I contacted Ms. Gottron for a free consultation & then hired her to represent me in a child support hearing. She asked me to schedule my hearing, which I did. She could not attend my hearing and told me her associate would represent me. I delivered my completed paperwork to her office two days before my hearing. Neither Ms. Gottron nor her associate made any attempt to call or meet with me before my hearing to review what would happen/what to expect, or to ask any questions about my situation. Ms. Gottron’s associate was late to my hearing (he was saved by a fire alarm which delayed my hearing) & opened my materials literally 2 minutes before the delayed hearing started. I had forgotten to include a key component of my paperwork, which neither Ms. Gottron nor her associate had noticed. This meant that during the middle of the hearing, I had to call a friend to email these materials to me. This was embarrassing, anxiety-provoking, & felt unprofessional. It appeared that my paperwork had not been opened by either Ms. Gottron or her associate prior to my hearing. It immediately became clear that either Ms. Gottron had not previously discussed my case with her associate or he had no recollection of my case. He (the associate) repeatedly interrupted the hearing to ask me questions that I had previously discussed with Ms. Gottron. The associate also made numerous mistakes during the hearing that I had to correct. Based on the hearing officer’s comments and nonverbal expressions & gestures, she seemed to be annoyed by these constant interruptions & mistakes. The associate also allowed my husband to maintain that he had 50% custody of our children, which is not true. This information was readily available in my paperwork & I had given this information to Ms. Gottron during a prior discussion. Despite the fact that Ms. Gottron had told me during our first meeting that I was entitled to an additional $400 per month in child support, the result of this hearing was that my child support was to be REDUCED by $80 per month. I was devastated by this outcome. When I got home, I researched the associate who had represented me; he specialized in real estate law. I feel that if Ms. Gottron gave my case to an associate, she had a responsibility to ensure that this associate was well-versed in child support law & proceedings, and that the associate was well -prepared regarding my circumstances & would adequately represent me. When Ms. Gottron was contacted about my unhappiness concerning the outcome of my hearing, she offered no alternative for me. I later learned that I had 21 days to request another hearing. When Ms. Gottron was contacted about my displeasure about my bill (I was charged for 30 minutes of preparation time), she stated that she stood by the bill and would not remove my charge for “preparation”. When, told, in detail, why it did not appear that anyone had prepared for my hearing, she did not change her stance. When asked if she would remove the travel charge (it was local travel), she also refused. So, the outcome of my experience was that I received a $900 bill to have the court decide to reduce my child support by $80 per month. I feel I received inadequate representation, which seemed to have hurt my case. I deeply regret my decision to hire Ms. Gottron, and feel I could have done a better job representing myself, as I was well-versed with the facts & details of my case. This truly was a horrible experience for me.
Response from Ashley Gottron September 26, 2019
It is unfortunate that you feel the way you do. Although I do not agree at all with your rendition of your matter, due to attorney client privilege, I am not permitted to respond in a constructive way. I wish you the best of luck in the future.