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Joseph Wallace Howington

Joseph Howington’s Client Reviews

     5.0 stars 21 total

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  • 5.0 stars

    Posted by Danielle

    Represented me for my divorce/custody

    Mr. Howington was by far the best attorney I could have ever asked for, he helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life. My ex husband was trying to gain full custody of my (2) yr old while he left me during my pregnancy with our 2nd daughter. My ex put me through so much and Mr. Howington was there to fight for me every step of the way. There was a time when I hadn't even been served to appear in court, due to my ex doing things illegally, Mr. Howington happened to be in court on another case, thankfully and was able to run interference and represent me without my even being there. Throughout the long battle, in the end I wound up with 100% physical and legal custody and a very fair amount of child support, my ex was ordered to pay all attorney fees (not that I've ever seen the $$) that's beside the point! Mr. Howington knows the law, he knows how things will go and he gives excellent advice, he actually comforted me which was next to impossible. I would refer anyone to him without hesitation, he is by far the best attorney!!!

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  • 5.0 stars

    Posted by Mike

    A top lawyer

    Mr Howington and his excellent staff did a great job with my divorce, and was very effective at preventing any successes from the opposing counsel. His immense knowledge and long years of experience were very invaluable in helping me. His staff are very courteous and professional. I highly recommend him. (he's also a nice guy)

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  • 5.0 stars

    Posted by Ron

    Excellent divorce attorney

    I was extremely pleased with the service from my attorney, Joseph Howington, and his staff. They were very professional and kept me informed through the entire proceeding. His staff was responsive to my questions in a very timely manner. When I met with him, he explained everything that would happen in detail and answered all my questions.

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  • 4.0 stars

    Posted by a Divorce client

    Josepth Howington Reveiw

    Joe was retained over four years ago on a case involving enforcement of an old settlement, poorly written. He was chosen after the recommendation of individuals closely involved with the court and interviews with 4 other attorneys. He is a decent, honest, caring person, and a competent attorney. But competence did not translate into success for this case. Here are some things to keep in mind when retaining an attorney for a family law matter in San Bernardino, as they relate to our experience with Joe.

    The case will most likely take years to resolve, if multiple court dates are needed. Joe did his best to expedite the case, but a case that was originally thought to be resolvable in one to two years took over 4 years. This was not Joe's fault, but it has become a reality in San Bernardino that the courts are clogged, judges overworked and cases take many years longer than they should. This meant that the expense of the case grew by over 3 times the original retainer. Had we projected the case would take at least twice as long and cost over 3 times the original estimate, we would have never proceeded. It would have been clear that the risk and cost of losing would outweighed the benefits of winning.

    Ask any attorney you are considering to give you details on cases they have recently won, and how the cases were resolved, i.e. settlement, court decision, appeal. You need to gauge where the attorney's practice is headed, because you will likely be waiting years to see a final resolution. And those years of working on the case and waiting will impact the attorney. There may be health problems, staff turnover, and evolution of the attorney's relationship with judges, and evolution of the courts. All these factors work against those with the lessor resources. In our case, Joe overcame many obstacles to proceeding with our case , but there was a lot of staff turnover, which at times made it tough on us.

    The relationship of the attorney with the judges is the most important factor in the resolution of your case. Joe's relationship with the judges was said to be outstanding when he was retained. But this was years ago, and it appears that these relationships deteriorated over time. To have our case won, with a clear judgment in favor, and then to have the same judge reverse that ruling, and after years of delays, not based on law, but on equity, seemed strange. To learn of similar reversals in several other cases all around the same time speaks to some hidden issue with the judges, likely not Joe's fault, but still devastating to the outcome of our case, and presumably the other cases too.

    Be prepared to put in significant time yourself on your case, many, many hours. Or be prepared to spend a lot of money on staff time. The average attorney bills $500 per hour. This works out to $1,000,000 per year. Joe was fair in his rates and billing practices, but also tough. When interviewing Joe or any other attorney, ask yourself these questions. Can you afford 3 or 4 times the original retainer?Does the opposing party have greater resources than you? Where will you be in 4 or 5 years? Where do you think the attorney will be in 4 or 5 years?

    Lastly attorneys and judges will always push for settlements. But settlements need enforcement mechanisms and these are hard to obtain. We received a settlement offer of 20% of the value of the case. Joe's opinion was to accept. We deemed it in bad faith and had to make the difficult decision to reject it.

