James has received 1 client review
Posted by: a Divorce client
I do not recommend James Barilla
I hired James 1-6 months ago.
James handled my Divorce / Separation matter.
I went to Mr. Barilla after already filing for divorce on my own. My soon to be ex husband was getting very threatening and verbally abusive after moving out of our home, and any options for an amicable split had been exhausted. I met with Mr. Barilla on a Saturday morning, and we discussed my case and I cried and he listened and then told me "I will take care of everything, don't worry. It will all be okay." We discussed fees and I was told of his $4000.00 retaining fee, and I said I would need a few days to come up with it. I sent a friend to give him the check the following Wednesday, which we went to the bank to cash and he gave me back $1000.00 because I was in a financial pinch. At the bank, his account was overdrawn, and he had to call his wife. Should have known this was a problem then. He never asked me for any information, even though I had brought all my financial information with me along with vehicle titles, birth certificates for our children, bills, etc. I had not received any financial support from my children's father and he assured me that we would be getting this ASAP as well as setting up a visitation schedule with the court. I attended my parenting class, my husband did not. I continued to receive threatening text messages and phone calls from my husband indicating he was going to take the kids from me, and he could come in my house any time he wanted etc. I installed an alarm system and called my attorney, Mr. James Barilla. I called and called and called, and texted and forwarded him the threatening text messages from my husband. I never got a response. I was at my wits end and didn't know what to do. I consulted another attorney who was recommended by a friend, and he agreed to take my case. I just needed to fire Mr. Barilla and then get my money back so I could pay him. This proved impossible, as I left voicemails to fire him and couldn't even get a hold of him. I ran into him at the courthouse for another issue, and informed him that I was no longer going to need him as my attorney. He steered me to a corner, and tried to get me to sit down. He said he had been talking to my ex husband's attorney and why was I getting so worked up. I told him about the text messages and he advised me to ignore them. He assured me that he was working wth my ex-husbands attorney and things were moving. I agreed to continue with Barilla since I had already paid him. STILL I had given him NONE of my personal information. We only had the one meeting at the initial consultation. About a week later, with continued threats and texts from my ex and again NOT being able to get a hold of Mr. Barilla, I went to the courthouse and filed MY OWN emergency protective order. I suffered through a humiliating deposition with the magistrate, where ten years of verbal abuse as well as other unspeakable acts including the threates, running me off the road with my child in the car were discussed, only to be told that the magistrate felt that this was a situational occurence and not his normal behavior (my ex's). Therefore, he was denying my request. FINALLY got a hold of Barilla, only after borrowing money from family and retaining another lawyer. Mailed a request in writing for a detailed billing and terminated our agreement in writing. Thirty one days later, I received a detailed billing and not only did it give me NOTHING that he did, but also requested that I pay him an ADDITIONAL 2500.00. I cannot believe the audacity of this man, who KNOWS he did NOTHING for me, but has no consideration for other's time or money.
LORAIN COUNTY DOMESTIC RELATIONS COURT
1992 JD in Law
Case Western Reserve University