Atty Chalgian represented me for over three years in a complex, protracted probate legal matter. This was my first involvement in a legal matter, and I am not a Michigan resident. I am not a trained trust professional. I hired an attorney to represent me to the best of their ability. Atty Chalgian was successful in the first ruling by the probate judge. He was very good at attacking based on emotion, but not so much based on the law. We then went to the appeals court and he got stomped. The actions that I took based on direction from Atty Chalgian directly resulted in the appellate court ruling against us. (I later had an attorney who specialized in dealing with the Michigan appeals court review the preparation for the first appeal, and they were clearly unimpressed with the effort put forth. As a point of reference, this attorney was successful with a second appeal that was later filed). Despite all our best efforts, the other party continued to push the issue and refused to settle. When it was clear that this was not going to be an easy win, Atty Chalgian started to distance himself from the day-to-day issues and handed items off to a new attorney who has just passed the bar. I then started to receive invoices that included unauthorized legal services. (We are talking about $5K in legal fees that I challenged, which represented about 5% of all legal fees billed. All other invoices where paid quickly.) When I challenged those charges, I received no responses. When I continued to push the issue, Atty Chalgian QUIT! He went to the probate judge and asked to be removed from the case, and his request was granted. This was late in the legal proceedings after he had collected six figures in legal fees. I then had to hire new counsel and pay to have them learn years of case history. Fortunately, I was able to find a competent attorney's to represent me through the remaining legal process. To summarize, the Chalgian law firm did not provide the representation that I would expect from a firm that represent themselves as leaders in the area of probate law. I received incorrect legal advice, they did a poor job in preparing for an appeal, Atty Chalgian dumped the case on a junior attorney, and then they Quit! Atty. Chalgian's representation cost me six figures, and then I was his with over $50K in costs from the Michigan probate court. If this is what you are looking for, the the Chalgian law firm is the law firm for you. I am still contemplating a malpractice action against the firm.
For remaining probate-related actions, I used Atty. Sally Babbitt. For a subsequent appeal, I used Atty. Liisa Speaker. I strongly recommend both of them if you need assistance.
Response from Douglas Chalgian June 4, 2017
This “anonymous” client came to me with a mess. I thought we did a good job to get it cleaned up the best we could. Not everyone is going to be happy. You can go to our website at mielderlaw.com and read reviews from other families who do not feel this way. These websites are frustrating. I guess I need to ask happy clients to post reviews – has it really come to that? Interesting that this is posted years after the fact and promotes the practice a former employee.