May 14, 2015

As I have detailed in the past, no one stands in for me – I handle all my cases personally.   You are not passed off to someone else.

A case was recently published wherein the following situation occurred:

  1. Attorney had two offices in two different states.
  2. Owner of one location building coincidentally was also the Office Manager of the firm and did not have a law license.
  3. Office Manager regularly met with clients and he claimed he told the clients that he was not their attorney. However, clients believed he was the attorney.
  4. Office Manager met with new clients, accepted cases, set fees, advised clients of the type of bankruptcy was best for them and deposited fees into the firm’s operating account.
  5. When the “real” attorney attended the Meeting of Creditors, he was unfamiliar with the cases.
  6. At times, the attorney would not appear and then send another attorney who was not familiar with the cases.
  7. Attorney and Office Manager accepted retainers and deposits for bankruptcy cases and never even started the cases.

Findings by the Court:

  • Attorney was ordered to refund monies to several clients but did not;
  • Office Manager did, in fact, set fees;
  • Office Manager frequently advised clients;
  • Attorney failed to properly supervise the Office Manager;
  • Inadequate advice was given to clients;
  • Attorney was unresponsive to clients.

Outcome:

  • Attorney received indefinite suspension.

Attorneys should not delegate their responsibilities to others.     Clients suffer when they are not careful in evaluating an attorney they hire to represent them.    It is important to ask questions, check if your attorney is certified and request to deal with an attorney directly.    You investigate the qualifications of your Doctor –  Why not your attorney?