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This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority.
Public reprimand means an attorney did something wrong but may still practice law. The State gives the lawyer a public reprimand in hopes that he or she will not repeat the behavior. Details of the infraction are made part of the public record.
|McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Posted by Paul
I hired Attorney Leslie M. Stovall (Stovall & Associates) to handle a case involving Wiengarten Nostat, Inc., a real estate related legal case. I was frivolously sued for approximately $25,000 when someone I sold a small restaurant to sold it to someone else who ended up not paying their lease and the landlord came after everyone who owned that restaurant in the past. Attorney Stovall's conduct, in short, was to overbill. After receiving over $15,000 in legal fees, Attorney Stovall invoiced me in the additional amount of $20,030.59. To pay Attorney Stovall $35,030.59 is unreasonable. In addition, Attorney Stovall withdrew as my counsel of record on July 29, 2008 yet continued to bill me for unauthorized services over the past four years. This conduct clearly violates the ethical standards adopted by the Supreme Court of Nevada and specifically, Nevada's Rules of Professional Conduct. Initially in the last quarter of 2006, I paid Attorney Stovall a retainer fee of $2,500. I agreed to pay the standard hourly rate for legal services until the legal fees began to approach (and later far exceed) the total amount in dispute. Attorney Stovall sued one of the parties and won a judgment from one of the defendants. I promptly asked Attorney Stovall's firm to enforce the judgment against Defendant in order to pay his legal fees. I informed Stovall that I was not going to be able to pay personally but that we can collect from the judgment for his fees and to recoup some of my legal expenses. He did not inform me but soon he withdrew as counsel and did not even finish the case. Attorney Stovall assigned a series of junior lawyers, fresh out of law school, to provide legal services. The junior lawyers lacked knowledge of real estate industry and basic transactions. Lacking the technical and legal knowledge required, the junior lawyers frequently requested my technical expertise in real estate transactions law. The assignment of junior lawyers did not provide me competent representation because the junior lawyers lacked the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary to represent my interests. In addition, Attorney Stovall did not keep me reasonably informed about the status of my case. In fact, I continuously asked for meetings to discuss the status of my case. When a prudent person compares the invoice amounts with results obtained, he/she would readily conclude the invoices are ludicrous. Again, after paying $15,000.00 Attorney Stovall invoiced me for the amount of $20,030.59. The total amount ($35,030.59) charged for legal services is absurd. Further, Attorney Stovall continues to bill me. Attorney Stovall filed a Motion to Withdraw as Counsel of Record on July 29, 2012. The motion was granted. Attorney Stovall is not authorized by me to perform any legal services or to bill me because he has to prepare a defense for my complaint. When Attorney Stovall decided to withdraw as my legal counsel, he did not provide sufficient notice. The absence of sufficient notice left me to material adverse effects on my case. In fact, several critically important deadlines were missed. Since July of 2008, Attorney Stovall has not been and is not today my lawyer. Yet, Attorney Stovall continues to bill me; that is, as if I were his client for four years. I believe this practice is both false and misleading and creates an unjustified expectation about not only the results the lawyer receives but the presentation of false "billing"... I have not authorized any legal services since July 20th, 2008. I think it is a reasonable standard for a lawyer's services, the statements and invoices to be truthful - not duplicitous.
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