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Posted by a Family client,
We hired Anne Whatley to represent our family in a child custody case in Contra Costa County CA. Anne Whatley's practice looked very nice from the outside and all employees were extremely polite when soliciting our business.
Our case was a very simple child custody case envolving my wifes and I's 3 year old son Chase. Chase is my step son. My wife has been the sole provider for this child since his birth. I have been involved in his life since he turned 1. He is an extremely happy child with a wonderful home.
When Chase turned 2 years old my wife filed with the courts for sole custody of Chase. Chase's biological father did not show up for any of the court appearances, and thus my wife was granted sole physical and legal custody.
In May of 2011 I was promoted with the U.S Government from my position in San Francisco, CA to a position in Washington DC. We intended to move to Washington DC and bring Chase with us, as he has lived with us 100% of the time, seeing his biological father 2 times a month for 4 hours a piece. When Chase's biological father found out about the move he filed papers with the court to have the original custody orders ammended without advising us. He then showed up at our house the day before we were moving and served the papers on my wife.
At this time we contacted Anne and retained her as our attorney. Our initial opinion of her was very positive. We explained to Anne the situation and advised her of our wishes.
We explained to Anne Chase's biological fathers previous criminal history. Explaining that he is a federal felon currently on federal probation and has within the week been charged with his 4th probation violation.
Anne and her paralegals were extremely disorganized during the process and in spite of my wife and I personally providing them with numerous documents that should have completely nolified this man's attempt to ammend custody. He was able to get some custody back. Anne was completely clueless about our case when arriving at hearing dates, and would constantly provide my wife and I with negative feedback and complexities pertaining to a very simple case.
We will now have to fight for the next 15 years for our son, when the situation should have been solved very easily.
After the hearing we terminated our association with Anne Whatley. We were then charged a very large amount for her services, which we in turn had to debate with her.
Our experience with her law firm was completely negative. I would not recommend the Anne Whatley law firm to anyone seeking legal counsel in Northern California.