Question from Skrewed, What to Do If Your Lawyer Sabotages Your Case?
Answer from AI:
If you believe your lawyer has sabotaged your case, particularly by failing to forward important communication from a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) and not providing the GAL’s report until shortly before a court appearance, you may have several options to consider. Here’s what you can generally do:
Address the Issue with Your Lawyer
- Communicate with your lawyer immediately to understand why the email was not forwarded and why the GAL report was delayed.
- Document your communication and any explanations or responses provided by your lawyer.
Seek a Second Opinion
- Consider consulting with another attorney to get a second opinion on your case and the actions of your current lawyer.
- A new attorney can provide advice on whether your lawyer’s actions constitute malpractice or breach of duty.
File a Complaint
- If you believe your lawyer’s actions have been unethical or negligent, you can file a complaint with the state bar association.
- The state bar can investigate the matter and may discipline the lawyer if misconduct is found.
Consider a Legal Malpractice Claim
- If the lawyer’s actions have caused you significant harm or negatively affected the outcome of your case, you might have grounds for a legal malpractice lawsuit.
- Legal malpractice requires proving that the lawyer failed to provide competent representation and that this failure directly resulted in harm to your case.
- Consult with a legal malpractice attorney to discuss the strength of your potential claim.
Request a Continuance
- If the GAL report is critical to your case and you received it late, you may request a continuance from the court to allow adequate time to review the report and prepare.
- Explain the situation to the judge, focusing on the need for a fair opportunity to consider the GAL’s findings.
Change Your Representation
- If you have lost confidence in your lawyer’s ability to represent you, you may seek to retain a new attorney.
- Notify the court and the opposing party of the change in representation in accordance with court rules.
- Keep a detailed record of all communications, missed deadlines, and any other actions taken by your lawyer that you believe were detrimental to your case.
- This documentation will be important if you decide to file a complaint or pursue a malpractice claim.
Legal advice is necessary to navigate the complexities of addressing potential lawyer misconduct or malpractice. It’s important to consult with a legal professional who can provide personalized advice based on the specifics of your situation.
Remember, the steps you take will depend on the details of your case and the laws of your jurisdiction. The American Bar Association provides resources on client rights and complaints, which can be a helpful starting point.