My attorney just got kicked due to a conflict of interest?

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My attorney just got kicked due to a conflict of interest?

My attorney just got kicked due to a conflict of interest. When I hired him I had no idea that he had previously spoken with my ex-wife, so I paid the retainer and they got started. At my temporary hearing today the family commissioner found that there was a conflict of interest and I have to find someone else to represent me. Am I entitled to get my retainer back now and/or why either way? His law firm told me I really don’t have any monies left for a refund so due to them already getting everything ready for the divorce/custody hearing(s). The opposing counsel filled a motion and the judge agreed that my ex had called and spoke to someone at his firm for 33 minutes last year and that was enough to have him removed. Now I have no monies left andoff my case  have to go find someone else to represent me. What do I do now?

Asked on January 17, 2012 under Family Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  You need to ask this firm for an accounting of your retainer.  That includes a detailed account of all the work performed and by whom.  If the attorney has in fact doone enough work so that the file and case can be picked up and ready to go by another attorney you will no have to "pay twice" for the work to be done.  I would call the lawyer and state - quite firmly - that they should have advised you of this matter before you retained them.  And that this is a direct result of their failure to do a thorough conflicts check and that you expect that their error will not cost you your case.  That you indeed hope that there is enough of a retainer left to hire yourself a new lawyer and you want your entire file NOW.  Good luck. 


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