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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 26890
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I need to go to a MD courtroom tomorrow to see if they will

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I need to go to a MD courtroom tomorrow to see if they will turn over exhibits to me, as they sent a letter to my former attorney who still appears to be my attorney in the court record. Without going into details, he is not representing me anymore. My ex. fired his attorney, and represented himself at followup hearings/trials. I have good reason to be concerned and need those exhibits before he gets them, but he might have already gotten them as the letter indicates the plaintiff's or defendant's attorney needs to pick up the exhibits or they will be destroyed. What do I need to do to get the courthouse to turn the exhibits over to me tomorrow? If I write a letter to the courthouse explaining the attorney no longer represents me will that be enough?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Roger : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Family Law litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist
Roger : Yes, you - as the party in the case - have a right to recover the exhibits from your case. If you have terminated your attorney, you can give a written statement indicating that you're pro se (acting as your own attorney) and that you terminated your lawyer.
Roger : That should give you clearance to obtain the records.
Customer:

I have no idea of correct format, no time to research that either as this is urgent. My ex. would have received the notice about two days before me at least, as he had no attorney. Could you recommend a resource that would help me see how to format notices, motions, etc? It is not that I would not love an attorney, but I have been advised I will have to likely go out of the area and pay a lot of money.

Roger : There's no motion necessary as you're jut responding to a notice that the court clerk issued. There should be no need to do anything except to appear and recover the exhibits.
Roger : The only reason you'd need a statement is if they told you that the records would only be released to your attorney. In that instance, you could state that you are no longer represented by an attorney and that the records can be returned to you.
Roger : There's no specific format for something like this. Instead, it would just be a written statement to the clerk if it were to require something before turing the exhibits over to you.
Customer:

They have in the past indicated that since the attorney was on record there were certain things I could not view pr they had to deal with the attorney directly. Yet, I have also been told due to the passage of time that was not the case. Still, whenever there, invariably there is something where I am told it would have to be the attorney. My ex. then is advantaged as he can view thing as he has been pro se for a while, but his lawyer entered that into the record. My lawyer has not entered that into the record. I asked someone at the courthouse to please indicate in the record that my attorney no longer represents me, not to mail stuff to him, and to mail it to me. Still, this letter was mailed to my attorney and presumably to my ex., based on the letter as he has no attorney, and he therefore would have received it before me. What do I need to do to make sure they enter into the record I am pro se, at least until I can find an attorney?

Roger : In order to do this formally, you or your attorney would have to file a motion to withdraw the attorney as the attorney of record for you.
Roger : Your attorney should be the one to get this done because that's the only thing that officially lets him off the hook as being your attorney of record.
Customer:

Is there a text book or something that would just give an example of a motion. My attorney wants a letter, but I think he abandoned me. He only generically named the pension, meaning a marital share of Company Xs pension in the decree, my ex. marked up a draft QDRO that greatly modifies the divorce decree, so he knows there are problems. The plan was not frozen, and nothing was written in the decree that really wraps up the house. He said he won't help with any of that, and requested I write him a letter telling him he was no longer my lawyer. I want to write to the court, since it has been so long anyways. He has not done anything for me other than forward this letter in well over a year.

Customer:

Also, I need something rather quick, as I need them to be willing to pass exhibits to me.

Customer:

Before they pass them to him.

Roger : The proper way under Maryland Rule 2-132 requires the attorney to file a motion to withdrawal his appearance accompanied by a letter indicating that you wish to terminate the relationship.
Roger : Thus, if you get the lawyer a letter firing him, then he should file the motion asap.
Roger : Your attorney could also call the clerk and tell them to release the documents to you if you run into trouble trying to get them.
Customer:

Basically, things are screwed up, and I needed his help. He copped out, I did not fire him.

Roger : That's likely why he requested the letter - - so he could process this.
Roger : But, for the purposes of recovering the exhibits, you should be able to do this with a verbal ok from the lawyer if the clerk tries to give you a hard time about handing it out.
Customer:

My immediate problem is getting the exhibits before he does. He was able to get away without passing me anything that was agreed upon, as the divorce decree was not worded well, and was vague. I tried but there was no way to get it fixed, as the judge controlled things such as delaying, rescheduling trials, giving him another chance, etc. - then it was beyond 90 days through no fault of my own.

Customer:

I never did sign the divorce decree, and neither did my ex.

Roger : Usually, the clerk only gives the party it's exhibits back. For instance, the plaintiff would get his/her exhibits that were introduced, and the defendant would get back his/her exhibits that were introduced.
Roger : Thus, neither party should be entitled to get all of the original exhibits.
Customer:

He was called deceptive, he was called the most passive aggressive withness in 18 years, he admitted adultury, he was abusive, it was a 24 year marriage. The written law is misleading. There is no attempt to be equitable at all, it is dangerous to even tell people there is. I tell all young people the law is useless, as the decision is made before you get through the court doors, and you are not privy to what the lawyer is going to say when he gets in front of the judge, and you are not free to speak. No matter how hard you try to fix it afterwards, it is beyond your control. I never got to sit with my ex. in a room, with both lawyers before we entered the court room. The letter makes it sound like one person could get the whole thing.