    This is not a reflection on Joe's competence as an attorney, but of a changing reality in which cases are dependent less on the law than on relationships between judges and attorneys, and very much on the cooperation of the opposing party, making receiving a fair outcome difficult if resources between parties are unequal. Joe, and all attorneys, need to be clear from the outset about the costs and time of cases, and the difficulty in getting a fair outcome absent large resources.

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    Joseph Wallace Howington’s response: “I would like to acknowledge and thank this client for the thoughtful review and also provide additional information to help readers understand the scope of this matter. The settlement referred to by the client in his review was over 10 years old and was not written by me. I was retained to clean up a mess created by previous counsel. I agree with the client’s comments regarding the court system and the length of time it can take to resolve a case. Our courts are in a budget crisis and cases are unfortunately frequently continued for that reason. This is something over which I and other attorneys have no control. There are options to these delays including private judges and private court rooms. It is my policy to go over all of these options at the outset of the case in order for clients to make fully informed decisions. I did that for this client. I NEVER give clients quotes regarding what their case will cost to litigate or how long it will take. It is impossible to do so as there are so many variables that go into each particular family law matter. I do not know, therefore, how this client was able to state that the case cost 3 times the original estimate. I do not give such estimates. The staff turnover this client is referring to was one individual who worked for our offices as a law clerk while attending law school and preparing for the bar exam. This individual did not pass the bar exam and thus was not able to continue working for our firm. The legal assistants in my office who worked on this case remained consistent and were familiar with the case as it progressed. I pride myself on my reputation as an attorney who is well known by a majority of the local judges as someone who maintains the highest ethical and intellectual standards. I respectfully disagree with this client’s statement regarding the esteem in which local judges hold me. I am prepared, maintain a meticulous legal knowledge level and am a passionate advocate for my client. The respect of judges, in my opinion, is much more important than being “liked”. In fact, due to this respect, I am frequently asked to serve as Judge Pro Tem in many of the local court rooms when the judges are absent. This client poses questions at the end of the AVVO review which primarily focus on the issue of fees; although he did also state that he felt my fees and billing practices were fair. Finances are obviously a very important aspect of each case; but I believe just as important if not more so, are questions such as: 1. Is this an honest and well respected attorney? 2. Does this attorney know the law and does he stay informed regarding current law? 3. Will this attorney and his staff keep open the lines of communication? 4. Will this attorney keep me apprised of options in my case and advise me, based upon his legal expertise and experience? This client admitted that I met all of the above criteria. In fact, I did inform this client of the legal options and potential consequences of each available option. This client chose to take a course contrary to my legal advice and expertise, one which resulted in the final outcome. As always, my staff and I appreciate the opportunity to develop professional working relationships with our clients and look forward to providing the best legal service to each and every client. This client is no exception; we appreciated the opportunity to handle this matter and also the thoughtful follow up review at the conclusion of the case.”
  • 5.0 stars

    Posted by Lillian

    Look No Further!!

    If you are reading this review then I must assume you are entering or are already going through a divorce or custody battle. I am so sorry. You will need a great deal of support and an extraordinary legal team to help you handle the countless requests, emails, opposing council crap, court dates and the overall aggravation that undoubtedly will be caused by your ex. This process will most likely push you to your breaking point and evoke so many emotions but through it all, it is crucial you stay focus on all you need to do. You will need someone who will advise you and direct you from doing something that can potentially be devastating to your case. Number one advice I can give you is that you must have the utmost confident in the person who is representing you. To that I say, "LOOK NO FURTHER!"

    Mr. Howington is the embodiment of everything you will need and want on yours side to help you fight for what you think is right. He will never sugar-coat anything and he will always give you the benefit of his 34 years of experience. His staff is awesome (Shout out to Heather)! They all are extremely professional, expedient and very friendly. They seem to work tirelessly for you and make you feel like you are the most important case they are working on. I am so grateful I was referred to Mr. Howington from a former client of his. Although the outcome of my situation has not been resolved I am more than confident Mr. Howington and his staff are doing all in their power to get me a favorable outcome.

    As much as it can be, given that my divorce/custody battle is the most detestable situation I have ever gone through, I can still say it has been a pleasurable experience working with Mr. Howington and his staff.

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  • 5.0 stars

    Posted by a client

    Mr. Howington

    Mr. Howington and his staff (thank you Christin !) are professional, courteous and knowledgeable. Mr. Howington readily listened to and understood my needs/concerns and answered all of my questions. I HIGHLY recommend Mr. Howington for any/all family law related matters.

