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Jennifer L. Ellis
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Jennifer Ellis’s Answers

4,548 total


  • I was recently divorced and during the process, my attorney did some of what I feel are highly

    unethical and potentially criminal things during the divorce process. I talked to him about it and complained and I have even considered filing complaints with the state, but weather it will go anywhere I do not know. What I want to do is "expo...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    The solution to your problem is a complaint to the disciplinary board. That is how attorneys are disciplined if they have done something wrong. Exposing him, as you say, whether you are truthful or not, could still lead to a lawsuit. The attorney might not win, but you would face the expense and stress of trying to get the suit dismissed or perhaps even going to trial to prove that your claims are true.

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  • My ex husband's wife is trashing me on her Facebook page, can I sure her?

    My ex husband's new wife put stuff on her Facebook ( public so everyone can see her posts )to upset me( she didn't put my name on it, I juts think she is talking about me ) and I complained about it to my ex husband and she blocked me from her Fac...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    If she is simply posting obnoxious things that are her opinion about you, or she is posting factual things that are true, there really isn't much for you to do about it. People are, legally, allowed to trash other people online. If she is threatening you with physical violence, that would be an issue for the police. If he is posting things as if they are facts that are causing you harm, not emotional harm but along the lines of costing you a job, then you could look into a suit for defamation.

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  • Can I ask my attorney to cap my billed case costs to $500 for law suit without filing?

    Can I ask that there is a cancellation option with X fee if after 6 or 8 months if X amount of dollars isnt settled upon? I know that isnt ideal but every contract I have seen seems to protect the attorney and give them the right to terminate, but...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    $500 in case costs isn't very much at all. You might really be making it impossible for your lawyer to do much on your behalf, depending on the kind of case. You can ask for anything you like, of course, but you may not find an attorney willing to agree if he thinks it means he cannot properly handle your case.

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  • Can a court appointed attorney charge client legal fees?

    My daughter recently went through a criminal court case. Her court appointed attorney missed court dates on several occasions (once with a valid excuse that he was on another case). He told her yesterday that he missed the last court date intent...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    It depends on the circumstances of the appointment. If he is state appointed and state paid, then yes, he will be paid by the state. However, the court could argue that your daughter have to pay something towards his fees. That would go to the court which would, in turn, pay the lawyer.

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  • Is it ethical for a sitting judge to contact multiple plaintiff in foreclosure action if plaintiff doesnt show up & reschedule?

    Plaintiff did not show up for foreclosure hearing, instead of judge dismissing he contacted multiple parties from the plaintiffs firm and re-scheduled the hearing.

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Yes, it is ethical for a judge to do so, if he believes it is appropriate. Judges can choose to reschedule as they desire. They have a great deal of discretion in such matters. It would take extreme behavior to be considered an abuse of that discretion.

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  • I have an involuntary tpr case

    That i believe there is substantial unethical and rules of professional conduct were not followed and i have contacted the bar, they have insisted that i file a complaint against the attorney but i am wanting to know if I request the email commun...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    You can file your complaint. You do not need to do the investigation, the bar will do that. You do not have the basis to request email communication of the attorney with other parties, no. You have a right to a copy of your own file and anything contained within it. But the attorney's communications with other parties are not likely to be part of your file and are likely to be confidential as to those individuals. If any emails are needed, the bar will get them and review them as appropriate.

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  • In a civil lawsuit, does the plaintiffs attorney have any ethical and professional responsibility to contact .....

    The defendant, the court, etc if my lawyer stopped responding to all "served paperwork on my behalf" in my case. Discovery, appeals, motions, conferences/hearings? I recently found out my lawyer F&$@ED me

    Jennifer’s Answer

    The plaintiff attorney may not contact you as long as you are represented. He would have no way of knowing that your lawyer is not communicating properly with you, and even if he did know this, he still could not communicate directly with you. You could choose to retain a new lawyer if you are having issues with the current one.

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  • Can you ask a judge to report opposing parties to the bar?

    Technically they have to do this if you make a request, but do they actually do this if you give them evidence of unethical activities?

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Judges don't have to report lawyers to the bar. If a judge sees something improper, he may choose to report a lawyer to the bar. If you believe that opposing counsel has engaged in unethical conduct, you can report him yourself. That said, it is extremely rare for the opposing lawyer to be found to have engaged in unethical conduct. Most of the time what the opposing party thinks is unethical is simply aggressive or strategic lawyering.

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  • How long should you wait for your lawyer to respond to an email?

    I emailed my lawyer specific questions and its been over 2 weeks. I don't live in the area, so email is the best way to communicate. I only contact her on the most specific of matters (Probate) not just to visit!

    Jennifer’s Answer

    2 weeks is a while. Most lawyers try to respond much more quickly. I would say that you should follow up with an email and or a phone call, sometimes phone calls are better.

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  • Is it ethical/legal for an attorney to charge a quarter hour fee when all the client wants is to ask a simple question?

    This attorney charges $300 and hour, with a minimum of 1/4 hour ($75). She charged my daughter $75 for sending an e-mail to her, asking for her father's phone number, which the attorney failed to do at the initial appointment. It was a one line qu...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    It is both ethical and legal for the lawyer to charge what her fee agreement states she will charge. Some lawyers will choose to pull time together when there are minimal contacts, as long as the client does not send a lot of emails or ask a lot of short questions. But there is no requirement to do so. Your daughter certainly can talk to the lawyer and see if it is possible to get some sort of deduction on the bill, but again, there is no legal or ethical requirement that the attorney do so. Lawyers bill for their time, and, unfortunately for your daughter's bill, she chose a lawyer who has a high minimum time period. However, if the lawyer is doing a very good job, perhaps she is well worth it.

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