Based on 6 reviews
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First of all, know this: Chuck Riffle is sick. Literally, medically ill. Of course, he won't tell you until you've hired him already, paid him a few hundred thousand dollars (in my case, $400,000), and then when he's totally mismanaged your case, he will quit, "because he's ill."
I'm not kidding, Riffle will only tell you when he has to quit your case after he's completely messed it up. He will take as much of your money as he can, and then he will say he's "too sick" to finish the job. And to really screw things up, he makes sure that he ruins your standing with your judge, by adding that it was working on your case that "made him sick, and sicker."
Second, he will tell you how experienced he is, but he really doesn't know that much about his "areas of expertise." He's just dumb, indicated by the fact that he self-published a book on family law, which no one relies on (except me...I think I'm the bigger idiot, as it turns out).
Third, he will throw you under the bus as quickly as you can say "Chuck Riffle." Seriously, if he can save face for himself, at your expense, in front of OPPOSING attorneys (that he has to deal with regularly) or, worse, the local judges in your case (whether private judges or San Mateo County Judges), he will cast you aside in a heartbeat. It seems more important to get along with "the Bar" than to represent his clients.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER work with this guy.
But you may not get the option, since my case "made him so sick."
I was involved in a family partnership dispute. I initially worked with an attorney who tried to help me negotiate a settlement with the opposing party. When the other party was completely uncooperative, I was told by my attorney that there was nothing further I could do and that I had no case. I was then referred to Chuck Riffle, and I am so glad that I decided to hire him! Chuck and his team reviewed the partnership agreement and immediately verified that I in fact had rights that two other attorneys did not know about. My case was complicated and complex, and it took Chuck's specialized knowledge on partnerships and trusts to defend my rights. I ended up having to file a lawsuit against the other party. At every step of the way, Chuck was extremely professional, knowledgeable and strategic about pursuing the case. Ultimately, the case settled, and thanks to Chuck and his excellent work, the settlement worked out favorably for me. I am very pleased with the work that Chuck and his team did on my behalf and would always, without any hesitation, recommend Chuck.
I've dealt with a lot of lawyers and Chuck Riffle is the absolute worst. My accountant says he can make the most simple thing complicated. I just found him to be an arrogant ass with limited knowledge. There are much better lawyers out there.
I agree with these other posts. I was not given advice on what was best for me but what was best for Mr. Riffle and the other attorney's involved.
Charles Riffle has a good reputation and credentials. The best possible interpretation is that he has been living off of his own coat tails for too long.
He was recommended to my mom as the "go-to" guy in probate matters. Well, I can see why other attorneys like him. He makes them rich, too.
At every possible turn, Rifle was the block to reaching compromise. 100s of thousands of dollars later, we finally got an attorney from outside of the area who pointed out among other things, that Riffle told one judge that a property had a lot of value, so it should be kept, and managed. (Creating fees for Riffle and friends).
Less than six months later, he told another judge that the same property needed to be sold. More fees to Riffle and friends. It went on and on. Beside being dishonest, he is just simply heartless, including to the elderly people he is supposed to be "helping"
I used Charles Riffle for a divorce case to defend my community property rights which are ferociously guarded and protected by California law. To be fair I now see that he has wisely left family law practice because this man simply has no idea what he's doing in this arena. He lost my case to a claim of a verbal prenuptial agreement which isn't even recognized in California law and specifically excluded. He's that bad.
On the factual side, Charles Riffle decided to pursue a legal theory in my defense which I now know has absolutely no basis in written or case law. None. Zero. During the course of the trial, he was sternly reprimanded by the judge for an emotional outburst which I feel jeopardized my standing with the court. Three times he told me he was "99 percent" certain that we would win the case. When we lost due to his ineptitude, he demonstrated his depth of integrity by denying he ever said this. During the course of the trial, he never even pursued what the other side claimed, never giving me the chance to explain to the court a version of the facts which could be corroborated by unassailable documents. One time he tried to pass by me a $900 (approximate) bill for document copying at $0.75 per page.
I think of this man as a world class idiot for all times. Of course I could be wrong in my interpretation of the objective facts mentioned above. But in this case, I seriously doubt it.
You may want to remember this story when you consider hiring this guy.