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Can I sue my lawyer for negligence?

1 Answers. Asked on Feb 27th, 2013 on Bankruptcy - Florida
More details to this question:
My lawyer took 9 months to file my initial bankruptcy claim (and finally did so when my car was reposessed) a few years ago, and it got dismissed by the courts for reasons unknown to me. Using the same lawyer, I filed again, also taking 9 months to finally get a date to talk to the trustee. It's been now 2 more years, and after many email communications thruout this time frame (didn't want it to get dismissed again), and was told not to worry everything would be fine, I get a letter from the trustee that they are filing a motion to dismiss the case because I did not send them my 2011 tax returns. i had been communicating with my lawyer's wife, who is also a bankruptcy lawyer, and who sometimes helps, (because my lawyer was not answering my emails, and she was) and was told not to worry, they would be able to explain it to the courts. this was a year ago in june. I still try to communicate with my lawyer, he does not return my calls or emails. Haven't got a court date yet. Can I sue?
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Answered on Feb 27th, 2013 at 4:46 PM

So your lawyer messed up your first case and you decided to hire him for a second one?  I'll let that one sink in for a bit, but to answer your question, yes you can sue your lawyer for negligence (malpractice) once something actually occurs that damages you.  

At the moment, however, as I understand your facts, you need to respond to the pending Motion to Dismiss your case.  If your lawyer is not properly handling your case (and it sure sounds from the way you describe it that he is NOT), then you need to hire a new attorney.  Today.  And have them respond to the Motion to Dismiss and fix whatever issues need to be fixed.   Then you can seek to have your present attorney disgorge fees to cover the new attorney's fees and maybe you won't need to file a malpractice lawsuit.

Need assistance hiring a new attorney, see my article on what to look for when hiring a bankruptcy lawyer.

You can also contact the state bar to report the attorney, but that isn't going to fix your immediate problem.

Mark Markus has been practicing exclusively bankruptcy law in California since 1991.  He is a Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization,  AV-Rated by, and A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau.  


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If you're struggling to pay off your delinquent debts and getting hounded by collection agencies, then it's time to address your financial problems. And filing for personal bankruptcy may be the ideal solution. Whether you're an individual or married couple considering Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or a business considering a Chapter 11 reorganization, or a farmer considering Chapter 12, you need the advice and guidance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Your lawyer can help determine which form of bankruptcy is right for you, prepare and file all of the paperwork, and advise you throughout the bankruptcy process.
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