I was represented myself on my W.C. case starting 2007 after my stroke until defendant's attorneys decided to put me on a deposition, about 2 years after representing myself.
It was an unfamiliar process for me so I need an attorney's help. Mr. Michael J. Hemming's Law office did not want just helping on the deposition. I had to sign a contract with Mr. Michael J. Hemming's Law office to represent me. My W.C. case. Mr. Hemming did not do any information discovering at early stage of my case; he did not raise any objection to the ruling of Dr. Fares Elghazi, M.D., the QMA doctor's conclusion on my stroke that it did not arise out of employment nor did it happen in the course of employment which was just an irresponsible speculation, a non-scientifically-based conclusion. My case was denied based on a quackish speculation because my attorney did not do what he was supposed to: raising objection.
Mr. Hemming insisted on my case lack of medical evidence and was denied because of that. Mr. Hemming did not stand up for me by using plenty of verifiable evidences I wrote in my testimony about the abusive, discriminatory treatments for years by my employer. By ignoring these facts, Mr. Hemming denied me the right to be a human because only robots can work in such conditions and do not have any effects on their well being! Mr. Hemming was not enthusiastic in working on my case. For example, during the Mediation meeting on February 27, 2015, the retired Judge Robert E. Drakulich urged Mr. Hemming to, the Judge's exact words, "strike while the iron still hot", implying to urge Mr. Hemming on working with the Liberty Mutual lawyers for a better settlement for me. However, Mr. Hemming did not budge, and remained in his seat quietly! On the other hand, Mr. Hemming so undervalued my case that he had used all kinds of tricks to persuade me to believe that I did not have a case and I should settle even at a much lower amount of settlement of $80,000.00 in January, 2014. During some rare meetings at Mr. Hemming's office, he told me that I was lucky to get a job with IBM, that I should have left IBM after 10 years, that Vietnamese average longevity was only 47 years of age which I found very demeaning on his expressions of prejudice. Based on a formal document posted on disabled-world.com, the average longevity for Vietnamese is 74.2 years of age! I found his tactics unethical. Apparently, most of the time that Mr. Hemming handled my case was in zombie state; it was like he had been waiting most of the time for the defendant's attorney to make an offer then he sprung into action!
The defendant's attorney only made about 3 offers for entire time Mr. Hemming handled my case. When he worked, he usually exaggerated the length of time and the effort he had to spent on it. For example, on August 31, 2015 signing Compromise and Release meeting in his office he claimed that he spent over an hour and a half with me on all the questions I had and he answered them.
Well, the truth was that the majority of the meeting time was spent on the page that I was instructed to put my initials next to initials of Ms. Lether, the defendant attorney, the rest of the time was just signing my name at 2 places. I recorded on tape the discussion section on the page that I was told to put my initials; and that was only 11 minutes. It did not take long for me to sign on 2 pages even with my physical constrains. The total time of the meeting was no more than 20 minutes!
At this meeting, he never mentioned about what he promised in his email dated 7/29/2015 : "I will agree to insert that language in the settlement documents so the judge knows there is a fee dispute. Judges do not necessarily side with me and may agree with you. The outcome is unpredictable. Thus there is a safeguard in the system since the judge is the gate keeper." So far, he never told the Judge on the fee dispute which he claimed was his honest mistake.