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My lawyer just quit! Please help!

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What is the name of your state? Missouri

I was divorced in Oct 2001. My ex took me back to court in Feb of this year on a technicality - I moved 10 miles further away without giving 6 weeks notice. I filed a Motion to Modify in ressponse to his Order to Show Cause. I really just want the schedule changed but he's made unfounded accusations of child abuse. We have a son, 3 yrs old. There is a GAL assigned to him and a court-appointed counselor that my ex and I are seeing separately. The third settlement conference is scheduled for tomorrow. I left some voice mail messages for my lawyer, Leigh Joy Carson, over the weekend. I asked some tough questions - demanded to know what she was doing to make things happen and complained about the expense of dragging things out too long. She quit, via email, on Monday morning claiming that I didn't want to pay her. I never said this. I think her reaction is way out of line. I've paid her about $3000 so far and had a verbal agreement for a $500 a month payment plan. Now I'm facing a settlement conference with no representation. What should I do???? :confused:


Senior Member
Have you tried to call and talk with the lawyer? Maybe it would be possible to explain you voice mails and to work things out with her.

If you can't work things out with her, you need to start searching for a new attorney.

Regardless - Definitely go to the settlement conference tomorrow. A no-show wouldn't be good.

I'm not really familiar with a settlement conference, I am assuming this is the same as a mediator? Where you attempt to work everything out without it going before a judge?

If you are not able to locate a new attorney today, you need to explain to the mediator / judge - whichever - that you need additional time to locate a lawyer. More than likely, they will already be aware of it because your old lawyer would have filed papers to withdrawl from the case. Then get another lawyer ASAP because judges don't like delays.

Remember.....this is JMO and I am not a lawyer.


Lawyer just quit...

I can't afford to hire another lawyer right now. I am paying the GAL, the counselor, and my attorney ($500 a month). I am almost bankrupt. I have already borrowed from family and against my 401k. I am tempted to drop the Motion to Modify and ask the judge to just make my ex modify the visitation schedule and continue going to counseling.

What happens if I drop the Motion to Modify and do not hire another lawyer?

I intend to file a complaint with the Missouri Bar against the one that quit. We have tried to talk to her. She instructed her staff to not make appointments with me and hung up on us when we tried to call. Her reaction is way, way over the top - there was absolutely nothing in the voice mails that was offensive. No profanity, etc.


Under the Radar Member
What is it in the schedule that needs to be modified? I can't see a 10 mile move makind a big difference, myself.

I suspect that this isn't the first run-in you and the lawyer have had. What's the history there?


Senior Member
If you drop the modification will the counselor, GAL, or the court return the fees that have already been paid to them?

If you ex is forced to file a modification - will the same fees be required to be paid?

It doesn't make a lot of sense to drop everything and basically throw away the fees that have already been paid. Especially if you know that your ex will file again and you will be paying them regardless.

Have you tried calling around and asking if any lawyers will perform pro bono work - some lawyers give XX amount of time for free, maybe you can locate one. Some even do sliding scale - reduced fees.

Have you checked with the court house and asked if they have legal aide available in your county?

If all else fails and you are brave enough - you can always go it alone. But if your ex has hired a lawyer it might not be in your best interest.

I am going it alone right now on a modification - I don't have much choice in the matter. I have been nickled and dimed until there isn't anything left to pay a lawyer. No pro bono, no sliding scale - and legal aide can not assist in my county unless the children are in actual physical danger. I really wish I could afford a lawyer.


Senior Member
okay, first of all get a bill declaration and see if your $3,000 a month with this lawyer has been spent. Then take the $500/month you were going to spend on her lazy butt and hire someone new.

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