|University of California - Davis||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|University of Michigan Law School||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Posted by anonymous
We retained Gretchen to produce a series of family related legal documents. The initial meeting was extremely productive and efficient, aided by us having a very clear articulation of what we required and by Gretchen offering alternative things we could consider.
Unfortunately things deteriorated from that point forwards. We were exceedingly clear that our desire was for Gretchen to take decisions we had already reached as a family (after much conversation over an extended period of time) and make them legally binding. Nothing more, nothing less. This was our request.
That did not happen. I appreciate that negotiating is a significant part of what attorneys do, but in this case we ended up pointlessly negotiating against ourselves only to end up right back with the set of requirements we had even before engaging Gretchen.
Part way through this process we even explicitly challenged what was happening. The majority of billable time was being attributed to questioning whether the outcomes we requested made sense as opposed to formalizing what we had decided. Unfortunately this did not stop more of the same from occurring.
The culmination of this was Gretchen proposing a signing session to make the documents binding. This would have involved 2 attorneys (each $400+ per hour), billable travel time, etc. Our best guess is this would have been a $1000 exercise to simply get signatures on a page. We refused, choosing to sign and courier documents for a total cost of 30mins and $20 for an identical result.
In summary we believe Gretchen is knowledgeable, competent and provides good advice. That said, in our case she did not respect our very clear requests and as a consequence we probably ended up incurring almost double the number of billable hours across the two attorneys involved.
As a side note if you retain Gretchen: any unpaid invoice is charged interest at 10% (accrued monthly) and yet any money on retainer (sitting with Gretchen) does not pay a cent in interest. Some small print to be aware of... in fact we were surprised you can legally hold a clients money without paying any interest and then charge an extraordinary amount on any balance outstanding.
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