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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 02-21-2017, 08:09 PM
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Default Lawyer problem

My respondent was served via process server August.

Last I heard from my lawyer was in November. We were waiting on my respondents financials. Still. I checked in with my lawyers legal clerk mid-December. She said we were "waiting on a response" expected early January.

I emailed my lawyer January, telling him my respondent was disposing of property as he had told me he would leave the country. I asked my lawyer can we file for an emergency interim motion or uncontested trial. No response.

The next day, I went to the courthouse to file for an uncontested trial. I literally bumped into my lawyer at the court house, filing my uncontested trial. He asked what I was doing. I told him filing for uncontested. He said yes, I could technically file..... it would be a conflict for him to file as he had been speaking in November to the respondents lawyer. But as he did not go on record, for me to file and to let him know what date the court gave for a hearing.

Instead, the Judge made a ruling in closed chambers.

I made an error in my paperwork filing for the uncontested trial. I quoted my name (applicants), respondents information and both our lawyers information - but neither lawyer actually went on the court record. But on the chambers endorsement, we are both noted as self-represented.

The chamber endorsement is essentially unenforceable as there isn't anyone to literally type it up into an order. There is a conflict either way, as I was told by the law clerk at the family Court office.

The law clerk told me to file another motion asking the judge to remove the lawyers information allowing the court clerks to type the order and reinstating the endorsement. I am scheduled to go to court shortly.

I have not heard from my lawyer at all.

Today, I open the mail. A letter was sent to my old workplace in error. They forwarded it to my home address. The letter is from my lawyer. Apparently, way back in early December, my respondents lawyer asked my lawyer's law clerk for a copy of my initial application. I'm assuming something catastrophic happened to the copy the respondent was served with. The law clerk, according to this letter, possibly agreed verbally but never followed through. Therefore, my respondent's lawyer has been waiting all this time for a copy of the application, a trial held, an order made although erroneous and they are still waiting for the application. I have yet to see any financials. Again, my Respondent was served with the application way back in August.

My main concern is costs! Will I be held financially responsible for my lawyers (legal aid) mistake?

I will need to somehow present this letter and information I learned to the judge at my motion. My motion is without notice as advised by the trial coordinator and court clerks. Any theories for the outcome at my motion?? I'm going to assume a possible interim order now with another later date to be scheduled....
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:34 PM
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You sound totally competent enough to self-represent. You should do so.

In the future, should you decide to deal with a lawyer, any lawyer, have correspondence sent to you via email with hard copy mailed.

The information you have presented here, along with corroborating information, should suffice (in my humble non-legal opinion). Presentation is key and keep things simple, keeping in mind that your case is not the only one that the judge will be dealing with that day.

Of course you realize that having no record can mean ... no action. I would think that you have to play on the "probability" factor in presenting your situation?

I am impressed that you have brought yourself up-to-speed on the process. It appears that you are quick to act and will satisfy the requirements of your application. Best of luck.

Last edited by arabian; 02-21-2017 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:59 PM
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I just hope I don't get nailed for my, old lawyers, law clerk mistake via costs for withholding the application from his lawyer. Although it was properly served.

Thank you very much Arabian. I respect your advice .

I'm truly very nervous about seeing the judge. I just realized if it's a motion, others will be in the court room. Even more nerve wracking
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:25 PM
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I personally think that once it is before the judge the craziness ebbs. That has been my personal experience (though and others may disagree). I always enjoyed the way the judge waded through the BS and rendered a decision. That's what you want is a final decision. If you have your "ducks lined up in a row" you may be successful. Hopefully justice prevails.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:14 PM
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i wouldn't worry about costs. you don't sound like an unreasonable individual.

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