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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Not Notified of Attorney's Motion to Withdraw

    My question involves malpractice by a lawyer in the state of: Pennsylvania
    Frivoulous and malicious proceedings were initiated on me by my exemployer in PA two years ago in Civil Court. I had hired an attorney and scheduled depositions for the exemployer. Behind my back, my Attorney cancelled the depositions and had closed door sessions with my exemployer, their attorney and the Judge. Following the closed door sessions, my attorney would not return any of my numerous emails or phone calls. I eventually assumed that my attorney had initiated some motions or arguements to result in a stalemate of any further proceedings. Two years later I receive a Certified Letter from the exemployers attorney with a new motion to compel and hold in contempt for an entry that was never brought to my attention by the Court or by my attorney. The attorney went on to notify me that my attorney had requested withdrawal as my counsel. There was no entry in the docket of this motion and I never received any notice from the Court or my attorney. I called my attorney and left a messages to call me regarding the above. The attorney would not return my calls. I emailed the attorney with many questions and the attorney returned a brief reply stating his request for withdrawal. I paid this attorney for my defense and have not received any replies or directions relating to the Case. I want an explanation and a complete copy of the history of all communications that my attorney had regarding my case. What motions or actions should I take to get this information?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Not Notified of Attorney's Motion to Withdraw

    First, you need to go to the clerks office at the courthouse and physically look at the court file to see what is in it.

    An attorney has to file a motion to withdraw and there has to be a signed order from the judge. There is usually a hearing first that you should have been notified of.

    Without more info I can't comment on the other issues. However, there is no such thing as "closed door" meetings with the judge and attorneys. Everything has to be on the record. Communications with the judge outside of the courtroom are illegal and judges can get disbarred for things like that. Attorneys too.

    If you paid the attorney and he did not deliver the hours you paid for, you could file a complaint with the state bar.

    If the attorney used up the hours you paid for and you did not pay anymore money, then you have no complaint and an attorney can withdraw. If he withdrew for an improper reason, that is another matter. There should have been a hearing on the withdrawal.

    If the lawsuit against you was friviolous or ma.icious, did you file counterclaims against the employer?

    If there was no action on the civil action for two years, you should file a motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute. Do it pro se if you have to and get a hearing date. Then you can work out all of this crap before the judge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,132

    Default Re: Not Notified of Attorney's Motion to Withdraw

    I suggest hiring a different lawyer, having your lawyer review the court file to determine what is happening and, if appropriate, having the lawyer substitute in for your present lawyer. At a minimum, review the court file to find out what has been happening over the past two years.

    It would be very unusual for an action to be pending for two years with no action, and I would have expected that at some point the court would have notified the parties that it was going to dismiss for nonprogress.

    It sounds like your lawyer hasn't noticed a motion to withdraw, but has merely asked that the court discharge him in response to the pending motion. It doesn't sound like it would make much sense to try to keep that lawyer on the case.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Not Notified of Attorney's Motion to Withdraw

    Hi Mr. Knowitall, Thanks for your reply. I was hoping to hear from you. Yes, the relationship with the attorney was officially confirmed today by his firm. I am considering filing a Legal Malpractice suit against them. I am also considering going pro se. This case is in a very small, rich town and I am an outsider. Three attorneys so far have started out with gusto and exclaimed with shock the actions taken against me until they met with the Judge and other Attorney. This is a very dark and fraternal place. Eventhough my attorney says that they are sending his complete file, I don't trust that everything will be covered. I do want to request a Complete Copy of my Case File, Docket, Motions etc. Is this an appropriate request for me to make to the Court? Are they obliged to provide all of this if I am going pro se? They've scheduled a hearing for two weeks from now and I want to make enough Motions to give me time. I've already requested and was granted a Continuance, but two weeks does not give me enough time. I want to also submit for a Motion to Dismiss, Motion for a More Detailed Explanation of the Plaintiffs contentions, Motion for Change of Venue, etc. Which is the most powerful to start with? Yes. You are exactly right. The Plaintiffs Attorney obviously marked his Calendar and submitted the new, frivolous, unsupported avers 75 days before the last activity just to keep this case open.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Not Notified of Attorney's Motion to Withdraw

    Am I invisible or something?

    The clerk won't send you the case file. GO TO THE CLERKS OFFICE and look it up. Just read it there. It can't be that long. When you go to court the court will have it and you'll know exactly what is in it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,132

    Default Re: Not Notified of Attorney's Motion to Withdraw

    Some courts will mail you a copy of the court file, usually requiring you to provide payment for copying in advance along with a self-addressed, postage paid envelope. You can ask the clerk. If the clerk's office wants somebody to make the request in person, you can probably find a service that will send a 'runner' to the court to obtain a copy of the file; that service will, of course, charge a fee on top of the copying costs.

    Courts these days typically charge $1-2 per page for copying documents out of a court file.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Not Notified of Attorney's Motion to Withdraw

    Typically I wouldn't ask the clerk to make a copy of a file. If the clerk will do it is a local rule. If I asked a clerk to do that, I would be paying for copies of everything I filed. I already have and know all that. If there are transcripts in the file, long briefs, etc. if could get very expensive.

    I also find it very easy to just go and look it up. But of course I live on an island that is only five miles long. I realize some people are farther from the courthouse than that, but still, inspecting the file personally is my first choice.

    No telling what opposing counsel has slipped in without proper service.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: Not Notified of Attorney's Motion to Withdraw

    The court should grant you as many motions for extension of time as needed for you to get a new attny.

    You should get your file from the attny very quickly (2-3 days); if not, go to the attny's office & demand that they give you your files on the spot (ie you aint leaving until you have them).

    Once rec., go to the clerks office and review your file & see if you have everything there.

    3 attnys dropped out? I seriously doubt this .. you are a defendant, not a frivolous litigant.

    You likely cannot file a motion to revise the complaint at this point in time (generally you have only 30 days to do this after the complaint is filed).

    You can file a motion to dismiss. I assume an answer was filed.

    If you are having this much difficulty with attnys there is something you have not disclosed.

    What is the cause of action ? How much is the suit for?

    You can force the attny to remain as your consul until you find another in most cases ..

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