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Posted by a Domestic Violence client, Flag
Well, I retained him for two different cases and he promised to continue to work on the other case (personal injury) "which remained to be seen given all goes well." If he had ever told me at first that he would not represent me for the latter at the first meeting, I would never have to retain a lawyer for the landlords' civil harassment case. But he represented himself as competent at first for both cases.
But by the time when the retainer got almost exhausted, as is in his Invoice I got in the mail, he billed me for another bill to 'tickle me' to invoke an argument to withdraw himself: for two hours of a court hearing time following by two hours of initial consultation and two round trips from his office from Berkeley to the Alameda court house, he charged me over $2,500. I had two hours of pre-hearing consultation time. I had not delivered the copies of my entire documents until the last minutes, thus, he had not reviewed them, as he questioned at the court hearing that whether or not Anti-Slapp motions were being filed and served to me before the court hearing. So, he requested the opposing counsels "60 days to either file or serve the document."
After the court hearing with a Stipulated Agreement, there was only one condition to rebut the case in order to collect the lawyers fee from the opponents. That was the question of the existence of the Anti-Slapp motion which was left to me to interpret what the Anti-Slapp Motion was about, because there was no such a titled document existed in my file.
At the recent hearing, I argued to the judge that there was no such a named document, called Anti-Slapp motion, being filed or served, and asked the court to grant my motion for the attorney's fee. I had not realized that there is another name being used for this kind of motion in the legal file, which he should have explained to me.
I was left pathetically with an empty bag, because of this bandit lawyer that I mistakenly retained with $2,500 charge for such a cheap service.
He filed a substitute of attorney at the same morning of the hearing, and he never met the opposing counsels and the case was pretty simple. But his invoice shows that he spoke with the opposing counsels in length.
He appeared have not read the files nor did he file any documents to the courts as the opposing counsel for a party of six harassers (landlord's attorneys Andrew Shalaby and Bill Segesta for landlord and her sons and her lawyer friend), did with six motions. Well, the opponents' claim on the legal fee was less then $5,100 despite the elaborate court filings, but mine ended up $5,300 without too much proven work and court filing.
He is a kind of lawyer who never reads the documents or file, until the last minute.
So, a possible complaint at the Bar and claim against him at the Superior Court remain to be seen. I'm compiling complaints from his former clients to protest against this kind of non-sense, rip-off fee schedule he posted on website to sell his service.
Now I feel I need to make it public to protect the consumers.
Please contact me at Crecienta2@comcast.net if you're under a similar rip-off situation.