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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 05-20-2006, 11:30 AM
jlalex jlalex is offline
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Default Time to get a new lawyer?

As a continuation from a post I left a couple of days ago..( it was titled 'Does This sound right to you?'

Three months ago we made an appointment for my comman law husband to start divorce proceedings. When we showed up for the appointment the person we were scheduled to see wasn't there, and after a short wait we met with another lawyer. After discussing the case we decided to retain the firm to represent him. She advised it would be best to speak to his ex and see if they can't agree on the terms making things proceed as smoothly as possible. Which he did and all was dandy.

In the passing months we've had our case passed twice, first to the person we were to see initially whom we never heard a peep out of, and then onto the lawyer we are dealing with presently. After much back and forth with emails we got to a point of outlining what we would like in the seperation agreement. There must have been some crossed lines somewhere because she came back with an email that made no sense. It was decided that he should come in and speak with her personally so she can explain things. So he makes the appointment for yesterday. Shows up after a 45 minute drive..only to find out she cancelled the appointment by leaving a message on his work vmail after he had left for the day. And as he had this appointment arranged he took the day off of work so he was able to attend and never got the vmail.

Sorry for the long windedness but it really feels like we are running around in circles here..we retained them and we've had nothing but conflicting advice from the lawyers we dealt with and 0 for 2 for personal meetings..needless to say he's pretty darned frustrated...he wants to fire her and get his retainer back..(and I think its pretty unlikely he'll get the whole retainer back as I'm sure they will want to be paid for their time, even if the information was mostly wrong) and I personally dread the idea of starting all over again and haven't any idea where to find a 'good' lawyer. We've talked about the possibility of hiring a paralegal whom we spoke with a few years ago that said divorce papers could be filed and have the divorce granted and say that the seperation agreement is in the works at this time and will be filed at a later that correct? and I wonder if we might have difficulty as the child lives in a different jurisdiction 4 hours away...and end up having to hire a lawyer in the long run....

I feel like throwing my hands up in the air over the whole thing.....

as always any advice or thoughts or personal experiences would be very helpful.

Old 05-20-2006, 01:23 PM
Divorcemanagement Divorcemanagement is offline
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Hi Jlalex - I posted the following in a similar thread - might be helpful.

It's easy to feel trapped and I certainly sympathize with your situation. If your lawyer feels that you are undermining him/her, then it's a good idea to reel in your lawyer's approach so that you can determine if it resembles yours. When my colleague and I are coaching our clients on how to manage their lawyer, we are always amazed by how most people are intimidated by their lawyer's role. From our perspective, divorce is intimidating enough and you need to feel that your lawyer is responding to your needs.

So here are some basic rules:

1) Does your lawyer immediately send you copies of all correspondence with opposing counsel?
2) Is your lawyer's case management exceptional - meaning how your lawyer is explaining the steps you are both undertaking, does your lawyer look at your relationship as collaborative or not?
3)When your lawyer recommends a course of action, does he/she explain the legal reasoning behind it and any possible likely outcomes?
4) Does your lawyer accept written instructions from you and if not, why?
5) Does your lawyer actively request your instructions or does he/she simply state, "here's what we're going to do next"

It's your money and it's your life. Yes divorce is expensive, you have every right to take steps that will minimize your legal fees. So here is a question to ask your lawyer:

"What kinds of steps do you as my lawyer recommend that we take to reduce conflict, reduce legal fees and promote settlement?"

If you get a mushy answer - get a different lawyer.
Old 05-21-2006, 01:01 PM
jlalex jlalex is offline
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Default thanks..

thanks Sean, thats great advice and definitely something to keep in mind as we go along
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