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WHAT HAPPENS TO LAWYERS WHO NEGLECT CLIENTS? SUSPENSION

Even lawyers are answerable to the law. New Jersey's Disciplinary Review Board has recommended suspensions for two attorneys who have evidently neglected clients and their cases.

Nine clients have accused Anita Lang Walch, a New Jersey City Solo bankruptcy practitioner, with collecting retainers but doing little work since taking on their cases. She evidently drafted bankruptcy petitions but never filed them. And even in the cases that she did file, she didn't tell her clients the basics; such as they would need to complete financial counseling, which caused their bankruptcy petitions to be dismissed.

The second attorney, Kevin Main, of Princeton, is facing a 12-onth suspension, for such negligence as allowing the statute of limitations to expire on a client's case, lack of due diligence, and failure to communicate.

It is indeed troubling for the people who relied on these attorneys to protect their rights. They have lost cases through no fault of their own, but that doesn't change the law.

How do you know whom to trust when you are seeking an attorney? How can you ascertain whether the lawyer who was recommended or who you found through an online search is actually a trustworthy, experienced, knowledgeable attorney?

There are many ways to get information about attorneys. For a start, you can ask for a free consultation with the attorney in question. This is what many lawyers do - offer free first visits, so you can meet them, and get an impression. But don't stop there. Research the attorney you are considering retaining. What do online reviews say about the lawyer? What do friends say about the attorney? If you have no friends or acquaintances that know the attorney you are considering hiring, can you use social networking to find someone else who has retained the attorney?

And don't be afraid to ask questions. Find out how this attorney would handle your case. How many cases like yours have they handled, and what has been the outcome? There are many ways to make a sound decision about a lawyer you are placing your trust in. Take your time making the decision, and choose wisely. Finally, watch out for the attorney who guarantees a certain outcome. Because no one can predict 100% a case's outcome, not even the most magnificent attorney in the world.

EXPERIENCED NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE, PERSONAL INJURY, AND WORKERS COMPENSATION ATTORNEYS

The Law Office of Mallon and Tranger protects the rights of the injured and those accused of crimes. We also represent clients involved in workers compensation cases. We have offices in Ocean County or Monmouth County. Our lawyers can be reached by phone at 732-702-0333 or by filling out the intake form.

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