Posted by a Divorce client
This attorney was referred to me (Norma Contreras-Guillen/Petitioner) by a friend who met him through the University of Phoenix when he was professor there. He started off well while he was still in his Diamond Bar office; however, he soon moved to another firm in Tustin (Hughes & Sullivan) and abandoned his clients and office. I would go search for him at his Diamond Bar office and found that he was always closed and/or had not been seen for weeks. His office door was filled with notes and announcements from UPS, FED EX, and other clients were also looking for him. I went to other offices next door to his, in the same building, who reported that there have been many clients, Fed Ex, UPS, and others looking for Atty. Godfrey to no avail. They also noted that the landlord was asking about the hours when anyone had seen him â€“ not seen for weeks. I kept searching for him going several times a week, different times, and dates to his office and still nothing. I also went online and found that there was another firm where his names appeared. They informed me via email that Atty. Godfrey was in the Tustin branch through Hughes & Sullivan, 660 W. First Street, Tustin, CA 92780; (714)538-5200 or (714)998-4435 FAX.
I finally found him and resumed contact. His excuse was that he lost his phone and couldnâ€™t get a hold of anyone. I asked him, well what about my file and your computer that has all my information? He just avoided the question and said, â€œLetâ€™s move on.â€ At first I believed in him because of his knowledge of the law and divorce case experience (plus my friend kept saying he was so awesome); however, it doesnâ€™t matter how much knowledge you have if you donâ€™t help your clients. I retained him with a $5,000.00 fee upfront and he didnâ€™t do much of anything after filing my petition..
We went to court several times (see Access printout) and I thought we were prepared; as per Atty. Godfrey indicated to me. However, the defense attorney brought out that Atty. Godfrey had not done any paperwork (used another word), returned her calls, mail requests, and was still waiting for the income and expense declaration she requested. All in all, the bottom message was that nothing had been done and that, in fact, we were unprepared several times. Atty. Godfrey got very upset and indicated that defense attorney had dealt an unprofessional card â€“ and she would pay for it. However, it didnâ€™t matter because nothing changed. Atty. Godfrey promised me that he would be doing discovery about the issues at hand and he never did anything. On the contrary, a mandatory settlement conference/trial setting scheduled for September 20, 2011 at 8:30 am, Dept. 16, was missed because Atty. Godfrey did not keep me up to date and/or communicated anything to me. I called and called, left messages on his cell phone, and emailed him prior to the date Atty. Godfrey had given me of, September 21, 2011, - still NO RESPONSE. The way I would find out what was going on schedule-wise, was because I got on the internet and through http://www.sb-court.org/Divisions/Civil/CaseInformationOnline.aspx would find out what was going on. I tried to contact Atty. Godfrey several times before September 21st to find out what we were up against and to make sure that he had something to presentâ€¦(didnâ€™t want the same scenario from the defense attorney)â€¦to no avail. On September 21, 2011, the day of the court trial conference, I received a phone message that court had been canceled and that the hearing would be rescheduled. I had to cancel the substitute scheduled for my classes (teach high school) and wait for his call later. I did get to talk to him briefly because he was in his car driving and the call was not coming in clear in the evening of that day; however, I had several questions unanswered. I found out later on the following week that court had not been canceled and that, in fact, we (Atty. Godfrey and myself) were reported as â€œNO SHOWSâ€!!!!!