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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 01-06-2013, 01:00 AM
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Default When is it time to part ways with your lawyer

Well this says it all doesn't it? "When is it time to part ways with your lawyer?" I don't know if anyone has anything that might help make the decision for the right reasons??

I have spent the last month doing my best to not let my emotions control my thoughts, my up and down health issues that are just down/down lately - my last stop was yesterday was my GP's office, amongst other things, my current state was discussed and this in hand I have checked on all the things that make sense, both Mess and Tayken have put some very good and insightfull posts on the merits of using your head, even some expectations from both sides (there are always two sides and the bridge is communication and listening). For a long time I have felt the drawbrige is in the up position....

SO to the point, deciding such a significant move is at least costly or perhaps a necessary expense if the end result is what you are after. How about trust? Perhaps Results is the ultimate yardstick? I made the choice not to micromanage my lawyer, asked the basics, did my best to give him the information that he needed or perhaps I felt was important, cogent evidence or information of such but ultimately left it to his strategy. I did allow him to prepare the brief and to plead as he saw fit both times - I did my very best to do what he has asked of me and although I am darn dog slow. This is something I have been discussing with the doctor for some time and in depth this week - there is reason; it is not "all in my head".

So I have tried to look in the mirror long and hard, I have even tried to ask my question and write my answer with stay pat in mind - the last thing I want is to change lawyers, heck I fear that what I was told one day a long time ago - I may have a hard time finding a lawyer for what is in our file - and my ex, the same, perhaps even a more difficult time. This I think is very, very true. The answer can only come from within - I admit I am just at my crossroad but I want to do my best to not let my emotions decide this.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:04 AM
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maybe its time to sit down with you lawyer and tell him exactly what you want and the timeline you want to follow. Set goals.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:02 PM
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I would tend to agree with standing if you already haven't done this. It will take considerable time and money for a new lawyer to get up-to-speed on your case.

Once you have this candid discussion with your lawyer you can then decide which way you want to go. My ex changed lawyers several times and it didn't help him at all. The one he currently retains just tells him what he wants to hear. Don't fall into that trap or you will be very disappointed and a whole lot poorer in the end.

If you do decide to change lawyers it might not hurt to get referral from the injury law firm you dealt with at the time of your accident. They might be able to set you up with someone who does family law as well as injury law. I think it might be beneficial, from what you have told us, to have someone working for you that understands both areas.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:14 PM
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Didn't you have a super hard time getting a lawyer willing to take your case in the first place? Do you want to go through that again?

And maybe it's time for a hard look. Is your lawyer simply trying to meet impossible expectations from you? Even if you do find a new one, you'll have gone to considerable expense and have the exact same troubles with the new one.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:53 PM
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When they won't respond to anything. When you find out nothing is filed at the Court.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:27 PM
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Thankyou all! At this point I can officially say that what has been said has mostly if not all been done - I have been fairly stagnent on what I think is at least supported by case law (I do have trouble at times withh interpreting the words - does it mean this? or do they mean That?? -- This is a type of question I have tried to pass off to my lawyer - even my tools. Tools, I have asked him for proceedure to get this done - I do have much more than a multi use tool boxes, most are industrial grade or professional automotive so they were expensive - just want a fair way to keep what was mine to begin with - what difference is there when dealing with work tools (I sold most when work was going to be history), I would never be able to do that kind of work ever again - I sold the tools, I bought new tools based on projects needing to be done and alot was to compensate for a deteriorating spine.... to make it easier for me to do what I do enjoy most with my personal time..... But she wants 50% of new value for all.

I just want his opinion on which way should I do it so it sticks and will be accepted by the court regardless of what my ex does to confuse issues....... just do it right, do it once.

Next will be a really long post that I just deleted!! What I discovered was my responses agreed with th esuggestions here, operating with your lawyer in a fashion that you can both be understood. (I chose e-mail, I take as long as I need and the other side reads what they need quickly and efficiently. As I agreed I found my thoughts as I jotted details were all the reasons why things are not going right but for people reading this it was just a big long list of events of what happened - In the end, I took this exercise you helped me with is to realize that it is only the results that count, The last two conversations I did have with my lawyer left me more lacking in confidence for his ability to negotiate this.

I hope it never makes it to court but if after this he is beginning to revert back to mistakes he was making 6 months ago, even in the last three or four things the common thread is his not getting the real concept of dissiapation and exclusion where he continually goes back and forth -- the rules are not the same for each which may make me sound like a person unbalanced when I just can't get out of my head that even if I did a poor job with documentation and sadly how I feel that it might have gone better if we didn't showw up at all? Harsh but I pushed this same thing from round one. I chucked it up to me, not doing well, benefit 100% to the other person - but it happened for the second time now. -- Can I afford a 3 for 3 in the flop for non preparedness???
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:47 PM
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1. Case law is not the absolute law.

