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fee dispute arising from no return of phone calls

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Junior Member

I am seeking case law on attorneys who do not return phone calls then lien any recovery after being terminated for cause.

I retained a PI attorney after an auto accident in early 2004. I had to call the office at least 11 times to speak with the attorney (whom I still have never met) over the next two weeks. No one in his office bothered to return my calls. Finally, out of desperation, I retained another law firm. I told the people with whom I left messages that I needed to speak with someone, and that I would be going elsewhere if the attorney or paralegal handling my case did not return my calls. The first attorney immediately liened my case. I have fee dispute arbitration in the process of being scheduled in this matter. Eventually, I had to settle the case myself and the attorney took 22%. Now, after I filed the fee dispute, he is asking for an additional $1,400+ for the work he allegedly did, actually admitting that this was in retaliation for my disputing his actions. In his response to the State Bar's Fee Dispute, he never offered any excuse for not returning my calls, nor did he even deny it. He only counterclaimed the aforementioned $1,400+.

My research into this matter showed no case law, but many articles by legal professionals and attorney organizations condemning the very common practice of not returning phone calls.

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