When the day began, I felt overwhelmed. Now something is different.
I’m different. I forced myself to do something unpleasant today, but I’m a stronger person now. I read through the binder of an attorney who ripped me off three years ago against whom I recently filed a grievance. It was a large binder I’d been avoiding for a week or two, but I realize now there was nothing in there I should be afraid of. Nothing but a little concentration.
He took my money and lied to me, refused to answer my phone calls or any of my questions about the case, had his staff mislead me. He talked to the opposing lawyer behind my back and offered to throw out my case while having his staff ask me for an affidavit that they were going to tinker with after I got it notarized. His office repeatedly botched service of my ex-husband, delaying the court date by nine months. His office phone bill shows a total of 7 phone calls to Rochester during the 14 months he represented me, and the two longest calls are to phone numbers that were never mine. His staff could not get the spelling of my ex’s last name right. They accidentally contradicted him in their affidavits under oath trying to make me look like I was both hysterical and inattentive to my own case. All of them swore up and down that I never asked to speak to the man with whom I signed the contract.
When I looked closer at the contents of the binder, I see how I might have won the case had my attorney examined my ex-husband’s evidence closely or questioned the fact that my ex-husband’s employer shredded evidence. All that really matters now is whether the review board rules that I should get my retainer fee back and whether punitive damages are in order. God only knows if I’ll ever actually get child support.
Sadly, the more I deal with lawyers, the more I see the same kind of behavior over and over again. Botched service of the opposing party, refusal to speak up before the judge because the client is in another state or to thoroughly examine evidence. Does anyone know how to get a good attorney? Is it a matter of what they can convince you of in the beginning and how much money they feel they can get out of you before they let your case fall apart?