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|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Fastest Growing Company of the year||Utah Magazine||1997|
|Fastest Growing Company of the year||Utah Magazine||1996|
|Managing Partner||Harward & Associates||2003 - Present|
|Chief Legal Officer and Chief Operating Officer||Stimsoft Inc||1998 - 2002|
|General Counsel and President||ELM Inc||1991 - 1998|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Utah State Bar||Member||1985 - Present|
|University of California, Hastings College of the Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1978|
|Brigham Young University||English||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1975|
Posted by Joseph
I was referred to Harward through my employer's assistance program. I saw negative reviews, but calling Harward a criminal or saying a 10 year old could do better sounds like a bitter customer writing from the wrong place. Also, the assistance program referral was supposed to give me a decent discount (I can't prove $250 is decent, as I suspect their normal rate is $265. But either way, it's not lower than many other lawyers). So I continued, not knowing where else to turn.
Jim counselled me to petition to modify my divorce decree because it was a mess. This was an exaggeration (he would later focus on just one thing), but I'm glad he talked me into fighting. Considering my financial situation, Jim agreed to a low retainer and a low monthly payment.
We tried to arrange mediation, but after some back and forth, Jim determined it was not going to work and opted to go straight for the petition to modify.
When Amy sent me the first draft of the petition, it was practically useless; fixing very little of the "mess". When I asked Jim about it, he said that crafting the petition was like sculpting a statue: start with a block and refine it through several rounds (or something like that). I now think it's more likely that Amy was given the task of writing the petition without being provided the information she needed. This happened again later with the drafting of our objection to an order to show cause.
While working through the petition to modify with Amy, I often had to fix typos in and omissions from the legal document (one in particular was about my income and could have ruined the whole case).
During one meeting I called with Jim, we discovered that the opposing party had filed an order to show cause against me. Why weren't they aware of this? Why hadn't they notified me? (This happened again when I called about something else and they informed me that a court date and mediation had been scheduled - I shouldn't have to call to find out.)
We filed a counter order to show cause and I again felt that I was doing more of the work than I should have to. They provided the legal know-how, but I was the one providing the arguments and proofreading. Maybe I'm thinking of a different price bracket, but I think the lawyer should be doing that.
With the counter order and petition in place, Jim felt that the commissioner would dismiss the case in favor of mediation. With this reassurance, I forgot about it until my calendar sent a reminder the day of the hearing. I called Harward to make sure it was off and they notified me that it was not. I needed to be there.
At the hearing, Jim pulled me aside and asked if the other party had been calling the shots and I had been going along with it. It turns out this was to be his argument. In the hearing, Jim used his argument and said we just need to go to mediation. The commissioner sided with the opposing party based on an exaggerated claim that had nothing to do with the law (but at least they HAD an argument). So in that hearing, Jim and Commissioner Luhn both ignored the divorce decree and the counter order to show cause that Amy and I had worked so hard on. The counter was essentially a waste of time and money (though it shouldn't have been).
Afterward, Jim tried to convince me that we got what we wanted. We would file an objection and take it to the judge after mediation. But he didn't tell me we only had 14 days to object and the commissioner's recommendation was a COURT ORDER until a judge overturns it.
This was when I decided to end my relationship with Harward. I found that the other negative reviews were accurate. Jim's friendly and reassuring, but doesn't follow through. He exaggerates. He didn't fight for me in the hearing (despite the prep work we did). They didn't know/didn't tell me important information. Jim tries harder to work his clients than the legal system.
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