Based on 8 reviews
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I retained Ruth Pekelder as my initial counsel in my divorce. The issues were not complicated (no messy child custody issues) but there were highly unequitable financial responsibilities taken for the family between my ex-husband and me over the years and Ruth's initial advice and early fillings proved very costly to me in the eventual settlement despite my work with another attorney to try to create more equitable terms of agreement. In all early negotiations with my spouse and his attorney Ruth recommended taking actions to appease their requests for a larger proportion of interim support than our respective salaries would suggest resulting in large early payouts that were never recovered and that seemed to have the effect of emboldening my ex-spouse and his attorney in their negotiations rather than creating a more cooperative process. She also made substantive errors in calculating prospective child support payments which were included in the initial filings - my understanding is that this is calculated in Oregon using a straightforward formula so was really taken by surprise that someone with her experience and reputation would make such mistakes. Had I realized that my child support payments would be more than twice the amount entered in the initial documents, I would likely have handled the eventual mediation session differently. In addition, I felt poorly informed about her interactions with my ex-husband's attorney yet was aggressively billed for even the most routine receipt of e-mails or calls she received from my ex-husband's attorney. Overall I spent more than twice as much for her services that set me up poorly for negotiating a fair settlement yet got only a fraction of the service I received from the subsequent divorce attorney I worked with. I cannot recommend her services - my experience working with her was extremely costly and added considerably to the stress of my divorce.
I must strongly advise caution in regards to Ms. Pekelder. She represented me in the child custody suit brought by my former wife. A "parental assessment" was performed by a psychologist. Ms. Pekelder knew of and approved the psychologist. The assessment was filled with verifiable errors and lies. Ms. Pekelder, against my wishes, made the assessment protected. which meant tht there was no way to challenge the assessment's errors and lies. Please listen carefully to me. If you are just entering the family law arena you will most likely be the way that I was: trusting that the system would be based upon reality. It isn't. It is based upon money, influence and relationships. Ms. Pekelder advised me to not anger the psychologist. The fact that he, at best, behaved incompetently and WAS NOT SERVING THE BEST INTERESTS OF MY CHILD, was secondary to his feelings. I repeatedly ask for the lifting of the protective order. Ms. Pekelder refused. And insisted that I sign the order.
Ms. Pekelder failed my son. Failed me. I can not recommend her. Her behavior was unacceptable.
Ruth and her team (April and Ryan) assisted me resolve and settle my former domestic partnership. Communications between myself and my former partner were broken and I was in need of a resolution. Ruth coordinated with my former partner's attorney, arranged a mediation, prepared the settlement documentation, and helped get the paperworked filed. After five years, Ruth and her team got things done within about 6 months, and with a resolution that was satisfactory to both parties. Ruth and her team were very efficient, careful with time charging, kept me informed on a regular basis, and were responsive to my questions. I highly recommend Ruth and Pekelder family law.
Hired Ruth to represent me in a divorce. Gave her the retainer she asked for up front. She burned through nearly all of the retainer without filing one thing. To make matters worse she called me on Christmas Eve to tell me she had "forgotten" to file a response to a motion filed by my soon to be ex-wife and that she had already contacted the Oregon Professional Liability Fund regarding the mistake she made. This level of in competence is inexcusable! I now have to hire another lawyer to sue her as well as hire a new lawyer for my divorce. I wouldn't let Ruth represent my enemies. She proclaimed to be a "super lawyer" and one of the top 25 women lawyers in the State of Oregon. Doesn't say much for Oregon women attorneys now does it
Ruth helped me achieve a successful outcome with a very difficult conflict with my ex. I agree that she is a great person, ultra professional and knowledgeable. I was challenged with her lack of regular communication, procrastination, and nit picky billing practices. I realize that these may not be deal breakers for everyone but they were super annoying (and costly) for me. She definitely worked hard for me when push came to shove.
Being in a very professional high rise building, a very corporate and potentially stuffy office environment isn't in my comfort zone, but Ruth made me feel at ease from the very beginning, clearly having wonderful down to earth energy and sincere interest and compassion, clearly wanting to help you through a difficult and emotional time. Even though she was almost always surrounded by other peoples files and clearly busy I felt like I always had all of her attention when we met and I felt totally heard and educated about a process that I was totally unfamiliar with. From the very beginning she gave me a list of the best ways to communicate with her and the best way to keep costs down in that process. I believe I was her first domestic partnership dissolution and there was no hesitation or feelings of discomfort for me coming out to her as a lesbian. Her assistant April was also exceptionally helpful and friendly. They have recently moved to their own practice together which I'm sure will be a success as they make a great team. I would recommend Ruth to anyone.
Ruth's knowledge and experience helped me obtain a reasonable settlement in my divorce. She worked very hard to help me maintain joint custody of my children with my ex-wife,
She's very knowledgeable and professional.