0

My attorney dropped me without notification via letter and then filed a withdraw for a worker's comp case. He claims it is irreconcilable differences but I barely talked to him about my case. Actually I can't speak because I had a stroke at my job and my mother is my POA and Medical Health Surrogate. I received a phone call from his office 2 days prior to an alleged letter that he claims to have sent me on a Sunday (2 days after the phone call) that I never received and then today I received a filing of his withdraw that he filed on a Saturday. The phone call was between one of his attorneys and my mother where the conversation was not heated or was there any problems, just the attorney giving a 45 day update on the litigation of the case. There was nothing that happened during the conversation which I sat next to my mother while she was talking to him. He also filed a lien against me if I receive any worker's comp money but only made 3 filings: 1) to state he was my attorney, 2) to file for money back for travel, 3) to withdraw as my attorney. What do I do?

6

What do I do?

Promptly hire a new lawyer.

Dispute claims for fees to the extent that they were not earned or that no value was conferred.

1

My attorney dropped me without notification via letter and then filed a withdraw for a worker's comp case. He claims it is irreconcilable differences but I barely talked to him about my case.

Your inquiry gives too little information to give you any useful starting points. Also, although not your priority right now, knowing for how long he "represented" you will be relevant if you decide to report him for legal malpractice.

I usually suggest litigation in pro per, but reading about your stroke makes it unclear whether you currently are in a position to undergo the learning curve and the typical vexations of your opposing counsel. If you are not, then you will need very good luck in finding a competent lawyer.

Your mention that he has made only three filings (two of them being the appearance and his motion to withdraw) suggests that at least he might not have had the occasion to make inept mistakes that would hinder your claims. However, that is something you or your next attorney will need to ascertain, since it is unclear whether he did any work in the form of administrative remedies or other quasi-judicial proceedings.

Once you solve how your litigation will be resumed, you should seriously consider reporting him to the entity in charge of disciplining attorneys in your jurisdiction. His unexpected allegation of "irreconcilable differences" suggests there is a possibility that (if not bribery) he actually had a conflict of interest which he should have disclosed earlier pursuant to their rules of "professional" conduct.

Regarding the attorney fees he is pursuing through the lien, consider In the matter of Crandall (November 30, 2018) where the Supreme Court of Kansas wrote, inter alia, that

[i]n fact, [Crandall] delayed the filing of his motion to withdraw because he did not think he was likely to get paid if he withdrew. [...]. Crandall's personal interest in being paid out of the proceedds appears to have impeded his professional judgment.

That court also noted that for some of work for which Crandall tried to bill his client

No advanced legal skill was required

and elsewhere that

these are not the type of legal work that warrants charging the client

Only you have (or should have) sufficient information to identify whether your attorney incurred this or other types of misconduct.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.