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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Lawyer Won't Answer My Calls or Emails

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: NJ

    I'll be as concise as possible

    I have some immigration issues stemming from a drug charge that I took a plea on many, many years ago, and due to several reasons including a recent NJ supreme court decision regarding defendants not being notified of the immigration consequences of their plea I may be able to get the case vacated, which would pretty much end the immigration issue.

    After searching I found a criminal attorney that had some knowledge on this issue, while emailing him my emails and calls were always returned within the hour. I managed to clean out my bank account for the non-refundable retainer, and he was supposed to pull my file from the court and let me know how it went. That same week was the huge snowstorm, so I gave it an extra week and a half and emailed regarding any updates, and got no reply.

    Now it's a month after that first email, and I emailed once a week ago and still got no reply. Both of those emails were just short "just checking to see if there have been any updates" emails. I sent another email yesterday, very respectfully explaining how I am not trying to be one of those annoying pushy clients, that this is simply a rather time sensitive and very stressful issue for me, and that I would just appreciate a reply regarding how things looked when he pulled my file. And still, no reply.

    So that's about the long and the short of it, before they got my $4k my emails and calls were answered in less than an hour, and I've heard literally nothing after making payment over a month and a half ago. I don't know if I can get a refund on the retainer without them deducting 10 hours worth of "work" from it, or if I can check with the court to see if they even pulled my file in the first place, which I highly doubt at this point, but this is fairly time sensitive and if this lawyer isn't on the ball I need to switch asap. I imagine that this is one of those moments of "if you have to ask you already know the answer", but if anyone can offer any insight or suggestions, or how to go about canceling with this lawyer and going with a different one it would be immensely appreciated. Thanks very much for reading!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Lawyer Won't Answer My Calls or Emails

    Nobody can guarantee you a 100% refund.

    If you wish to pursue an ethics complaint, information is here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Lawyer Won't Answer My Calls or Emails

    Thanks very much for your reply. Is it possible to check with the court and see if the attorney has pulled my file there as of yet, or do they not keep such records?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Key West, FL

    Default Re: Lawyer Won't Answer My Calls or Emails

    Some clerks keep a signout sheet and some don't. He couldn't take the file, he could only look at it in the clerk's office. If he wanted a copy of your file he would have to pay to have it copied, or he would have to go to the original attorney and ask for your file. It has to be kept for five years at least.
    Youi'd have to ask the clerk how they handle that, nobody here could tell you that.

    I'd say you need to contact that attorney (certified mail) and warn the attorney that you are very unhappy with his ignoring your emails and unless there is a satisfactory resolution, you will file a complaint with the state bar.

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