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CPL

Attorney Negligence

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We were sued for Fraud & Conversion. I am disabled and very ill, even more so after this lawsuit that dragged out for 2 years.

We were sued by a former client and friend.

This person lives over 1,000 miles away from us and had to file in a court where we live.

Due to my poor health and delays by the other party this lawsuit lasted 2 years. We won the case as it was determined by the judge that we did not commit Fraud or Conversion. In fact no money ever changed hands. Both parties made purchases of breeding stock and equipment.

This person was suing us for $26,000. From the very start and thru mediation we asked for invoices or receipts because the $26,000 was an extremely overinflated number of what was actually spent. The opposing attorney either never asked or was never given any proof that this other party had given us or spent any money for this project except a homemade spread sheet with fake invoice numbers and made up numbers.

Shouldn’t the other attorney ask and see some proof that the complaining party did in fact give us money or spent money on what was supposed to be a joint venture involving rare chickens? Not just accept a homemade spreadsheet as fact?

We could not for the life of us figure out why this attorney would take a case from someone out of state and file a lawsuit with no proof that we had done anything wrong. We think we have figured out the answer in our own is money. We recently learned that this lawyer and all the other lawyers in town turned down this case. We live in a very small town with maybe 5 lawyers. After being turned down this guy offered and paid the lawyer $7,500 to take the case. It was about money this lawyer should have trusted his first instinct not to take the case but he got greedy. $7,500 might not seem like a lot of money but the small town where we live the cost of living is very cheap. You can purchase a decent house for under $50,000. You can purchase a 3,000 sq ft house on 12 acres with woods, stream and farm ground for $130,000.

Also we just realized that this same attorney was one who was involved in another case that was brought against us 5 years ago when we first moved here. We were living on a one acre lot outside the city limits and we had chickens, dogs and parrots as pets. The neighbors didn’t like the chickens so they tried to use the county to make us get rid of these chickens that we were allowed to have where we lived. Our neighbors used county departments to try to make us get rid of our chickens. They contacted zoning, health, building the county commissioners and finally the area planning commission. Zoning concluded we were in fact allowed to have chickens where we lived. The matter was then given to the health department who sent a representative to our home with a sheriff deputy in tow to tell us we had 10 day’s to get rid of our chickens and all of our pets. When my husband asked both the health department person and the sheriffs deputy for the paperwork on the matter he was told there was no paperwork? If you are accused of some violation and ordered to get rid of your pets in 10 days you think there would be paperwork stating such. We called a law firm in another city to represent us in this matter. They made a few phone calls for discovery and before they could even get back to us about taking the case the guy from the health department came out and said nevermind we were ok to keep all our pets and apologized for bothering us. We later found out that a year or two before this the health department had been under investigation for malfeasance and some people had been fired. Guess they didn’t learn their lesson because it seemed to us they were trying malfeasance again. I should also mention our sheriff department is volunteer and the deputies have no problems putting their uniforms on and doing stuff like this when they have not been asked to do anything by their department. It’s basically bullying. Then we moved the chicken coop to the other side of the property away from the 2 neighbors that were causing the problems to try to be good neighbors. As a result we were next reported to the building permit department for building a building without a permit. The building department decided that no permit was needed as it was a portable coop.Then we get something in the mail from the area planning commission again telling us to get rid of our animals or they were going to sue us as being a common nuisance. We then hired a local attorney to represent us. We told him if going to court is the only way to make all of this stop then let’s get it overwith. They never filed anything and the matter went away. We recently learned the attorney who brought the lawsuit was involved with that whole other mess. He was a city attorney at the time he was the one telling these people to try all these different departments to make us get rid of our pets. It was on the front page of the local newspaper where he told them at a county commissioners meeting to try area planning. Shouldn’t he have called conflict of interest in the beginning? We would have if we had known he was involved in this other chicken thing. We also don’t know why he was giving advise since the county already had a county attorney.

Now that the lawsuit is over we feel that this attorney needs to be reported to someone for his conduct. For not getting any proof or evidence before taking us to trial on the Fraud & Conversion issue and for not recusing himself from taking a case that he didn’t even want to take until he was given $7,500.

This whole exercise almost killed me. It caused so much stress on me that the medical conditions that caused my disability spiraled out of control during those 2 years this case dragged on. We don’t want any money, we want his conduct looked at and if it is determined he did anything wrong then the proper consequences for him. Do we need another attorney to help us? Do we notify the state bar?

Any advise on how to proceed would be appreciated.

 

 

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I couldn't read that whole thing (hint for next time - white space is your friend) but I do know that the other guy's attorney does not owe you any consideration. His duty is to his client, not to you.

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3 hours ago, CPL said:

We don’t want any money, we want his conduct looked at and if it is determined he did anything wrong then the proper consequences for him. Do we need another attorney to help us? Do we notify the state bar?

Any advise on how to proceed would be appreciated.

 

There was no conflict of interest. The attorney represented or advised the city apparently in an action against you and then later represented the plaintiffs in the fraud and conversion lawsuit against you. That doesn't present any violation of the rules of professional conduct. A lawyer can represent different parties against you and that is not a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is something that would either (1) cause the attorney to represent his client less vigorously than he should or (2) would risk using the confidential information of a former client against him while representing a new client. Assuming you were never a client of this attorney you have no cause to complain of a conflict of interest. 

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I disagree. Especially when suing-the plaintiff bears the burden of standing. According to Article lll, 3 elements must be present:  (1) the plaintiff has suffered a concrete injury; (2) that injury is fairly traceable to actions of the defendant; and (3) it must be likely—not merely speculative—that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision. The supposed “injury” was monetary. A ‘spreadsheet’ would be equivalent to ‘business records’ which are considered hearsay in court and only relevant if there are receipts, bank statements/records or other documentation to back it up. It is for this reason the case was turned down by him (and perhaps others , and with good reason - he lost...  no?) until he was well compensated. He appears to be the town attorney that will do anything for a price. Against the law? No. Unethical? Probably. Complaints can be lodged against any attorney w/ your state bar and the state Supreme Court. Your complaint would not be conflict of interest but ethical conduct resulting in unnecessary legal fees for you and causing periodic stressful interruptions in your daily life with the reasons being unsubstantiated. However, don’t write them without help. See if the lawyer (who will know the lawyers’ code of ethics) from your court case can sit down with you for 30 minutes to help you draft the complaint. The same complaint can be sent both places. It’s doubtful any infraction will be issued but he will have to sit down & draft a response to both and perhaps will think twice before bothering you next time! Good Luck!

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4 hours ago, KN1 said:

I disagree. Especially when suing-the plaintiff bears the burden of standing. According to Article lll, 3 elements must be present:

 

You disagree with what, exactly? You seem to think the opposing attorney's actions are "unethical" but fail explain what ethical breach was committed here. You don't seem to argue that there was a conflict of interest involved, which is what previous responses dealt with.

 

Also, Article III of what?

 

In any event, unless the plantiff's claim was clearly frivolous, it is not against the rules of professional conduct or any court rule for the plaintiff to file the lawsuit and pursue it. We have no information here that clearly shows the claim was frivolous.

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