I met with Nathan in regards to pursuing litigation against my HOA. When I met with Nathan he seemed extremely interested in pursuing my case. We had clear evidence of mismanagement of HOA funds and both agreed this was worth taking on. We agreed on a set initial price of 1,000 dollars for Nathan to send my HOA a certified letter demanding for my HOA to disclose their financials records (this is required by law for them to do so.) Upon leaving his office, Nathan advised me that if I didn’t want to pay all 1,000 up front, he’s completely fine with monthly installments while the initial phases were getting underway. Although we didn’t agree on any set monthly amount, I was unsure of Nathan’s record and skill as an attorney, so not knowing what to pay, I decided to go with 250.00 a month.
Over the next 30 days all Nathan did was send an email to my HOA requesting their financials. My HOA essentially laughed at him and never replied. During this time I checked in with Nathan to explore what our options were going forward if they didn’t respond. Nathan was vague about his explanation and stated he would send a certified letter to them advising them that they had 14 days to respond. 14 days came and went, they simply continued ignoring us. 16 more days went by now approaching the 60+ day mark, I pay another 250 dollars. Nothing still was done.
At this point it’s almost 75 days in, and I again ask Nathan what’s the delay in him sending the certified mail. Nathan then completely changes gears saying he doesn’t think we have enough information to do anything, despite him making his case clearly to me and my HOA that they were in violation of by-laws by not providing us with the financial documents. Despite these crystal clear facts, Nathan then advised me that he would need 5,000 dollars up front in order to be comfortable going forward with the case and discussing pre-trial.
Having seen Nathan’s lackluster performance thus far (having not even sent the certified letter in 60+ days) I advised Nathan that I wasn’t confident in his performance thus far and would only be comfortable paying 5,000 on a contingency basis if we were to win the case (plus whatever fees he required) as any reputable attorney who’s confident in their abilities would do. After sending that email, Nathan emailed me the next day stating he would no longer be able to help me with my case.
I cannot explain the rapid change in confidence and behavior, maybe he was intimidated by facing a company of this size? Either way, he got completely cold feet and stated he wanted out. Despite my immense frustration with my time and money being wasted this whole time, I accepted his resignation and requested my 500 dollars back because he decided to part ways with me not holding up his end of the bargain which was sending the certified letter.
After seeing that I requested my money back, he claimed he was charging me by the hour (which we never agreed upon) and apparently typing up his two paragraph email came to 500+ dollars worth of “labor”. Seeing how Nathan failed to meet our agreed upon goal I pushed back and advised that if he wanted to take advantage of my kindness, I would simply contact my bank and file a dispute of the charges for services failing to be rendered.
After sending that email Nathan called me and began screaming and cursing at me. He was using Profanity that I haven’t heard since I was in the Navy. Seeing this come from a “lawyer” was quite shocking I must say. After repeated requests for him to stop cursing at me, he then accused me of being poor. He said: “You couldn’t even afford the first 1,000 how are you going to afford 5,000 more?” Laughing in the irony to myself that it was HIS recommendation for installments. After more yelling he finally agreed to give me my money back. My recommendation? Find a lawyer that’s reputable and knows their stuff. This guy was hitting out of his league and decided to blame me for his failure.