2. If you get rid of your lawyer will you be able to find another lawyer?

3. You have a hard time communicating with people on this forum and this is probably reflected in your communications to the lawyer in question.

4. You are possibly seeking "vengeance" before the court and retribution for past assumed "hurt". The only person that can change in this matter is you and personally, I only see your situation spiraling into more complexity, costs orders against you and little resolution as an outsider.

5. I don't think you will have any more "success" in Family Court with another lawyer as the challenges you face will only increase if you get another lawyer involved. Not only will you have to bring them up to speed your communications challenges and lengthy emails will only rack up more legal bills for you.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:21 PM
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I think in your case, ddol1, communication difficulties were probably a factor. You said you leaned on e-mail for lawyer communications. Sometimes this is efficient, but often time it is better to just pick up the phone and talk and continue to ask questions until you reach understanding. As has been pointed out, your posts to us here are often difficult to parse and derive precise meaning from and it's reasonable to assume your lawyer would feel the same way.

Secondly, you chose not to micromanage your lawyer, and go with their strategy. My lawyer tried to do the same. I reigned them in and stated very clearly what my expectations were, what I wanted, and that I would not give my blessing or pay for work which was done on my behalf which was not directed to those goals. We changed my whole court applications to ask for what I actually wanted, rather than what my lawyer thought I should be fighting for.

I would probably still be in court to this day (2 years later) if I had let my lawyer direct my case the way she wanted. I admit she had my interests in mind and she was willing to fight for them indefinitely and effectively, but as a paying client, it was up to me to prioritize what I wanted to do with my life.

I don't know all the specifics here, but regarding the tools and many other issues, you may have to just let it go. You went to court and got a mixed result (and costs against you) you should learn from this and realize that court is likely not going to solve many of your problems. You need to settle things in any way that you can live with... You may be unhappy, it won't be fair and you won't like it, but if you can actually wake up every day and continue to survive then that's what matters most and probably the best anyone can ask out of divorce.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:00 AM
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Here's an idea I'll just toss out to you - why don't you look into hiring a scribe? This person could come to your lawyer meetings with you and take notes for you. Disabled students with some disabilities can request this service. Perhaps there is somewhere that you can request the same. It might lift a weight off of you and help you get organized.
Just a thought!
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:09 AM
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2 excellent posts, Tayken, I do understand the hurt part - for me even in this last round it isn't hurt as it I am just amazed for the lack of a better word, how little my lawyer presented first in the CC which I decided back then to not even think about much if anything but get through this. The last motion, if I am angry, angry is not a good description, it is not the judge, judge did the best she could with what she was given to work with. My ex's lawyer is working for his client and at least brought something to the appearance, I may have grossly disagreed with what steps my ex's lawyer made but this is what my lawyer is for. My job was to at least communicate (what I saw/read that was grossly out) so this I did make sure I clearly, in writting and in voice, phone and in person -- I comunicated what I did want addressed in very much the same fashion as Mess put up for us just the other day:

I am not angry - angry gets one nowhere, scared (I know our kids are going to be taken care of one way or another) Scared - you friggin bet I am scared - I am scared for my retirement which was at least partially saved for at this point. I am scared that if the bonafide retirement savings pot, took the last 25 years to get it where it was, if I can say ironocally, our mutual decision of the long term was to go ahead and put the full work pension into her work benefit and as the money was too tight we were going to wait until the kids were older and thru school.

For me this has nothing to do with vengence or anything of th esort - from day one I told my ex that it was fine - she needed out and this was her choice to make - in a very large way the chouce was made a long time ago sadly. What I have done in th elast few weeks was to put up some honest posts regarding some difficult issues:

One thing that does get missed here, less so tonight, but looking through the older posts lawyers and firing usually read as my ex was an ass, went thru them like candy and now complains that....... But darn what happens when you do come across a lawyer who said he had knowledge in this area of family law, that he follows the "trends" word????? follows the current rulings in this area of the law and although it has been a long time we are now at the point where it is time to put things together and shock, I honestly thought Divorcemate prep requires basic program knowlege but nobody in the office could do this basic task reasonably well?

The most important issues to me, his begining, "don't worry when it comes time to get this settled I know enough currrent case law** and relevant papers that we can use to apply as our backup to what will be our strategy at this point - but yes I am mentioning again here, I was put in this position when after weeks of asking him to produce them so I could at least make my final decision on what is worth seeking and what needs to be dropped right now as the proof can't be made or too expensive to argue.

**((learn the most likely result of the law as it was decided in the past - this is the only thing that I know which is to find as close to your issue in the most recent cases which if you can present your information in the same light it will best get that approval and then acceptance by the judge deciding your actual case. At the very least, you can gather the same information if it was deemed useful in the past case I would hope it would still apply. If you have nothing, then it will not move forward))
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