Posted by Steve
To get hired, he presented himself to me as a hotshot, with experience in a similar case. In fact, he was unfamiliar with the area of law and made no effort to learn it. He was determined to find out how hard a fight he’d face. I could not have guessed that he dreads going head-to-head with a seasoned trial attorney, after boasting decades of experience. He described it as a major responsibility. I could not have guessed that he is unable to hold his own with a seasoned attorney. I hired him knowing no better.
Never again will I hire an attorney who attended a 4th tier law school. He doesn’t have a JD law degree.
In his online video ad, he suggests that he’s superior to NYC attorneys. In fact, he failed to stand his ground with a NYC attorney. His rates are lower than NYC rates to lure the client seeking value at bargain prices but higher than the going rate to lure the client who may believe that more expensive = better.
I was embarrassed to see how inept he is. His adversary called his bluff all throughout trial. Konstanty stood mute when the judge asked him why the Statute of Frauds didn’t apply. He leafed aimlessly through papers when the judge asked him for legal authority. He didn’t know to object to an exhibit offered as pivotal proof with question marks and scribbles all over and numbers that admittedly couldn’t be explained or connected to the lawsuit. It was a comic strip. He doesn’t know rules of admissibility.
He doesn’t prepare his client for trial. I was taken by surprise when he asked me on the witness stand to explain the law to the judge. I paid him to explain the law to the judge. He doesn’t call his client on the phone to announce the trial date or send notice by U.S. mail. Instead he emails notice only days in advance. He told me that he isn’t responsible if his clients don’t read his email. He emails his policy on reading his email.
When I asked him after trial why he didn’t show the weaknesses in my adversary’s case, he told me that it would be irresponsible of him to discuss a legal matter with a client. Huh?!?!
Posted by a Litigation client
There are serious problems with James Konstanty in the context of his private law practice. I provide a small sample of my experiences as his client. I learned of and witnessed others’ consistent with mine.
Mr. Konstanty ensures that settlement talks fail and cases go to trial. For him, settlement is a loss of income. He accomplishes this by widening the gap between the parties, after the other side acts in good faith in the settlement conference to narrow the gap. Mr. Konstanty understands well the economics of settlement.
The day before trial, Konstanty threatens to show up at trial only to make a motion to withdraw unless given much additional money at that time – even when funding remains on retainer. He throws his client out of his office if his demand is not satisfied. Delaware County Bar President had to intervene to instruct Mr. Konstanty to provide legal presentation at trial the next day.
Rather than fulfill his professional and ethical duty to advance his client’s interests in trial, Konstanty omits from evidence all exhibits that support his client’s case, and enters into evidence duplicate exhibits to support the case of his client’s adversary. This is what Mr. Konstanty means when he threatens to “undo” his client. Konstanty denies his client the opportunity in trial to testify in their own interests and puts words in his client’s mouth that undermine their own case. Worse, when examining his client’s adversary on the witness stand, he employs the technique of leading to steer this witness to claim credit for his client’s contributions. It is not for nothing that he speaks of his demons.
The saving grace for a defendant represented by Mr. Konstanty is that if his client loses in trial because of the legal error that the plaintiff failed to sustain the burden of proof, reversal on appeal as a matter of law can reasonably be expected. Mr. Konstanty strives to bring about this legal error. He also preserves the right of his client’s adversary to appeal any potential denial of relief, to invite the other side to appeal. He thus hedges his bets. Appeals increase his revenue, whether he is petitioner or respondent.
Appeals by Mr. Konstanty are especially costly because at the completion of trial, he threatens again to make a motion to withdraw, if not given substantially more to file a written case Summation. He states that a second payment will have to follow the first, putting the cost of representation well over double his originally stated cost. This is before getting to an appeal. Where this demand is not met and the client tells him that they will save money and file their own Summation, he replies that the client is “so wrong.”
Mr. Konstanty actually takes his clients to Arbitration to obtain money for their efforts. He collects all documents that he received from his client and shows the collection to the Arbitrator. Konstanty is quite the buffoon. He says to the Arbitrator that he “trusts” it is unnecessary to identify details of the professional services that he would have the Arbitrator believe he rendered. Even though Konstanty loses, next he refuses to return his client’s file unless given more money. Mr. Konstanty, as if putting forth a rational explanation, told me that if he doesn’t cheat his clients, he cheats himself.
Mr. Konstanty devotes an inordinate amount of time to pranks. Pranks obsess his mind. For example, after telling his client the day and time of a conference, he adjourns it, but waits until after the time his client would depart for it to send an email notification of the adjournment. He acts to ensure a wasted trip. He views his pranks, most benevolently characterized, as funny, a showing of prowess. He is so warped that he thinks a client's attempt to learn when a conference will be held is cause for vengeance. Konstanty's case is sad from a clinical perspective. He doesn’t want help. His part-time county job serves the purpose of apparent legitimacy.
Posted by a Real Estate client
What a prospective client sees on a "free" initial consultation is not what a client gets. Mr. Konstanty makes a mockery of not only his duties as a member of the legal profession but of the legal system. It is not in him to care about the rights or interests of a client.
Mr. Konstanty does not have a command of the law sufficient to argue the law. He does not spend the time to learn the facts of a case, even though he charges many times over nonetheless. If he omits a fact, no matter how critical to advance his client's interests, he will not cure the omission because he is too ashamed to admit an omission or that he got something wrong. Instead, he goes to extraordinary lengths to make sure that a judge knows nothing about the facts that are on the side of his client. He even tells the judge false information to ensure his client's defeat, if the client does not satisfy his demands, all in violation of his retainer agreement. He makes a joke of not living up to his retainer agreement.
This is not someone who can help you. Retain someone else.