Settlement check goes to lawyer, who disappears

DEAR HARRY: Some years ago, I had a legal issue with the city of Philadelphia. Late last year, a settlement was reached for $12,500, and I signed a release for the city in exchange for their check, which went to my lawyer a few days later. I got confirmation from the city that the check was deposited in my attorney's account. Since then: nothing. No answer to my telephone calls, no response to my letters or emails. No one seems to know what happened to her. Did she just vanish from the face of the Earth? I notified the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Disciplinary Board and the bar association. They sympathize, but have no answers. Could she have changed her name and moved out of the city? Help!

WHAT HARRY SAYS: I assume you have asked her friends and business associates about what happened to her. That name-change scenario is also possible, but the bar association would know of this if she still has her license to practice. In today's economy, she can't live too long with that $12,500, so she may yet show up.

Keep in mind also that she may have been seriously injured, become ill or even died. Try to follow up on these possibilities on the Internet. Good luck!

Email Harry Gross at, or write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107. Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-Red Cross.