Russell James Hanlon’s Reviews

Russell James Hanlon

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  1. This lawyer scammed us out of $8000.00

    Posted by Jan, a Appeals client,
    Overall rating
    Kept me informed
    • I do not recommend Russell Hanlon.
    • I hired Russell more than 3 years ago.
    • Russell handled my Appeals matter.
    • I have previously worked with 6-10 lawyers.

    He told us that we absolutely had to have a letter from him for our arbitration, which would cost $8000. We thought that was ridiculous, but after a long discussion late at night, we finally gave in, entered into a contract with him and paid him.
    However, he showed up at the arbitration without the letter, and later told us he never intended to present it, like he had said he would. I can present a copy of the contract.
    He later talked about a refund, but only if we hired him to do the appeal. By that time, we didn't trust him at all, and refused. He still refuses to refund the money and never did write that worthless letter which we never needed at all.

    1. Russell James Hanlon

      Russell Hanlon

      Lawyer Comment:

      Jan’s client review is filled with false statements. I did not tell Jan that she needed an opinion letter for an arbitration. Jan hired me four days before a mediation in her appeal. I told her that I would need to prepare an opinion letter if she wanted me to represent her in her appeal. I emphasized that the purpose of the opinion letter would be to evaluate whether she should pursue the appeal.
      I also said that if I could finish the opinion letter before the mediation, the letter would have the incidental benefit of helping her to determine the value of her appeal for settlement purposes. I explained to Jan that I could not promise her that I would be able to complete the opinion letter within four days. I never promised or represented that I would finish the opinion letter before the mediation. But, Jan decided that she wanted me to attend the mediation.
      Jan and I signed a fee agreement. The fee agreement reflected exactly what I had told Jan -- I would prepare the opinion letter to assist her in evaluating whether she should pursue the appeal and I would attend the mediation. The fee agreement specified that I would charge Jan $8,000 to prepare the opinion letter and required her to give me an $8,000 advance deposit. She did so.
      I never told Jan that I would present the opinion letter at the mediation. Prior to the mediation, I told Jan’s other attorney that if I were able to complete the opinion letter before the mediation, we definitely should NOT give it to the mediator or opposing counsel because it would discuss the strengths and weaknesses in Jan’s case on appeal. I explained that we likely would sabotage our client’s position at the mediation if we disclosed to the mediator the weaknesses in our client’s appeal. I also advised him that it would be a serious error to give the opinion letter to opposing counsel because we would be disclosing the weaknesses in our client’s position on appeal to the adversary.
      I did not complete the written opinion letter before the mediation. Over the four days before the mediation, I was able to review four boxes of documents and research all appellate issues. I prepared an oral presentation regarding the appeal for the mediation. I gave that oral presentation at the mediation. The case did not settle. Before I left the mediation, Jan instructed me to stop my work on the appeal. So, I was unable to complete the written opinion letter at first.
      I sent Jan a bill for the services that I had rendered. I charged her for 22.0 hours. At my $400 hourly rate, the total amount of my fees was $8,800. After I applied her $8,000 advance deposit, there was an $800 balance due.
      Later, Jan’s other attorney told me that she was unhappy with the outcome of the mediation and that she wanted the return of the $8,000 that she had paid me. I called Jan. Jan suggested that I should have delivered a completed opinion letter to the mediator or opposing counsel. Jan’s other attorney may have told her that he believed that this was a good idea, but I certainly never did. In response, I explained to her that I never intended to deliver a written opinion letter to the mediator or opposing counsel because the opinion letter would identify weaknesses in her appellate case.
      In this conversation, I did not offer Jan any refund of the $8,000 that she had paid me. I told her that I was willing to waive her $800 outstanding balance and complete the written opinion letter at no extra cost if she intended to employ me to handle the appeal. Jan informed me that she had decided not to use my services in the appeal.
      Jan eventually initiated a fee arbitration proceeding. She voluntarily dismissed the arbitration before any hearing or decision. As a good faith response, I drafted the opinion letter and sent it to her other attorney without charging her for it.

      Posted over 4 years ago. Flag

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