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Harassment by an attorney?

Springfield, IL |

I previously had a custody case against my ex and her atttorney showed obvious signs of disliking me. He was rude and disrespectful to me on many occasions. At one point he sent a letter to me saying I was harassing his client and that they would seek sole custody. I was never harassing my ex. Well, we recently went through a small claims case filed by me against her. She ended up winning. This attorney then requested the judge to order me to pay his preparation and appearance costs for her. the judge ordered me to pay her court costs. 2 days later I get a letter from him threatening me to file a contempt motion against me if I dont pay his office immediately. I believe he acts in an unprofessional manner and im tired of it. From my understanding I have 30 days to appeal this anyway. help

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

Yes, it's harassment (persistent annoyance) of a deadbeat and it seems to be entirely legal and justified based on your fact recitation. Your factual statement suggest this is a collection effort against you for not meeting your legal obligation to pay as ordered by a court. Your fact pattern suggests the one breaking the law is you, sir, not the attorney and that you, not the attorney, are the one acting unprofessional and I am sure the attorney is also tired of it (your excuses), too. You're not going to get much sympathy from attorneys on Avvo for you "harrassment" claim. No, more likely you will get called a deadbeat.

L2BL: One person's persistence is often harassment to another. Depends on whose ox is getting gored.

So far, this is free to you. Until you pay a fee, I am not your lawyer and you are not my client, so you take any free advice at your sole risk. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

Asker

Posted

Were you drunk when you responded to this at one in the morning? I have broken no laws. What 'fact pattern' suggests this? Your fact pattern suggest you are a typical lawyer who should be ethically questioned. I did not come on here looking for sympathy. I came on here looking for help. Apparently you misinterpreted my statement/question. Keep your rude comments to yourself please!!

Asker

Posted

Were you drunk when you responded to this at one in the morning? I have broken no laws. What 'fact pattern' suggests this? Your fact pattern suggest you are a typical lawyer who should be ethically questioned. I did not come on here looking for sympathy. I came on here looking for help. Apparently you misinterpreted my statement/question. Keep your rude comments to yourself please!!

Asker

Posted

Were you drunk when you responded to this at one in the morning? I have broken no laws. What 'fact pattern' suggests this? Your fact pattern suggest you are a typical lawyer who should be ethically questioned. I did not come on here looking for sympathy. I came on here looking for help. Apparently you misinterpreted my statement/question. Keep your rude comments to yourself please!!

Asker

Posted

Were you drunk when you responded to this at one in the morning? I have broken no laws. What 'fact pattern' suggests this? Your fact pattern suggest you are a typical lawyer who should be ethically questioned. I did not come on here looking for sympathy. I came on here looking for help. Apparently you misinterpreted my statement/question. Keep your rude comments to yourself please!!

Asker

Posted

Oh and kiss off for calling me a deadbeat. You know nothing about me except for that question posted by me.

Posted

It is in the nature of legal disputes and especially family law disputes that there are hard feelings between the parties. Sometimes attorneys fall into that kind of alignment with their clients and it is unfortunate and the attorney often learns a hard and unpleasant lesson as a consequence. That said, in the context of litigation the standards for what constitutes harassment by opposing counsel is quite specific and nothing that you have described here would come close to that. In fact, there is very little recourse for a party who finds the opposing party's counsel rude or obnoxious and the attorney you are complaining about is not even near the edge of unacceptable conduct.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

Asker

Posted

May I ask what you mean by the attorney usually learns a hard and unpleasant lesson? I understand things get heated ave personal

Asker

Posted

But he's always threatening me with bogus crap and its not right. From my understanding he can't even file a motion of contempt or whatever on a small claims case. If thats the case, it seems to me he's trying to be a bully.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

Inevitably in such circumstances the attorney has cause to regret "over-identifying" with the client's personal animosities. The client moves on, changes counsel, resolves the case, turns out to be lying or exaggerating -- something will happen that leaves the attorney wishing that professional objectivity had been a higher priority. It is not necessary for an attorney to become emotionally bound up in the client's problem in order to do a good job. In fact, getting emotionally involved can often be a hindrance to truly high quality legal work.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

Re-read my answer. Rude over-bearing tactics are not prohibited. You are in combat, and your expectations of civility are not going to be met.

Asker

Posted

I see, so its okay for him to bully and threaten me with false claims. Thats nice to know. Another sign that courts and their processes are a f%@#ing joke.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

You get hostile way too easily. That could explain some of what your original question involves.

Asker

Posted

You would too if you had to deal with what I have for the past year. I have been treated as an unequal regarding custody rights to my daughter, I have dealt with unprofessional attorneys who I WAS paying and I have dealt with biased judges. It is disheartening when you think you are in the ONE place where you should be treated fairly and you are not.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

No, that is not not an explanation and you need to stop thinking that it is. I know exactly the sort of process that you have been through and exactly what the family law system is capable of. You are not telling me anything that I do not know. But did you want an answer to your question or did you want to have an argument with someone about how miserable the family law courts can be and who is to blame? Family law "breaks" lots of people; it is a brutal arena, no two ways about it. You may or may not have any constructive or meaningful options in your matter. What you don't have is a good complaint against opposing counsel based on the facts described in your original question. You also don't have -- and need to acquire -- the personal stamina and emotional resources to get through this without becoming part of your problem yourself. Here is an ugly but important rule for family law matters: don't get into any fight that you can't bear to lose. You must adjust your expectations. You are in a place where you are unlikely to be judged fairly and the consequences are enormously high. When you come to grips with that fact, you will be better capable of the kinds of decisions and determinations that need to be made in your matter.

Asker

Posted

Okay, thank you for responding to all my questions.

Asker

Posted

Can I ask you one more question Christine? You say you know how unfair family courts can be. I have also been told this by other attorneys. How come nothing is done? Do enough fathers not care? Are lawyers okay with it because they reap the benefits? I just don't understand.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

I honestly don't understand it either. I suspect that the origins of current family court practices and standards are both cultural and political and that to some extent the backlash to the previous male-weighted culture is still in place. But there is no question for anyone who will spend even a half-day in court observing that the pendulum has swung widely out of balance. In the end, legal systems reflect whatever the culture condones. That is, of course, an abstract principle but that principle is at the bottom of all dysfunctional systems. No one -- or not enough credible and audible someones -- is moving the culture and re-shaping the public's expectations. I often privately ask my colleagues how the system could have evolved to the point of what I see. I have never heard a good or sufficient answer.

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