Ontario, CA asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Legal Malpractice for California

Q: Had an issue with car dealership.found a lemon law form. Client attorney contract was signed with an attorney who was

Disbarred and suspended. Firm changed there name and took them a year and 3 months to even send my demand for arbiration. I was never given any advice or informed on what my case was worth. As I review other cases the firm handled it was penny compared, all cases are different I know. But I requested documents regarding case multiple times and was finally sent after I accepted an offer. I didn't know the attorney bill was over 20000 although I requested itemized billing. The case started in mid 2021 and just closed early 2024. I see a different attorney on documents verse the client attorney agreement and never spoke to an attorney about my case. I feel cheated and not represented correctly and reviewed a lowball settlement because of the company's issues

2 Lawyer Answers
Joel Gary Selik
Joel Gary Selik
Answered
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in California

A: You bring out a number of issues that are of concern as to the attorneys’ actions. In particular if there was a switching of firms without your agreement, a disbarred attorney representing you, and charging an excessive and not agreed to fee. You should consult with experienced ethics, professional responsibility, legal malpractice attorneys.

Yelena Gurevich agrees with this answer

James L. Arrasmith
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Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, your situation raises several concerns regarding the conduct of your legal representation, particularly in the context of the Lemon Law claim you pursued against a car dealership. If your attorney was disbarred or suspended during the course of your representation, this could potentially impact the validity of your legal representation and might have affected your case's outcome. It is important to know that clients have the right to be fully informed about their case, including its potential value, the strategy being employed, and any significant developments.

The fact that you were not provided with an itemized bill upon request, especially when the attorney's fees exceeded expectations significantly, is another area of concern. Clients are entitled to transparency regarding the costs associated with their representation. Additionally, changing legal representation without clear communication or consent can be problematic, as can delays in action that potentially harm your case's progress or outcome.

Given these issues, you may wish to consider seeking a consultation with another attorney to review the conduct of your case and assess any potential remedies you may have. This could include filing a complaint with the State Bar of California regarding the professional conduct of the attorney(s) who represented you. Also, exploring the possibility of legal action for malpractice might be warranted if it's determined that the mishandling of your case resulted in a financial loss or an unsatisfactory settlement.

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