"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers…”

I have an attorney with a $5K deposit working on my brothers divorce and trying to clear up his child support arrears. He's supposed to send me a statement every month.  Last month it wasn't bad, detailed enough - this month they have a new paralegal and the lawyer hasn't done anything really. 

Here's what my bill said:
Work on motion...1.80hrs, $540.00
Explore offer in compensation and arrears payment… 2.2 hrs, $660.00.

I called the paralegal to ask “Work on motion?  What motion??  Offer?  We got an offer?” and said that I was supposed to get copies of all correspondence they sent or received (which I haven't).  I actually had to show her where in the agreement it said that, because she couldn’t find it!! 

You see, the lawyer said he could finish it all by February - he's had the case since mid-November and so far I've seen NOTHING. 

I had contacted his previous paralegal last month and said "we know where his wife is right now, get me the papers and we can serve her".  She said she'd let him know and...nothing.  We missed her and now she's gone again.

The lawyer is dragging his feet and wanted to have a phone conversation today explaining how I misunderstood the timing and issues involved in this case. I did not want to have a "you poor ignorant child, let the big lawyer tell you how you don't understand" conversation...but I didn’t have to, because he FORGOT TO CALL. 

I emailed the paralegal and said “well, he didn’t call” and she wrote back “oh, uh I just reminded him –are you available now?”.  I told her that I was going into a meeting and no, I wasn’t.  I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of calling me at his convenience.

Anyway, I sent a certified letter today demanding a detailed billing and all correspondence.  Let’s see where that gets me.

PS:  I emailed a girlfriend in Texas who is a lawyer, and she says lawyers do this all the time, and that most are swine.  THIS coming from a lawyer.  First laugh I had all day!!


Unknown said…
Awful, just awful. Do you have any of this written? Sounds like he breached a contract.... Maybe take him to Judge Judy... She might like a piece of him :)

We've been using a family friend as our attorney to settle Mom's will and he gave us a discount off his usual hourly fee AND an additional courtesy discount (I think because he's a friend of my father), so I can't complain. I used to be a legal secretary, though, so I really do agree with your friend about the majority of them. As a matter of fact, one Christmas I bought a beautiful plaque with Mr. Shakespeare's spot-on suggestion and gave it to my boss. Fortunately, he was amused!

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