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General Chat This forum is for discussing anything that doesn't fit into another forum, or for discussing things that are off topic, or just for general venting.

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Old 03-14-2015, 12:09 PM
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Default My lawyer is an incompetent boob. Complain?

Let me start by saying my sep agreement is turning out fine... me and FX are in 100% sync in terms of whats being split, ss and cs. BUT... how we got here is another matter. When we lawyered up... I provided a draft agreement, all the copies of relevant documentations (bank statements, pension assessment etc etc) to both lawyers. Mine was to write the initial draft, but sat on it for almost 6 weeks... each inquiry costing me roughly $100 to find out "it was being finalized". Finally FX tells me her lawyer received the draft, she sends me a copy (my lawyer didn't review it with me or send me a copy). It looks like her admin drafted it... lots of errors, unneeded clauses, conflicting statements. It looked like it was a cut and paste from my draft into some sep agreement template. Me, my FX and her lawyer are basically looking at this doc and saying WTF?
My lawyers fee to deliver services to day: ~$3000 (coincidentally about the end of my retainer

Now me, my FX and her lawyer corrected all this stupidity and its back in my lawyers hands... pretty much ready to be reviewed and signed off.

Now the question: Do I take time to complain to my lawyer about this crap (at $400/hr)? or do I just eat it, move on and thats that? I'm probably going to have to pony up some more $$ to do the review and sign-off of the final agreement yet.

Last edited by joehobo; 03-14-2015 at 12:18 PM. Reason: missed info
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:31 PM
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Your lawyer is far from incompetent, he's actually a very good lawyer (by good I mean dishonest). This is how a good lawyer makes money they D-R-A-G things out as much as possible, extending billable hours, creating drama and hoping that you and Ex will blame each other for the trouble ...


Endless case conferences and petty motions means extra $$$ for them. The worst thing that you can do (according to a lawyer) is to agree with each other and settle fast.

Words to the wise, settle out of court and self-rep!

Yes by all means you should complain to your lawyer and insist that he/she speeds things up!
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:07 PM
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I don't know I would go so far as dishonest... more so disconnected. We are not being a cash cow.. so I feel like I'm being excessively billed for the amount of actual work that has taken place.

What I find frustrating... is that every time I ask for things to move along... ka-ching! It costs me $100 and nothing happens. If I spent 30 minutes of their time running down how little has been done for whats been charged... would I get anything but a bill for $200?

I guess I know the answer; Suck it up, shut up, and just get through it. My situation could be a billion times worse and I'm two signatures from freedom.
Its good to vent though
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:36 PM
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Of course you complain - and why play the victim card, we have enough of those.

It sounds as though he/she had the staff prepare (late) and send out an agreement without reading. And fwiw, your draft received would cost at least 3xhours for a review - you should have just sent the outline of what you intended the final agreement to be. They all have templates that they draw from to implement their initial draft. To re-draft your agreement would have been time consuming.

You need to let them know their initial draft was full of errors and that you expect some compensation made up in time in finalizing, and you also expect his/her attention to the program. That's fair.
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:41 PM
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So you fix the document and give it back to your lawyer? How does this make sense?

If I thought my lawyer was creating documents with errors in it and sending it out before I had even seen it I surely wouldn't be allowing them to continue providing Shitty service.

What's their to complain about now? You admitted yourself you continued to use him/her AFTER you became aware of their shoddy service.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:15 PM
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If you were in Quebec you would get your money back....

Lawyers are expected to provide skill and expertise commensurate with their experience etc....

You actually pay a lawyer to deliver GOOD WORK not just WORK.... at the same time you don't pay them for results however in this case I would say that since it was a matter of drafting a document where you already agreed on the content he should be paid what the cost would be to draft the document properly.

Also, not reviewing it with you is a pretty major flaw. If there happened to be something you didn't agree with and the other party accepted it could get you in trouble or if something was untrue etc....

Lawyers are often people who couldn't make it into anythign other than social sciences and managed to squirm there way into the only social sciences field that has any career opportunities - you can tell how stupid a lof of them are by their math skills... its ridiculous.... Thank god for their professional insurance
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:19 PM
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I would speak to the lawyer first and explain how long you think it should have taken, the mistakes he made, how much that cost you. Also any other errors he made.

Then ask him to refund you the difference....
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Old 03-21-2015, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdreamy View Post
Of course you complain - and why play the victim card, we have enough of those.

It sounds as though he/she had the staff prepare (late) and send out an agreement without reading. And fwiw, your draft received would cost at least 3xhours for a review - you should have just sent the outline of what you intended the final agreement to be. They all have templates that they draw from to implement their initial draft. To re-draft your agreement would have been time consuming.

You need to let them know their initial draft was full of errors and that you expect some compensation made up in time in finalizing, and you also expect his/her attention to the program. That's fair.
Ok... first this IS the venting section of ODF, so my complaining should not be a problem I am far from a victim.... just betwixt being pissed off and wondering how I could have selected someone who seemed fine to start (she checked out fine on one of those rate your lawyer sites).

My initial draft was a simple bullet point list of things that we had already agreed on, not a full agreement. And from our initial meeting, that was no problem. Now... agreed it would be time consuming to review financial statements, but it was all provided in a nice neat package. Nothing had to be sought out from either party.

I get the feeling that because me and my STBX are so amicable and agreeable on how to wrap up this marriage, the attitude was "well this ones not going to be a cash cow... so I'll just charge out the retainer and focus on my high revenue difficult cases".

Anyway. Its done. In the end, my legal fees are small potatoes compared to what I forked over in equalization. And the lawyers did not attempt to drive any sort of wedge between us, so I'm thankful for that. Things can go sour so quickly, as about 5 minutes of reading on this forum attest to.
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:35 PM
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Yeah probably not worth it....
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:53 AM
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I had the same type of thing happening with my previous lawyer. I ended up firing her. You are paying them money, 400 / hr is sorta an expectation that they to do what's required of them. Fight for you and do it as efficiently as possible.

But reality is for some lawyers that requires extra work, because win or lose, they will get paid. So some take the path of least resistance aka minimum work for max profit.

It's a reality here in Alberta where like the Oil Industry, there is a not enough lawyers and too many divorces/child custody cases.
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