I had 5k to hire an attorney. He required a 5K retainer. He has a good rep and good peer rating on Martindale. I asked him if he was friends with the opposing counsel (I’ll call John) which he said no. I made it clear that I would not be interested in hiring anyone who was friends with this well connected attorney. Sanctions had to be filed. He assured me he only knew who he was from court.
I found out my attorney lied to me about knowing the opposing counsel and he was John’s sons soccer coach a couple of years ago. On the soccer teams website, the team chaperone and contact was John and his wife. They list each other as friends on FB. I confronted the lie to my attorney and demanded my money back but he refused. I stayed with him because there was not enough money left to start all over with a new attorney. This would explain why he said he would file sanctions against the opposing counsel but has not. In 9 months he has not filed any of the papers I have asked him to file.
When I hired him I had a list of things I wanted to have done. He would call me to have a meeting and charge $600.00. I would ask for an update on the projects I asked him to do and each time he had not done any of them. Time would go by and he not respond to email unless I put some heat in it. He would want to have another meeting where we would cover what exactly what we covered in previous meetings. Part of what needed to be done was a psych eval that came back completely off. The evaluator noted I said things about being disappointed my daughter was autistic. I never said that nor have I ever felt that way. I taped my interview with the psychologist and had proof I did not say those things. Even my attorney believed there people conspiring on this from the opposing counsel. That faulty report would be the only thing my Ex could use in court to try and get custody (I have sole custody
of her). I told my attorney on many occasions not to send a copy of that report to opposing counsel unless they filed discovery so we could figure out what to do about the defective report. My attorney said he should do a deposition on him to which I agreed should be done but he did not do that either.
My Ex has filed for custody to harass me, she has no valid claim there has been a ‘material and substantial change’ in circumstances. I have been the stay-at-home parent with our child since birth. My Ex involved her in a DUI crash witch the DCSF investigated and made a determination of “failure to protect a child”. Even when we met with the custody evaluator for her report, she said she was not going to recommend any change in custody. One would think the issue was done. Then I got notice they were taking it to trial. I couldn’t figure out why. I wrote and asked my attorney if by chance he sent them the faulty psych eval which I told him not to send. He replied and said he sent it and stated there was not legal reason not to send it. My thought is the legal reason was he was told by his client not to send it. He later emailed me after sending the notice of trial that I had used all my 5k retainer and owed him $1200.00 and unless I paid he was withdrawing from the case.
Q1. My question is, before I respond to him, is he correct in saying because there is no legal reason not to send the report justifies why he sent it despite my directive to him not to send it?
To this day, he has not completed 1 of the items I asked to be done and the only papers he has sent is his invoices and the eval to the opposing attorney. I feel confident that the erroneous psych eval is why they decided to go to trial. Now he wants to withdraw as counsel.