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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    24

    Default Researching Your Case

    My question relates to legal practice in the state of: GA

    I'm representing myself in case because my previous pro bono lawyer withdrew. The case was for a violation of a federal statue by the defendant and the defendant had previously lost at summary judgment for the very same thing in another state. The cases were nearly identical. Former attorney never looked at the previous case and if he had, he would have found evidence of negligence and possible fraud. I brought this up to him after he withdrew and he said that is one of the reasons that he withdrew, because I expected things of him like this.

    If a potential client brings you a case such as this, wouldn't you review all the details, including the previous case to see if there are additional claims? He also sat on my case for six months and and filed it the day before the SOL tolled. In fact, defendant tried to dismiss the case using the SOL defense. I had panic attacks because I thought we might lose. Just FYI, I didn't even know that I could get my own pacer account before the attorney withdrew I was so ignorant. Was I expecting to much for free representation? How much leg work do people need to do own their own before even consulting with an attorney?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,288

    Default Re: Researching Your Case

    Note that very few of us here are attorneys.

    Note your use of the terminology is wrong. The SOL "expires". Tolling refers to putting the time on hold.

    Unless your attorney had indeed made an appearance, he's got no real obligation to you on a pro bono situation. If you want dedicated representation, you'll need to pay for an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Researching Your Case

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    Note that very few of us here are attorneys.

    Note your use of the terminology is wrong. The SOL "expires". Tolling refers to putting the time on hold.

    Unless your attorney had indeed made an appearance, he's got no real obligation to you on a pro bono situation. If you want dedicated representation, you'll need to pay for an attorney.
    Thank you for the correction and duly noted. My attorney filed the complaint and filed a reply to the motion to dismiss. He withdrew before the Judge ruled on it based on the Magistrate's report. He also filed an objection to the report that I practically had to beg him to do. In fact, he told me he agreed with it, and didn't plan on objecting! I researched and handed him all the objections and he withdrew shortly after he filed it because at that point, I had found other claims and wanted to add to the complaint.

    I've always known that "you get what you pay for" but I somehow thought this was different.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    1,792

    Default Re: Researching Your Case

    Quote Quoting nobeefcow
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    If a potential client brings you a case such as this, wouldn't you review all the details, including the previous case to see if there are additional claims?
    So...basically, you're asking us to critique your former lawyer's performance based on only a few sentences of information? I can't begin to tell you what I'd have done under the same circumstances since I don't know all of the relevant circumstances.


    Quote Quoting nobeefcow
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    Was I expecting to much for free representation?
    Without knowing what your expectations were or the relevant facts, no one can intelligently comment on the reasonableness of your expectations.


    Quote Quoting nobeefcow
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    How much leg work do people need to do own their own before even consulting with an attorney?
    Anywhere from none to some, depending on the relevant facts and circumstances.

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    Unless your attorney had indeed made an appearance, he's got no real obligation to you on a pro bono situation.
    That's not accurate. Whether the lawyer is or isn't getting paid has no relevance to the existence of a legal duty. The lawyer easily could have owed duties to the OP prior to the filing of the complaint.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Researching Your Case

    That's not accurate. Whether the lawyer is or isn't getting paid has no relevance to the existence of a legal duty. The lawyer easily could have owed duties to the OP prior to the filing of the complaint.
    This brings up another question that I have specifically regarding this lawyer and duties owed to me. When he withdrew, he first sent me an email that he was withdrawing for personal reasons and he only sent me a copy of his withdrawal exhibit in an email. He didn't provide any details as to why he was withdrawing until I pressed him on it. He then replied that it had nothing to do with me personally, that it was due to his "caseload." But when he filed his Unopposed Motion to Withdraw, he said something complete different to the court. He wrote that our views were so different that it made representing me difficult and that under the local rule "The client insists upon pursuing an objective that the lawyer considers
    repugnant or imprudent."

    I actually didn't even realize that this wording was in his withdrawal motion until several months later when counsel for the defendant started using this against me in their motions trying to undermine me. So now it appears that my former lawyer actually lied to me. For instance I wanted him to pursue the objection to the motion to dismiss but he wasn't going to do it until I insisted. I did 100% of the research on it and he reworded it and filed it. I have the email correspondence to prove this is true. There were like 17 causes of action in the complaint that were subject to dismissal and the Judge refused to dismiss every single one using my arguments. Now he may have been feeling defeated because the magistrate judge made a completely in-opposite recommendation to dismiss all claims but one, and he agreed with her findings, that is beside the point or should be. Secondly, I had made discoveries on my own that I wanted him to amend the complaint to add but he didn't want to do it. However he never explained to me why my objective was repugnant or imprudent, he didn't even give me the opportunity to listen and learn something from him about my case or advise me why an amended complaint wouldn't work, etc. In fact, he told me that he would meet with me to go over it all so that he could understand it. All this makes me wonder if he was maybe paid off, I know that sounds horrible but it happens. Or if he caught wind of the pending bankruptcy and needed a reason to drop me like a hot potato.

    I have another thread going in the bankruptcy section and several people have advised me to get a lawyer. I want a lawyer, a good lawyer but I can't afford it. Because I had to take over my own case, I've literally lost my job because of it and on the verge of bankruptcy myself. What's even worse, every single attorney I've contacted to take this case has been more interested in why my former attorney withdrew and not the details of the case. It's like I have some kinda of scarlet letter attached to me now.

    I would like to file something with the court to remove or modify the former lawyers notice based on the fact that he lied to me but I have no idea what t file. If I would have caught this in time, I may have prevented his withdrawal somehow but not sure what good that would have done because then he would have just resented me and screwed up my case even more.

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