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John
John, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4523
Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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When I hired my divorce atty, he said 10K upfront and if we

Customer Question

When I hired my divorce atty, he said 10K upfront and if we go to court, there would be an additional 10K fee that had to be paid by the day before court .... I have an appt tomorrow am ( 1 hour ) and an appt on 10/24 ( 1 hour ) and then court is 10/25 .... So far, he has really done nothing except filed a few things .... When I asked him ( at my last appt ) what his plan was,etc. , he said that he hasn't even looked over everything yet ..... I also asked him if he has an accountant ( or someone ) that looks over all the financials that my husband provided ...and he said no.... I looked through them and saw a bunch of false statements, etc ....but was wondering if they had caught any of them .... Anyway, his office called today and said that I will have to bring the additional $10k before he will see me ......I reminded them of our agreement ( that I will pay the $10K on the day before we go to court. She became like a bully and said , if you do not come prepared to pay the $10k , he said that he will not see you and he will fire you as a client .....I was shocked .....he has told me that I had to pay the $10k in the past when we thought that we were going to court within a week or two and those times, I reminded him of our agreement and I did not pay ....which was very lucky for me bc court was postponed and rescheduled for a month or two later .... My credit cards are maxed out because of this divorce .... I have $1
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John replied 1 month ago.

It sounds like you are either unaware of what he is doing, or he hasn't done anything and you are being ripped off. What I'd suggest you do is ask for a detailed billing of the hours he has billed and for what. This should be a record he regularly keeps in any event.

Expert:  John replied 1 month ago.

Sorry to bother you, but you haven't yet provided a positive rating for this answer. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE RATING FOR THE EXPERT TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT, if not the site keeps your money on deposit and I get no credit for the work I put into the matter. Thanks.

Customer: replied 30 days ago.
He does not bill by the hour .... there are 5 -6 "big dog " attorneys in this town and they have quite the racquet going on here.... they bill by the case . I had to pay him $10k when I hired him and he said if we ended up going to court, I would have to pay him an additional $10K by the day before our court date .... and none of that money is refundable .... so if we had settled in one week after I hired him, none of the $10k would be returned ..... he tried to get the additional $10k another time, and I explained to him that he had told me that the money would not be due until the day before we actually went to court. So he backed down that time. I had VERY little face to face time with the attorney and did not call him with questions or problems or anything of that nature .... I was VERY concerned that we were not prepared for our court date .... because he had not gotten all of my information from me .... our court date was October 25th .... so this was several days before we were to go to court ..... a week prior to this , I had an appt with him and I asked him what to expect on the 25th ( what our plan was ) and he responded that he had not even looked over all of it yet & he did not know ..... He is one of the big dog divorce attys in this town .... it's Mobile, AL .... nothing big like ATL .... if you do not get him or one of the other big dogs , you are pretty much going to lose .... he was in tight with the Judge that we were originally assigned, but before we made it to court, that Judge resigned .... I have a feeling that this new Judge did not care much for my attorney .... and I was very nervous to trust that my attorney was going to win this case for me because he did not have any od my information other than the documents that were requested in the INTERROGATORIES ( bank statements, etc ) Even the list of assets that I gave him we useless because he laughed in a previous appt and told me that he did not understand them and could not make sense out of them ... his office staff was rude and short with me since day one and I felt very attacked any time that I asked a question .... it was a very strange situatiuon .... I need to decide how to proceed.... not sure if this was included in my original question to you, but after his office called me on 10/19 and demanded that I bring the additional $10K to our appt at 9am the following morning, I told them that I was prepared to pay the additional $10K on 10/24 ( per our agreement ) ....they told me that he would not see me for our appt on 10/20 unless I paid the $10K on 10/20 ....I went in for the appt at 9am on 10/20 and his asst immediately said " do you have the money?" I told her that I had a few questions to discuss with him before I would pay him the additional $10K .... she then told me that he was not even there and that he would not come in unless I paid the $10K ..... I know that it sounds like I probably did something wrong, but I did not ..... this is insane ..... after allof this, he filed a motion to continue and he filed a request to be removed as counsel based on my not holding up my financial responsibility .....not exactly worded like that .....but it was a lie ... he demanded the money before it was actually due is has now fired me and of course he is keeping my original $10K and has done very very little work on my case .....
Expert:  John replied 30 days ago.

You should consider filing a grievance with the state bar (https://www.alabar.org/for-the-public/) for an excessive fee and demanding an unearned fee under Rule 1.5 of the rules of professional ethics.

Customer: replied 30 days ago.
Thank you for that .... What about him asking to be removed as counsel & stating that it was because I would not pay him ... that means he flat out lied to Judge Honeycutt .... I did say that I would not pay him .... I said that the money was not due until the 24th .....and I told him that I had questions that I needed answers to before I could pay him .... I feel like there is more to it than just excessive fees and demanding unearned fee .... do you think that I need to speak to an attorney here in Mobile before I do anything ?... I want to make sure that I do everything properly because I am VERY angry that he thinks that it is okay to do this to people ... and I want to make sure that I give them all the information that is necessary to be sure that he is stopped from doing this to anyone else ....Will I have to sue if I want to try to get some of my first $10k back from him? Or will the complaint with the bar be enough ? I printed off the forms last week to file a complaint, but wanted to make sure that I include enough info in the complaint without junking it up with unecessary information ..... I am very upset that he lied to the Judge when requesting to be removed as counsel ... is there anything additional that I can do about that ?
Expert:  John replied 30 days ago.

When you go to the grievance commission they will try to get you to mediate. If he doesn't agree to that it will be up to the commission to either charge him and get the money back. If that doesn't work then I'd suggest you sue for breach of contract. He proobably did lie to the judge, but frankly that's not going to tgo anywhere...you'd be far better pursuing the path I just suggested.

Expert:  John replied 28 days ago.

Sorry to bother you, but you haven't yet provided a positive rating for this answer. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE RATING FOR THE EXPERT TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT, if not the site keeps your money on deposit and I get no credit for the work I put into the matter. Thanks.