Dear Harry:

In the summer of 2009, I fell over a loose rug in one of our casinos. I had three small breaks in the hip bone. Fortunately, I did not need surgery, but I needed a walker for two months, and I lost a lot of time at work. I hired a lawyer to represent me, and he said that he had good relations with the casino's lawyer and could get me a good settlement without going to court. I have not heard from him since. Needless to say, I have called him dozens of times, e-mailed him, snail-mailed him, and even sat in his office for half-a-day waiting for him. A friend who works in the casino just told me that she found out that my case was settled back in March. I called again and again since then, and I can't get to my lawyer. Is it possible that he stole my money and skipped?

What Harry says: That is a possibility, but not very likely. If indeed the settlement took place so long ago, there's no excuse for him holding your money. Get in touch with the Bar Association at 215-238-6300. It's toads like this who give lawyers a bad reputation, and the Bar Association is always on the alert to get them shaped up. If he did skip, there is a special fund set up to have you made whole. The Bar Association will help you there, too. I wish there were a legal time limit with stiff penalties for violation for holding on to clients' money.

Write Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, 400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19130. Harry urges all his readers to give blood - contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-Red Cross.