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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 19327
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I am in a non married child custody case, Monterey process

Customer Question

I am in a non married child custody case, Monterey process to get a pro bono lawyer through a state-funded Community Law Center in Florida who is under the level of a 501c3 organization. They get State funding. I live paycheck to paycheck and had to get a $10,000 family loan to continue with my attorney fees myself. The man chooses not to work even though we both are college-educated. I have also spent $30,000 already I'm past attorneys him drop me because I couldn't afford it. It's a very bad situation because we have one child who is 6 years old and the money that we make goes to him and I am the only one working. The attorney for the mom who had the referral for this organization and has stated for the record that he's a pro bono lawyer, he's not charging for his services. Yet he filed a motion in court and pleaded to the judge that he wants all fees paid at $350 per hour and that I owe him $10,000 and if we go to a trial, he will probably be close to $35,000. He's not feeling me, he's stealing our sun and utilising and exploiting the mom and my viewpoint. What is the law on this area? I just don't understand how an attorney can make a profit for the organisation in such a level it's unbelievable. And I know now why he didn't try to meet any type of deal and screw me breast lumps for every other weekend with no decision rights when I am so heavily involved with our son. What do I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry, but I am having trouble understanding your post.

Kindly review, edit, properly identify the parties and your issues, ask specific question(s), and resubmit.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am in a non married family law case for one child custody situation. The mom got a pro bono volunteer free attorney through the community Law Center, he is a volunteer staff there, which is a 503 / a /c corporation. This attorney never requested it or filed for any fees to the mom ever, including the present time. All of a sudden, this attorney requested an amended response to collect for attorney fees and wants $10,000 from me, and wants to charge for current and future fees at me exceed $30,000. This kind of explains why he never try to work out a mediation deal when I opened so heavily involved that every level with our son, why you pushes for separation vs mediation. The policy at the community law program and St Petersburg Florida specifically States as you can see under website, that no employee nor any employee at all are allowed to make a profit. Its a charitable we're going to isation. Nonprofit status. Dad makes 70,000 per year, mom who is also college educated specifically chooses not to work, and doesn't want to work. This all in common child support and all costs are coming from the dad. Dad had to get a 10000 hour alone just a pay up his current lawyer who he lost recently now because of lack of funds. Dad is $100,000 and debt, and those paycheck by paycheck. He pays child support at 800 dollars per month which was not calculated, it was actually completed by verbal stating agreement and I should be paying 357 per month. I spoke to the community law program executive director, he really didn't know what to say, and then hung up the phone. I asked how can he bill for services and witty already provided for free and collected under the pro bono hours for his license. As I left into things more and more, I realized he has a pattern and this is not just some volunteer job, this is a referral source. He weeds out to parents that have salaries which most of them do, he also represents to in the gin in the pork was automatically allows him to collect his money after his volunteer hours are completed. He actually pushes for trials when I could be easily resolve in mediation, cousin mediator wanted to throw up all over to place listening to this attorney when I hadn't. And the violin, is this a try is extremely unethical, he intimidate sand threatens other people and witnesses for me, he called my other pass attorney and pretended he was my attorney to get pillows information from him about me and tricked him. Most important I find that this lawyer, is nasty and I want to know how I can look up the see if he has collected money from other individual clients opposing party and see if he asked me collected at money? Because he filed in court that he's collecting all the fees for himself, but then after I complain to the law Center, he changed verbally to the judge and stated that well I'm actually going to make the money for the community law Center. So what should I do? I want to find out if he has a pattern of the history of doing this, which is very on a sicko, and if you did do it, did he keep the money in the password ***** you give it to the community law Center? What should I do? How do I deal with this? I no longer have an attorney because I ran out I'm money. I keep on running out of money, I have lost 3 attorneys and this drags on, I have spent $40,000 on half of it through loan source I pay back every month, I have no credit, & I owe all of my attorneys about $5000 each. This attorney thanks that I have all this money and I am switching attorneys by choice, each time its because I couldn't afford them anymore. This has taken away all of our sons College shavings as he is 6 years old, all of the security, I lost his health insurance plan, & I am so stressed out I don't know what Bill to put told next month. This is devastating and the mom really has no se so, because it's attorney does what he wants without even asking her. So my big question is what do I do?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the information.

Eventhough the Community Law Center is volunteer non-profit organization, the Attorneys who take cases from the referrals from the Community Law Center are the employees of the Center and can legally file for Attorney fees from the opposing party for representing the indigent Clients eventhough they are not charging fees to the indigent Clients.The Center can also file for Attorney fees from the opposing part for representation of the indigent Clients. This fee arrangement is legal. However, it would be unethical for the Attorney to drag out a case not in the best interest of his Clients just to accumulate more billable hours and increase his fees.

As for trying to find if there is a pattern, I am not sure how this can be accomplished because the Community Law Center cannot release information about the Attorney or the Clients that the Attorney has represented without the Attorney's consent or the consent of the former Clients. Nonetheless, you can contact Florida Attorney Discipline to see if there are complaints against this Attorney with regarding to his billing practices. Click here to learn how to search for the information.

Also, it is unethical and violation of Professional Rules of Conduct for the Attorney to fraudulently claim that he was representing you to obtain confidential information from your Attorney. You can file complaint against the Attorney with Florida Attorney Discipline.

Kindly give a positive rating to my response so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for doing this.

Thank you for your cooperation.