If I finished paying my lawyer but he died before he finished my case, can I now hire a lawyer to get my money back from the state bar?

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If I finished paying my lawyer but he died before he finished my case, can I now hire a lawyer to get my money back from the state bar?

Asked on November 18, 2014 under Uncategorized, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The state bar is NOT responsible for the debts of individual lawyers; the state bar is not the employer or insurer of the attorneys in the state.

If the lawyer was part of a firm, the firm should be responsible for finishing the work. If he or she was a solo practioner and took your money without doing the work for it, you *might* be able to sue the attorney's estate to recover some or all of the money. Whether you will succeed or not is impossible to say based on what you have written: much depends on how the law firm was structured, on what the work was, on how much was done, on the terms of the representation, etc. If you want to consider this option, discuss the matter in detail with an attorney.


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