Need help? Hire someone else.
After he helped me close on a house, I hired Mr. Malecki to fight a mechanic’s lien and a family court matter. Both were inter-related and I wanted the same representation. This was the first time in my life I had legal issues of any kind and shared this with Mr. Malecki. He assured me he would handle my concerns and told stories of his legal heroism to secure my business.
I prepared and shared with him several weeks ahead of time a 7-page timeline summary that covered both issues and about 120 pages of supporting evidence. I repeatedly asked him what else he needed and he never gave me a clear answer, instead sharing the same stories of his legal victories, restaurant recommendations, stories of his family, or obscure American history.
The family matter ended up in court first and the night before the hearing, a friend helped me prepare a short statement for the judge, which I sent to Mr. Malecki. His response the next morning, about ½ hour before the hearing: “Finally, you sent me what I was looking for!” In the same conversation, I discovered he hadn’t looked at the timeline summary or evidence I had sent earlier but had pored over the statement submitted by opposing party. I found this annoying, but with the hearing a few minutes away, there wasn’t much I could do about it. I asked for prep, he waved his hands dismissively and said it would go fine.
During the hearing, I realized that Mr. Malecki had no expertise in family law nor did he advocate for me. When opposing party spoke over me while I was testifying he didn't object, letting the other party ramble on. The judge did not get to hear my side of the case. The only words he spoke during the entire hearing was to confirm he was my attorney. Mr. Malecki's ineptitude in family court led me to lose tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of property that was stolen from me. And, because of how the legal system works, I have no viable options of recovering it. To him, this was all a big joke. He laughed out loud and mocked me.
I suffered other significant losses in family court because of him, not getting the legal protection I had needed. Not having representation at all would have produced better outcomes than having him did.
After the hearing, I told him I felt unheard by him and needed better communication processes. He responded by refusing to further represent me. This was well enough because I found an attorney who treated me with dignity and helped resolve the outstanding real-estate matter. My new attorney confirmed that – given the evidence – the family matter should not have gone the way it did. He also said I wasn’t the first client who came to him after a similarly dismaying experience with Mr. Malecki.
Mr. Malecki claims to charge less than other attorneys in the area. While that may be true, consider the implications (in legal outcomes and sheer human dignity) of his bargain basement prices. It was unethical for him to take my case and not disclose his lack of expertise in family law. At the end of the day, I know more about family court, Mr. Malecki’s multiple cars, where his kids went to school and what they are now doing, how he and his wife met, his cooking, his wine and port preferences, how he got his piano, etc. etc. than he does my case or family law. He may be a fine hire for home closings, but buyer beware for anything else.