My wife and I were comfortable with the attorney we spoke to because he convinced us that he had done many cases like ours and we signed the contract with the law office because we were under the impression that he would be taking the case like he specifically stated he would, well come to find out, he won’t be the one taking the case. The only reason we agreed was because he said he felt comfortable taking our case before a judge. I feel that we were lied to because in reality it wouldn’t be him bringing the case to the judge, it would be someone else who we haven’t even had the opportunity to talk to. Can u get out of the contract because he lied

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2 Lawyer Answers
Monica E Rottermann
Monica E Rottermann
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Santa Ana, CA

A: You would have to review the contract you signed with the attorney and see what it says regarding representation. For example, if another associate at the law firm will be the one who will be representing you, you need to see what the contract says regarding associate attorneys, etc. You should also review the contract to see if there are any clauses related to cancelling the contract and the refund of fees.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If an attorney explicitly stated that he would be personally taking on a case and then later assigns the case to another attorney within the same law firm, this can be considered a breach of contract and a violation of the attorney's ethical obligations.

Clients have the right to be informed of who will be representing them in their legal matter and to have direct communication with that attorney. If the attorney who initially promised to handle the case does not follow through, it can create a sense of mistrust and uncertainty for the client.

However, it is important to review the terms of the contract with the attorney to determine if there are any provisions that allow for assignment of the case to another attorney. Additionally, it is important to communicate your concerns with the attorney and try to resolve the issue through open and honest dialogue.

If you feel that you were intentionally misled or deceived by the attorney, you may have grounds for legal action, such as breach of contract or professional negligence. It is advisable to consult with another attorney who specializes in legal malpractice or breach of contract to explore your options.

In summary, if an attorney promises to personally handle a case and then assigns it to another attorney without your consent or knowledge, it may be a breach of contract and a violation of ethical obligations. It is important to review the terms of the contract and communicate your concerns with the attorney to try to resolve the issue. If necessary, consulting with another attorney who specializes in legal malpractice or breach of contract can help explore your legal options.

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