Posted by anonymous
I hired Melissa Vanzile for a divorce case where I had a protective order against my husband who became abusive durring the separation... resulting in the protective order and my immediate move for safety. She knew of all the lengths I had gone to to protect myself and getting unknown location - but she sent out the final divorce decree with all of my new information attached... leading me to again move after my now ex-husband did use that information to show up at my home. Her office never apologized, or even took responsibility for their mistake. Melissa never returned my calls about this manner. I ended up spending more money in moving because of her neglect, than the whole divorce itself... which wasn't cheap to begin with. Felt let down, and would not recommend her service at all.
Posted by anonymous
Well, I am at my one year anniversary of my divorce finalizing so I thought I would give my feedback with respect to my experience with Ms. Vanzile for other folks to consider.
For reflection, I had a very contentious divorce negotiation with the opposing counsel, with OC trying to do her best to represent her client by overstating just about everything possible. We actually came to an agreement in a settlement meeting then several months later OC wanted to renegotiate. Melissa helped me stick pretty much to the original agreement (through much adversity). Importantly, with Melissa’s advice we were always negotiating from the high ground.
The things that stood out as the starkest contrast between Ms. Vanzile and OC was her promptness in everything, her professionalism and her attention to detail.
For example, Ms. Vanzile would make time to call me between 15 minute breaks while she was in court to help advise me on next steps. This resulted in our turn-around time averaging a few days, while OC took anywhere between 2 weeks and 5 months. During the period OC was not responding Ms. Vanzile continuously sent inquiries.
On professionalism, I couldn’t have felt more appropriately represented. The tenor of Ms. Vanzile’s correspondence to OC was always professional and decidedly neutral in tone. In contrast, OC’s correspondence frankly sounded like a junior high student airing grievances and trying to be contentious.
As a professional myself, I greatly value timeliness in correspondence. I was honestly shocked with the speed with which Ms. Vanzile turned around the various documents and correspondences. The lawyers in my company with whom I work never display the same alacrity that is for sure. (This is really important when you are going through a stressful divorce).
Finally, the absolute most important thing Ms. Vanzile did was strategically word the PSA in order to maintain my ability to have freedom of choice with respect to my children’s lives. This was of utmost importance to me. In the past year this attention to detail has already born fruit and limited my exposure to requests for additional spending on my part. She ensured that I didn’t get “put into a corner” based on the the wording of the PSA. This made sure I didn’t get put into a situation where the wording in the PSA made it so that I didn’t have a say in various things related to our children. Again, issues have already come up in the past year and I am able to simply point to the PSA and say, “that is not what we agreed to in the PSA”. Really, couldn’t have asked for more.
Posted by David
I had what I thought, everyone I talked to thought, and Melissa communicated having thought, was a fairly simple case. However, it was allowed to draw out over nearly two year with ridiculous continuance-after-continuance. In the end, I spent tens of thousands of dollar I did not have to accomplish virtually nothing. I ran out of money before the "final" trial, was dropped like a hot potato, and had to go in and represent myself.
Posted by Casey
Melissa was always professional with my case and gathered all information she needed to do an amazing job. She took the facts and presented it in a way that kept things classy and professional. She was always honest about the outcomes that could or could not happen and gave me the best possible representation I could receive. She definitely did an amazing job with my case and was driven to help me get what was fair for my situation and child. She thought of both sides and did not give me false hope on things that were not best for everyone in the situation. I would recommend her to anyone and will use her again in the future IF that becomes necessary.
Posted by anonymous
Ms. Vanzile is the worst attorney I have ever dealt with. During our first meeting, she assured me that my ex-wife's initial settlement offer was about twice what I should expect to settle for. After several months and twice the initial retainer amount she said it should take, she advised me to accept the original settlement offer! She didn't want to use any of the tactics she said she would during our initial consultation and most of the time I felt she wasn't operating in my best interest but hers. Personally I don't think she, who doesn't have children of her own, should handle divorces involving children. She's a cold unempathetic person that has no idea what kids need in terms of stability, etc., and therefore should not give any advice regarding their well-being. She was a complete waste of money for me and be warned that she loves to send multiple frivolous emails a day in order to charge $60 for each. Bottom line, I agree with the previous reviewer-stay away!
Posted by Hector
She represented me in my divorce and custody case against a very uncooperative ex spouse.
Melissa is the best lawyer ever, she was always looking out for the best interests of my child's and I. She really excels in the courtroom where even the judges make comments about how good she is.
I would hands down recommend Melissa to anybody.
I could not be any happier w her services and her staff.
Posted by anonymous
I used this attorney to represent me during my child support case. She gave me high hopes for my prospects in the case yet I received the worst outcome possible. I could have achieved that same outcome by representing myself and at least I wouldn't have owed attorney fees on top of my costs. The things she indicated would happen in the courtroom went differently than she described to me beforehand and she asked questions during the proceedings that even I would not have asked - and I have no knowledge of the law. I would stay away from this attorney.
Posted by Amy
My custody case was probably one of the toughest cases around, as it required complete reversal of a previous ruling, as well as an emergency hearing. I interviewed many attorneys before finally picking Melissa. From the moment I met her, I knew I was in good hands. Melissa's knowledge of case law is incredible. Leading up to the trial, Melissa helped me prepare for the trial and kept every appointment with me, as well as adjusted to my schedule. She's extremely well-respected by the judges, and is an absolute bulldog in the courtroom when she needs to be -- exuding confidence throughout the entire trial, while also maintaining perfect poise. I only wish I had Melissa representing me during the first hearing years ago. The past eight months of my life have been the happiest in years because she finally brought closure to a very difficult situation. Completely impressed and forever grateful.
Posted by Joe
I would highly recommend Melissa, always a professional, well prepared. Melissa had a great ability to advise on my case in a very difficult time in my life. Melissa was able to take the emotion out of the case, help me with my children and finalize a very fair settlement. I would recommend Melissa to anyone and will continue to utilize her services. In my 30 year career Melissa is one of the top attorney's I have had to work with.
Posted by Kim
My custody, divorce and spousal support cases dragged on for 3 years. Melissa was always prepared, well poised and professional for each and every meeting and court appearance over these 3 years. She was meticulous with each detail as well as organized with each document and remembered my case details sometimes better than I did. She was always mindful of my time, she remained flexible with my schedule and never kept me waiting. Her litigation skills are flawless in court and I always had the utmost confidence in her abilities throughout all of my proceedings. I give her my highest recommendation without reservation!