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|University of California, Hastings College of the Law||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Posted by Kevin
I began mediation services with Susan Harrison of the Harrison Law Mediation Offices in July of 2013 when my wife and I separated. While Susan is a knowledgeable lawyer, we achieved very little in the mediation process and I was disappointed with the outcome.
One of the biggest concerns I had with the process was that she stated most mediation proceedings cost between $2,000 - $5,000. At her billing rate of $500/hr - which seemed very high to me given the nature of the services - that's between 4-10 hours of her work. In the months after the mediation began, my wife and I spent approximately $12,000 on the mediation services and managed to get only a temporary custody arrangement and support agreement and a "nanny support" arrangement for my wife's time with our kids. The stickier issues of asset negotiation and split were barely discussed and not negotiated during the mediation.
I encouraged Ms. Harrison multiple times between October and December of 2013 to bring my wife to the table to begin the negotiations of the asset redistribution. It never happened and we ended up quitting the mediation process in January 2014.
Besides the temporary support and custody arrangement, which was settled in August of 2013, a "nanny support" arrangement, and the occasional phone call, the sum total of work by Ms. Harrison involved reading and replying to emails that had little to do with the divorce negotiations. While billing us approximately $2,500 per month, she was unable to bring my wife to the table for a negotiation of the asset split, which was the primary reason I hired her.
In summary, I was very disappointed with the outcome of the mediation process with Susan Harrison. I was disappointed enough with the process that I asked Ms. Harrison to forego the last invoice (my portion was approximately $1500). Not only would she not consider the request, but she threatened to sue me if it was not paid. I let her know that if she forced the issued I would pay the invoice and review her online. She chose to have the $$.
While I believe Ms. Harrison is a knowledgeable lawyer, I did not find her to be a competent mediator and her services were not worth the rate that she charges. In addition, her attitude at the end of the process was above reproach. She felt that she should be paid in full for services regardless of what was accomplished during the process, and regardless of whether or not the invoicing was in line with her expectations.
Posted by Danna
Susan always places her clients first and takes great care to handle any matter she is asked to in the best way possible. I don't like to need a lawyer but when I do I always call Susan Harrison first, if my matter is not Susan's specialty area she is always kind to refer me to the best possible specialist available. You can count on Susan to handle your matters with honesty and integrity.
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