My partner and I decided to share our experience with the hope that it might assist others who, like us, find themselves in need of an employment lawyer.
We hired Richard P. Fisher of Goyette & Associates to defend me against the actions of my employer, who claimed I had quit voluntarily despite my medical disability status. We were aware of Mr. Fisher’s $300 hourly rate; however, before he would begin working on my case, he asked us to pay a $1200 “deposit” to the firm. All this despite that fact that the hearing was scheduled for the next day, and, according to Mr. Fisher’s own stated prediction, as we recall it, he would only need about one hour of preparation. At the same time, Mr. Fisher told us that, in all likelihood, the entire $1200 would not be spent. This was welcome news to us, as we’d explained to Mr. Fisher that due to my medical disability I have been out of work and without a salary for many months, thus this is a very significant expense for us right now.
During the hearing with my employer, which I ended up losing, we believe that Mr. Fisher failed to raise an important point in my defense. We then filed for appeal, in which he was supposed to represent me. When I nicely contacted Mr. Fisher with the information he had failed to bring up, instead of offering to look into it or owning up to his mistake, he claimed that he had used up all the money from the $1200 deposit and that the firm would need to charge me for “additional hour or two” for him to conduct “research” on the point he had failed to bring up. He should of know the answer to this general question. As a doctor, if I charged extra for every diagnostic possibility, I would be a rich man.
Later on, Mr. Fisher’s secretary asked us if we want to hire Mr. Fisher for the appeal. I struggle with chronic illness and I was ill at the time, which I told him, saying that I would respond to him shortly. In the same day, Mr. Fisher abruptly and unkindly informed me that was terminating his representation of my case. He said he had also informed the appeals board that he would not be representing me at the appeal. We found this behaviour to be repugnant. In his work with us as an employment lawyer, Mr. Fisher was hired to do work that involves serious, life-changing decisions for people when they’re at their most vulnerable: when they’re sick and disabled. We wrote to Mr. Fisher as well as to the head of the firm with our experience and asked for accountability and repair for the damages done (e.g., the appeal was scheduled at a date that was too late to address important related issues, of which Mr. Fisher was informed). We received brief responses which did not address or solve the issues we raised. Moreover, we believe their mail contained inaccuracies, as well as an attitude that to us seemed arrogant and dismissive (especially on Mr. Fisher’s part). When we pointed out these issues and asked again for a substantial response which kindly addressed our concerns, we heard nothing back. Our lawyer assisting us with our disability matter called Mr. Fisher several times, as he needed some important information related to our case. He, too, received no response from Mr. Fisher. To this day we have not heard anything from Mr. Fisher.
We and our disability lawyer have made several attempts to receive any acknowledgement from Mr. Fisher of the issues we raised, or a serious effort to hear our experience and to work things out, but we have been unsuccessful. We are left with the unpleasant but seemingly necessary tasks of writing online reviews and filing a complaint with the bar association.
As a result of our experience, we do not recommend this firm; least of all, Mr. Fisher. It should also be noted that his firm accidentally copied us in an email meant for another client, so we can neither vouch for their effectiveness regarding confidentiality and secure communications.