Based on 12 reviews
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Pamela Vandel took my case on without charging me any legal fees! She was at every hearing and always well prepared. She helped me accomplish my goal - a goal that every other attorney I talked to in the Des Moines, IA area told me would be IMPOSSIBLE to achieve! Another thing that impressed me about her is that she was always available to take my calls and was very patient with me, making sure to answer all of my questions, unless she was in court of course. Like I said in my review title, I would recommend Pamela Vandel to ANYONE!!
I have had the pleasure of working with Ms. Pamela Vandel on several occasions. I originally retained Ms. Vandel as my divorce attorney in 2001. I was impressed with her professionalism and attention to detail. She fought hard with a professional aggressiveness securing a settlement which effectively met my needs. Her fees where very reasonable and comparable to other local attorneys.
I've also retained Ms. Vandel to represent me in a Bankruptcy, Last Will and Testament , and Personal Injury Claim. I have always found Ms. Vandel to be current on Iowa laws and litigations. She has always worked hard to represent me answering my concerns in a timely fashion. Ms. Vandel has been retained by friends and family upon my recommendation.... all who have been impressed by her tenacity.
I am thankful to Pamela Vandel for representing me through one of the toughest experiences in my life. Pam was aggressive in the court room, relentless in obtaining my goals, returned every call in a timely manner, was always prepared, and went above the call of duty by completing my case at no charge because she felt I was a victim of an injustice. Pam provides a contract which states exactly what she charges and kept me informed throughout the process with itemized statements showing tasks performed and the time allotted on each task. Pam not only provided zealous representaion but is genuinely a great person. Pam gained not only a client but a lifetime friend. Thanks Pam you are an amazing attorney!
Pam was easy to reach and very responsive. She advised me appropriately and listened to my ideas. I felt supported and informed. I would recommend her to couples that are in somewhat of an amicable place with each other and are willing to work together on what is best for the children. She was referred to me by a friend in a similar situation that was equally as satisfied.
Initially told me this was going to be a slam dunk, but when we got to court she just sat there. Presented no evidence, asked no questions. Just sat there with her arms crossed. She doesn't return calls, and when and if one is able to contact her in the office, she is rude and terse. Told me this shouldn't cost over $3000, but after more than $6000 later, we weren't any further along than when we started. I finally fired her and started over with a new attorney.
She said, "Your case will be easy, no doubt about that! It should not take more than $4,500 and that includes the retainer of $3,000." A $3,000 up front retainer fee, over $8,000 in payments total and she DROPPED my case a month before trial because I supposedly owed her money. After reviewing my invoice from her, she double charged my mediation session that she sent another attorney from her office to do "so it would be cheaper". $800 over charged. If she had not over charged me I didn't owe her any money, she owed me time. When I brought it to her attention, she was rather defensive and asked me to let her know if there were any other wrong charges on my account. I told her she already knows that answer and if she didn't want a law suit she had better correct. Then I get a statement in the mail that after the corrections had been made I still owe her $500 for "revising the invoice". So now she is trying to charge me over $500 for having to take the time to correct her own fraud!!!!! Needless to say, she will never she it.
She is also very judgement. Nice to your face and then BOOM, turn your head and you are just as bad as the one she is supposed to be defending you against.
I was actually relieved when she withdrew from case, it gave me a chance to look at back at all of it, hire another attorney that got the job done with less than $2,000!!! What does that tell ya?!!!!?
I went through several attorneys in my home town of Ames before exploring the options in Des Moines, and then was sorry I had not discovered her earlier. Finally, a lawyer who returns phone calls, listens carefully, and has the intelligence to understand every nuance of an ugly family dispute. She has two PhDs and a law degree, and for my situation, she was pure gold. I was up against a vindictive, cunning ex-wife who would stop at nothing to get revenge, including harming our own children.
In court she was convincing, strong, reasoned, and she won, setting new precedent in child support law as she did so.
As I see the reviews on this web site I am reminded of how easy it is to blame the attorney for the outcome of any case. Or praise them to the sky when things swing the right way. If you ignore all that, the takeaway is this: Pamela Vandel is a very intelligent and principled person who knows family law better than any of half a dozen Iowa attorneys I've worked with. And she returns phone calls.
Pam lost $7,500.00 in payments we paid to her. She double charged us for mileage, misadded time to her financial benefit and changed statements after she sent them out to demand more money. Any time we had a credit balance on our statement she'd claim there were errors in order to eat up the credit balance and make it so we owed her. She provided incorrect court dates. Failed to attend a mediation hearing due to serious illness but her office did nothing to contact us about it. We had to contact her office to find out why she was a no show. She was VERY passive and just sits there and doesn't say anything in trial court. AND she has horrible hearing loss and can't hear testimony in corut. She didn't ask any follow up questions or question witnesses to help our case. We would have done better to represent ourselves. She didn't research or have us research judgments that would have proven the other party was lying on the stand. She accused us of only going to court because of money. Pam acted like we were the bad guys eventhough we had proof the mother was writing pornography with photos on Facebook that showed up on the childs Facebook page. The mother discussed my 13 year old childs menstrual cycle on facebook . The mother allowed her friends to call my 13 yr old daughter a b!*ch on facebook and accuse my daughter of having STD's . On the stand the mother said my 13 year old daughter thought it was funny. Pam didn't ask questions to cooborrate other witness testimony. We had proof the mother and husband were having drug parties and the husband was charged with 2 counts of armed with intent , and a count of arson all pending. But at trial she focused on an issue that we didn't have documented proof of. Pam was also stunned that the other party lied on the stand. She has no idea on how to present social media evidence and doesn't seem to want to bother with it. After the outcome she accused me of being bitter about the case. Losing a case is never ideal. But my sole bitterness was her unprofessional and passive conduct, lack of initiative and borderline fraudulent client billing and payment statements. She also said our case would not pass the 20,000 mark and by the end we paid 30,000 to her. And she urged us to take a settlement deal that created a huge payday for the drug addict, porn writing deadbeat of a mother. It seemed that she was truly representing the interest of the opposing party instead of us. She did the minimal amount to get by and fleeces her clients for everything they have. She also would make a payment arrangement and then increase the payment amounts or demand immediate payment and accused us of being late and threatened small claims eventhough she was changing the agreement she had with us. We paid her everything she asked for. We were idiots. She is VERY hostile if you question her statements or call her out on not following her own contract or arrangements made! If you want to lose your case and lose all your money, hire her. If you want a chance to win a case hire anyone else. I am reporting her conduct and fraudulent billing statements to the state bar association.
She represented us in a custody issue. We had a teen (diagnosed with oppositional defiant behavior) who was able to convince DHS that he needed to be made a CINA (Child In Need Of Assistance) . DHS made the child seem like a victim when in fact he was causing great disruption in the home. This attorney did not even fight on our behalf. She was very passive and gave minimal advice. She allowed very damaging subjective lies to be stated about our character in court, and she did nothing to defend us. I would never recommend her to anyone. We would have done better to represent ourselves.
I worked with Pam over ten years ago. I thought she was great. Laid out my options for my divorce and was always available when i needed to know something. My concern is that people don't or won't do their due diligence and be knowledgeable when meeting with their lawyer. The more you know the better off you are. Expecting to have your lawyer hold your hand is nice but what you need is one who knows the facts and will tell you like it is. Pam was always forthright with my case. I have and will continue to recommend her to someone in need or her services.