Roger : It is definitely hard to try to fix/change something after the fact in a legal proeeding.
Roger : Nothing is easy.
Roger : However, if you get the attorney the letter, he should withdraw posthaste.
Customer:

That last sentence referring to the exhibits. I would never had made the decisions I had made in my life had I had any idea that the lawyers decide it all. He did not turn anything over to my lawyer until a couple days before court apparently, and then I was told he could not find something, then it was not a real statement, and he showed up to court without even a paycheck. I did complain about that, but had to be very assertive to even get a copy of a paycheck before child support was calculated. It was a farce. My traditional IRA was counted twice saying I had more money than I did. The pension that was supposed to be shared was not named correctly, but generically. The other information regarding savings was misworded. I cannot imagine it was not deliberate. As there was not even a hint that I cheated, or was abusive to him, and I did work, as well as moved for his job, I am dumbfounded. The lawyer though shares the same last name as someone whom investigates for the AGC so no one will help. I got ZERO of what was awareded, and stuck paying for the mortgage, all expenses for a long time way with no way to compensate as he withdrew funds and bought his own house within weeks of leaving the house. Is there ever an exception to the 90 day rule.

Roger : Generally, no.
Roger : IF the answer is not timely filed, there's usually nothing that can be done to cure the default.
Customer:

My ex. already withdrew from accounts, and produced a so called "statement" that was not a real statement. Now he has marked up a draft DRO which states if the money is not there I cannot go after subsequent accounts, and incorporated a judgment from money he already withdrew to be transferred from the account that he says if the money is not there I cannot go after accounts, but would have to go after his estate - like after he died. Who needs a lawyer then, that was crazy? You say generally no, when might there be an exception. It was not a problem with a timely answer. I immediately saw the problem, and refused to sign the decree, as did my ex. Then the judge kept postponing to give my ex time to gather up proof he had good reason to withdraw from accounts, which he had been deceptive about so it was not readily apparent at the original trial. It happened too close to trial and the bad info passed on too close to trial to do anything about it.

Customer:

He was asked to produce that information about a year before trial, then by July, then by October, then by January, and then given another chance until February. By February, it was beyond 90 days, as the decree got signed in October, reserving on marital property. It was signed by the judge. I was told that was the only way to get child support. It was a set up I think.

Roger : There are few rules that have no exceptions, so that's why the response is couched in general terms.
Customer:

It was not as if anyone even asked if I would accept 30%. Apparently, if you do not save in your own name, they do not really believe the law that it is all marital property. The problem is, these defense contractors can have money pulled out in many ways. For a while money pulled straight from my ex.'s paycheck to bonds, to a 401-k, and then to a whole other account, and during a time when I made as much money, but did not have those options at my work place. Where could I find the exceptions?

Roger : However, usually, something like fraud or a mistake or excusable neglect, etc. could be grounds to seek relief, but there's no guarantee.
Roger : There's no list of exceptions that I'm aware of. Instead, it's more about theories that may give a party traction to request relief from the court.
Customer:

This is why I need the exhibits. Fraud might be grounds even after 90 days I think you are saying. I cannot find a lawyer though who will subpeona. Is there any restriction on the number of times I can call the QDRO administration? I was told that is who I should call, they say I can call them, but one lawyer who said he would be willing to file a QDRO keeps saying he has not called the QDRO administration. Yet I think he should have called them, as the QDRO administration suggested a new subpoena, and indicated there may be a reason all information did not pass during a previous subpoena. My ex. works in HR in a way, and he may not have entered all information. They did not say that though, but indicated all information might not have been entered. Then I found out the accounts were not frozen, and was told he might have withdrawn from the accounts and they could not have stopped him, although they did not say he had actually done that, just that they could not have stopped him.

Customer:

The only reason a subpoena was issued was because I could see he had to have withdrawn and found out after the trial the statement my lawyer could not find to show me was not a real statement. Also, my IRA balance was counted twice against me.

Customer:

He said the

Roger : I don't know that there's a restriction on the number of times to contact the administrator.
Roger : You should be able to get copies of the exhibits as they're part of the court record.
Customer:

He said he did not get the statement until the week before. The last pre-trial hearing was about 10 days before the trial, the previous one the month before that, meaning no time to subpeona and get responses. I was told we could not discuss finances at each, that the master insisted we discuss custody. Yet before that, I was told I would have to give him a chance to see what documents he brought to the pre-trial hearing. In MD, if someone lies in court, and commits fraud, but you did not somehow get the documents by court to show he was lying, then they will admonish the person with words, but tell the other party it was not their fault for getting the proof. Yet, my lawyer told me the judges would not approve a subpoena unless I had proof he was lying or had lied, yet that is the only way to get proof, especially if he does not turn anything over until it is too late to get a response from a subpoena, and withdraws shortly before trial.

Roger : It
Roger : It would be impossible for me to opine as to the procedure because I'm not aware of everything that has occurred. But, as to the issue of getting the exhibits, there should be no issue with getting at least copies of them.
Customer:

I

Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 26890
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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