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Posted by Nancy, a Landlord & Tenant client,
I was a client of this attorney; his beginning fee was a $1500 retainer for a landlord/tenant case. I had kept extensive documentation of at least fourteen violations of Oregon Regulatory Statutes regarding landlord tenant rights and responsibilities during my tenancy - the violations of my landlord ranged from habitation issues of lack of cleanliness and sanitation, to serious electrical problems, to plumbing leaks leading to the presence of mold and mildew, plus other safety issues and hazards, one of which resulted in a personal injury.
The landlord was aware of the violations and most were never addressed in a timely manner if at all. When this attorney accepted my retainer, I gave him a flash drive filled with evidence including my check-in report noting hazards and unacceptable conditions, certified letters, emails, digital pictures, and even several videos with audio. Unfortunately he didn't know what a flash drive is or how to access the information it contains; instead he asked me for hard copies of everything "for his files', not realizing that his own printer could produce hard copies of whatever information he chose to use from an electronic file.
Fortunately my son was available to give Mr. McCarty a free computer lesson so this attorney could use my documentation to write a "demand letter" to the landlord. The attorney had told us in a short initial discussion of the case that we were "starting out" with more than $7000 in fines and monetary demands from the landlord due to the magnitude and severity of the landlord violations, NOT INCLUDING the further violation of the landlord keeping my damage deposit when no damage had been done.
Thus it came as a surprise when the demand letter draft only asked for $1600 from the landlord, and it was being sent to the wrong address, when the correct information appeared over and over again in my evidence. Mr. McCarty did not give a reasonable explanation for the discrepancy in his actions versus his words, nor could he explain why he was not asking for reimbursement of attorney fees, a standard request in a damage suit. Simple math shows that with a $1500 retainer at stake, and no assurance that the defendant would even accept this absurdly generous offer of settlement, I stood to actually lose money in a case I had been assured was justifiably worth thousands of dollars for willful negligence and egregious violations of law by my landlord.
The draft of the letter, which thankfully was not sent because the attorney client relationship was severed upon my review of the draft, also was filled with factual errors, incorrect dates, spelling and grammatical errors, in addition to being addressed to the wrong entity. All of this indicated to me that this attorney had not done due diligence and in my opinion did not conduct himself in a manner befitting a professional.
Much time was wasted in this entire ineffective process, which is notable because landlord/tenant cases have a very short statute of limitations in which to file grievances.
I would advise anyone considering consulting this attorney to assist them in any legal matter to think twice. His many errors plus misstatements of intent in a case like mine where most of the work had already been done and presented in an organized format in a very accessible way, yet resulted in disaster for the client.