Attorney David Seal promised to assist me with my collateral complaint for trespassing and private nuisance for a business operated out of my rental apartment without a business license and home occupation permit. After the retainer agreement was signed and the $3,500 retainer check was cashed, I did not hear back from attorney Seal. I tried calling and emailing him but he is always busy working on other cases, personal health issues, and holiday vacation.
The day before the statutory deadline to file suit for my case expired, he called me and told me that it is not the best use of his time to file an action for trespass and private nuisance. He then sent me an email confirming that I agreed to his recommendation. At this point, even if I disagreed with his recommendation, it is impossible for me to find another attorney to help me with my case. Attorney Seal should provide his clients sufficient notice of his decision not to pursue the case so the client can find another attorney. In any legal matter, time is of the essence. Attorney Seal accepted my money and promised to help me but he did not do anything. I lost my legal rights due to his failure to take action on the case and he did not provide me with advance notice to find a new attorney had I wanted to still pursue these causes of action.
To make the matter worse, I asked him to provide me with his tax identification so I can issue him form 1099 for the $3,500 I paid him to comply with the IRS rules. I faxed and emailed him copy of IRS Form W-9 and instructions. He never got back to me. Now I am out $3,500 and I can’t even get a tax deduction for the money I paid him.
I hope my review will help other to learn from my mistakes. If you are going to hire attorney Seal, I highly recommend paying a very small retainer fee and see if he actually follow through with what he promised. Pay the bills as the retainer is depleted to make sure you actually got legal services you paid for. If you don’t get any services, at least you lose out on a smaller amount. Also, get the form W-9 at the time the retainer agreement is signed and the initial retainer fee is paid. Once the check is cashed, you are out of luck with this attorney.
Response from David Seal December 20, 2019
This review is highly inaccurate as has already been proven in court. Every once in awhile a lawyer will run across a client who is dishonest and a social media scammer.
I was hired post-judgment to review and handle a matter which had already been lost at trial. Because there had already been a completed court case that was litigated to a conclusion, there were voluminous things to review. In addition, the client, a non-lawyer who incorrectly believes she knows the law, furnished me with a stack of research which she believed supported her theories. I promptly and fully fulfilled my obligations, but was discharged after I had fully earned all fees paid, which was a small amount. Work was done (research, drafting, consultation, trips to courthouses, etc.) and valuable legal advice was given. These clients wanted an attorney to follow a risky, meritless legal strategy, and would not listen to legal advice or even consider the reality of their situation (which was that they already had lost). If I had done what was asked it would have exposed these clients to liability. Instead of thanking me for properly doing the work, and for not exposing them to financial risk with little to no potential upside, they decided to wage a disinformation campaign online to try to influence me to return the already well-earned fees. They refused to cooperate on any little detail, even picking up the file, which was made promptly available to them. Finally, they attempted to take me to small claims court, where they asked for an award of several thousand dollars more than was paid, for no comprehensible reason. They lost and received zero.
Sometimes you have to try to save clients from themselves. Sometimes they appreciate it, sometimes they don't. If you have any questions about this review and its contents, please feel free to call me as I would be happy to discuss it with you. 949-529-1090.