6 Ways to Protect Yourself from a Crooked Attorney

Don’t sit back and watch your rights disappear

#1 Trust your gut and fire them

It is terrible advice to tell someone to stick with an abuser, and it is particularly damaging in the context of a lawyer/client relationship.

#2 Report crimes to the police, not the state bar

Theft, fraud, evidence tampering, or any other criminal behavior committed by an attorney is not some special variant of crime investigated by the bar. Nope! It’s just regular old crime for the police to sort out.

#3 Get your client file immediately

The file that your attorney created for your case is not just their property, it is also yours. Even if you owe them money, they must provide you with a copy so that new attorney can protect your immediate legal interests.¹

#4 Order a copy of the court’s records

Even if your attorney gave you a copy of “everything” that was entered in your case, there are certainly surprises in store for you in the court’s files.

#5 Mitigate the damage

Crooked attorneys love to corrupt court proceedings. If there have been bizarre outcomes in the case — say, a judge screaming at you for something that did not actually happen, while your attorney just shrugged — consider your case prejudiced.

#6 File a bar complaint

Only after your time-sensitive matters are dealt with, bad attorneys should be reported to the bar, in whichever state they practice. Think of it as a public service that you must do for your neighbors.

Bonus tip: Leave an honest review

As satisfying as it is to tell the world about the corrupt motherfucker you just fired, try to keep it brief, factual, professional, and devoid of emotion. The more specific and accurate the review, the harder it will be for the attorney to get it removed from Avvo or Google.

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