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Old 10-13-2010, 10:10 PM
verytiredmother verytiredmother is offline
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I had the same lawyer for three years. He did the not replying to voice messages and emails, which is extremely frustrating and stressful. I was afraid to change lawyers because of the expense, as I didn't have money for a new retainer. However, he also "misfiled" documents and actually had me taking my ex to a case conference on the belief this would force him to file his financial statement--only to admit later that my ex had filed it. I worked part-time when we separated, most of the family debt was on my name as I was the one who arranged for the kids' ortho, etc. and I worried about paying my oldest's uni fees, etc. My lawyer had me carrying all this, fighting my ex regularly for support payment, etc. and when he did communicate with me it was with misinformation, general theoretical stuff and never addressed any of my specific questions. When my ex's lawyer sent an offer to settle, my lawyer sat on it letting the deadline pass, so it looked like I was not being cooperative. In other words, my legal fees were up to about $12,000--for nothing but headache. I kept all the emails, though. And finally caught him in a lie, trying once again to force me to go to court, making me believe my ex's lawyer was not willing to settle. It took me about two weeks of meeting with my lawyer and going back and forth, but I finally fired him and got a full refund--though I regret I signed that I'd not sue him or file a compliant, which I really should have. I represented myself after that, though I paid for a lawyer to review the final agreement. Divorced within months of firing the lawyer.

It was a hard lesson although a happy ending but I learned it's best to cut your losses and listen to your gut. It can cost a lot more to stay with a bad lawyer. And be assertive. A lawyer is a service provider. You are the customer. Some of them need to be reminded of this.