How to Spot Out-of-State Lawyer Scams

There are some situations that call for you to use an attorney who does not reside in the state where you live. Sometimes this comes into play when you want to purchase or sell property that is in a state other than your primary residence, but there are also many other reasons, such as custody issues when you decide to move and so much more. Most recently many out-of-state lawyers have descended on California trying to take advantage of wildfire victims. As a general rule, an attorney must be admitted to practice in the state in which they are representing their client. This is true for even the simplest issues, like negotiating a contract or going to a short court hearing. But what happens if you feel as if you are being conned by an attorney in another state?


Most attorneys are hardworking individuals who are actually looking to represent you on a realistic level because they want to help you get the best results in your case. However, sometimes you will find a few who are not as ethical as they appear to be. It is important to always do your research when you are looking into an attorney for certain matters. Sometimes it helps to have a little extra push, so today we will look at some of the scams that out-of-state lawyers use to scam others.


Common Out-of-State Lawyer Scams


Case Worth: Clients want to know right off the bat what their case is worth or what they can expect as far as results are concerned. And, though your attorney will probably have a good idea about this, your attorney usually will not tell you an exact amount of what your case is worth right off the bat. There are many types of necessary information that is needed before they can tell you this. If your attorney seems all too excited about your case without information, you could be scammed.


Contingency Costs: Your attorney should not make costs contingent on the outcome of your case. This violates an attorney’s rules of professional conduct and, though it does not always point toward a scam, sometimes it does indeed. You should consider what other codes of ethics they would be willing to break just to get you excited about your case.


No Communication: If your attorney or their office doesn’t keep good communication with you, you could be scammed. If an attorney is trying to avoid certain aspects of your case or ignoring your calls, this may not be a good attorney for you – especially because they are out of state as it is, so it can sometimes make communication more difficult. Your attorney’s job is to always answer your questions about your case, even if it is not what you want to hear.


No Results: If your attorney calls themselves a trial attorney, but cannot tell you about their proven results, it may be a scam. Many attorneys will advertise as trial attorneys when they never actually went to trial. Some attorneys could scam you and make your case worth less than it is worth, which could leave you in the dust when it comes to compensation you deserve.