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  • 5.0 stars

    Posted by Chris

    If you're looking for an attorney, your search has ended - Joe is litigation gold!!

    Joe is knowledgeable, fair, explains things clearly, and is very accessible. I would not only recommend Joe, but I would not use any other lawyer. He is truly the cream of the crop.

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  • 5.0 stars

    Posted by Bernie

    Very Few Lawyers Like Joe

    I was referred to Joe by a friend of mine who knew of Joe's reputation and expertise. I had been involved in a protracted high conflict custody dispute for five years and had already been through two attorneys.

    As a father, I was determined to do the best I possibly could for my young son and made the lengthy driving trip to see Joe. By that time, my case was voluminous with motions, declarations, evaluations, and hearings. Joe immediately took charge, analyzed my case, outlined a strategy and proceeded forward with conviction, commitment and a masterful knowledge of the law. He showed himself to be an experienced, effective litigator and trial attorney when I needed one.

    Joe was straightforward and tough but also understanding. He took time to educate me about the issues in my case and how they applied to the law. He fought hard for me and galvanized my case forward guiding me with a firm hand through the maze of the family law system. He was responsive to me despite his busy schedule. He answered all my questions whenever I asked them and his staff, especially Heather, was equally supportive. I have Joe to thank, in no small measure, for his part in bringing me full circle from that of weekend father to that of sole custodial parent of my son.

    There are lots of lawyers but very few like Joe. It's been my privilege to know him and I will always be grateful for his help. Faced with the circumstances I was, the best thing you could do is have Joe on your side.

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  • 5.0 stars

    Posted by Brandi

    So glad to have Joe on my side!!!

    I am in the midst of a divorce and was referred to Joe by several other family law specialists. I find Joe to be very up front, open and honest about my situation. He has told me from the beginning that clients sometimes have unreasonable expectations but that he will do everything he can for me. After meeting with him the first time, I completely trusted that he truly would do absolutely everything within his power to get the best settlement possible for my children and me. In fact when we went to court recently that is exactly what he did. I was so proud to have him by my side arguing for me while the opposing side fumbled. He was well prepared and provided the judge with everything necessary to make a fair decision on an issue that was a little obscure.

    Prior to the hearing he completely prepared me on what to expect in court, when to meet, where to wait, what to wear, etc. The fact that he took the time to explain this process to me really helped my nerves on the day of our hearing. Aside from preparing me for the hearing he has talked me through and prepared me for every step of this process from the original filing to mediation and now the hearing. As we continue, I know that he will continue take care of the needs of my case.

    One of the most incredible things about Joe is his ability to recall the smallest tidbit of information that I shared with him months ago and apply it to the case today. Being so busy and working on so many cases at any given time, I feel like this is an amazing ability.

    Joe's office staff is great and I especially enjoy seeing Charlie Brown (to me he is a calming presence in the office at a time of great stress). Any time I have a question or concern I feel that I can email or call the office and get an answer. They are all very knowledgeable and if they are unsure about something they are upfront about that and will let you know that they need to check into it and get back to me. I appreciate that no one in the office will mislead or give bogus information.

    Joe makes himself very accessible. I was provided with his cell phone number which I felt was very generous and caring. I did have to use it once and he got right back to me, answered my question, calmed my nerves and found me a solution to my issue. He is very patient with his clients, after all these cases are very emotional and at times can be overwhelming and scary.

    I could go on and on about Joe's great attributes . . . If you are looking for a strong, caring, knowledgeable and overall great family law attorney please give him a call. You absolutely will not regret it!

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  • 5.0 stars

    Posted by John

    Joe Howington and his legal team

    I had a highly complex case containing supporting evidence that ranged over nearly 20 years, with many thousands of individual documents supporting my case.

    Joe and his team did an outstanding job of organizing thousands of documents for one of the longest court cases in San Bernardino divorce courts history with over 75 hours of testimony on my part.

    His team wrapped things up in record time, considering the complexity of the case and the sheer volume of documents included. From the outset of the case, Joe's team were always completely prepared, Complex pretrial work took months of concerted efforts utilizing multiple team members.

    Joe's skills were valuable in developing an excellent set of goals, knowing in advance the strategic and tactical elements of the overall case navigation from early 2009 through late 2011.

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