5.0 stars 5 totalReview R. Michael Collum
Posted by Tim
If I were asked to “build” the perfect dissolution attorney, my creation would be Michael Collum. Michael brings calm and assurance to an emotionally overwhelming process. He is bright, personable, hardworking, accessible, kind, patient, trusted by Judges and is a certified Family Law Specialist. That means he’s an expert at what he does. He has represented celebrities and the mega rich, yet treated me as if I were both. I am neither. I found Michael in June, 2015, after 20 months of litigation terrorism by my ex-wife and her impossibly unethical attorney. Within 4 months, he settled my case. And I live in Virginia!
My first attorney was a warrior, but inexperienced. We were both duped by the unprecedented level of dishonesty and underhandedness leveled at us by opposing counsel. Any correspondence or document we served on him, he claimed he never received. He claimed to have mailed or faxed or emailed documents and letters that he never actually sent. He refused to be reasonable- called “meet and confer” forcing needless and expensive Motions and Court hearings. Then, would not obey subsequent Court Rulings Ordering his client to comply with the law. He dumped 21,000 pages (7 boxes) of disorganized and irrelevant documents on me which had to be copied and reviewed which cost me thousands of dollars. He proffered false evidentiary support and Declared under Oath that lies were the truth. He lied to the Court to the point that she said in open Court “neither you nor your client have any credibility in this Court.” Needless to say, my original $25,000 Retainer was quickly exhausted and, despite sanctions and Orders to comply, I never received a single useable, verified response or document after 20 months of litigation! I was out of money and my lawyer was going to court to withdraw from representing me saying that, even if we won at trial, there may not be any assets left in the estate to split up. At the same time, opposing counsel had filed 4 separate sham Motions demanding that I answer questions and give him documents when I had already given them to him and he was asking for $5,000 in sanctions. I was overwhelmed, broke and devastated. That was in May, 2015.
Enter Michael Collum. June, 2015. We spoke over the phone at length and he listened, suggested courses of action and immediately sent me a Retainer Agreement I could work with. He appeared on my behalf just days later opposing the 4 conyrived Motions. Result: Motions Denied. Sanctions Denied. Opposing counsel quickly tried to exploit Michael being new to a file that consisted of thousands of pages by sending Michael a letter ostensibly written by my former lawyer. Michael immediately phoned me and questioned the contents of the document. I told him it was false. He then checked with my first attorney and verified that the letter was a fake. Opposing counsel had used my former lawyer’s letterhead and fabricated a letter and then forged her name to it. Michael informed the California bar association. Simultaneously, Michael and I had agreed to move to appoint a Receiver who would expose millions in assets hidden and undisclosed by my ex. Michael’s invaluable associate, David Handel, had also filed what is called a “doomsday” Motion that would ask the Court to essentially punish my ex and her attorney for all of their fraud and obstreperous conduct by awarding the entire estate to me. All of these actions were certain to succeed. It was now August, 2015.
Within weeks, my case was settled.
I do not believe there is a better Family Law Specialist in California.
Posted by Steve
Michael represented me when I broke up with my partner after 18 years. My partner tried to cut me out of any rights to a home that we bought together, but put the title in his name only per the suggestion of his mortgage broker. Foolishly, I never demanded he sign a quit-claim deed to put me on title. Further complicating this case was the fact that we were a same-sex couple that was not married, nor domestic partners.
Unfortunately, my ex found a lawyer that saw a distraught man whom he could take advantage of. He told my ex that I had no rights to the home and that I had no case to bring to court. When I received a letter from the lawyer informing me that my name was not on title and that I was to leave within fourteen days or else face formal eviction proceedings, I hired Michael and we filed a complaint against my ex. Nine months into the case, my ex realized that his lawyer was more interested in billing him hours than helping him win or settle. It took him hiring a second lawyer who was more honest and ethical to bring this case to a resolution. Thus, I was able to see how Michael worked against two different attorneys.
Michael's knowledge of the law was apparent from the beginning. The case he built for me was methodical, and the way he responded to the other lawyer's arguments was nothing less than "commanding". It was obvious that Michael was running the show with both lawyers. He was intelligent, professional, and confident in his writings and in court. I was also quite impressed with Michael's ability to remember the smallest of facts weeks after they were introduced into the case. It made me feel like he was really listening to everything I told him.
Even when he had to tell me bad news, I felt that Michael was always being honest and that I was getting the entire story. Michael was also honest about the costs involved in pursuing my case. He would discuss different strategies and be frank about what each option would cost to pursue. No one likes to spend money on legal fees, but I never felt like I was being cheated or taken advantage of. I believe he wanted to do the right thing for me, not just make a dime off of me.
In the end, we prevailed and I couldn't have asked for a better outcome. It was an incredibly stressful eleven months. At times it seemed like it would never end. Michael did more than represent me, he helped me stay strong in standing my ground.
I would't hesitate to recommend Michael to anyone needing legal help.
Posted by a Family client
Mr. Collum represented me in a highly contentious divorce. Unlike other attorneys, his focus was on ending the matter, while always having best interest in mind. He was not interested in stretching out ending the matter. However,, he was prepared to see it through the end, with a very strategic game plan. I appreciated how calm he was at all times, and never allowed the intensity of the opposing side get him emotionally charged. I have and would recommend Mr. Collum to anyone who is seeking representation in a divorce.
Posted by Tom Kreiss
Michael did a superior job. He got the absolute best results possible. He is very thorough and knowledgeable I would give him the highest recommendation to anyone in need of a lawyer that gets results. After having to deal with numerous lawyers in my past I can't emphasize enough how much I appreciate his professionalism and efficiency in getting me the best results possible.
Posted by a Divorce client
Michael handled my divorce in an efficient, timely and compassionate manner. He was responsive to my needs and helped me through the entire process. I am so grateful for Michael's caring manner and incredible results! I would recommend him to anyone who is about to go through a divorce.