5.0 stars 24 totalReview Richard Hart
Posted by Mike
A great mix of legal savvy and a practical approach. He demonstrated a thorough grasp of legal issues my spouse's lawyer (V. Freitas) did not spot and probably did not understand. He presented me with both sides, and I sometimes did not take his advice. He never held that against me, and in fact advocated brilliantly just the same. A true lawyer's lawyer who will look out for you and the bigger picture.
Posted by Josh
Rick provided very prompt and responsive service and was very honest in his dealings with me. He quickly resolved the disconnects between the two parties and I was happy with the settlement. I would highly recommend Rick to anyone looking for a great divorce attorney.
Posted by nick
Richard guided me carefully through a 1 year divorce settlement through to final arbitration. What i really liked most about Richard was his ability to understand when i could do some of the work myself in place of himself, which i believe helped keep my overall costs down but still resulted in a fair settlement, all i wanted. Id gladly work with Richard again and his paralegal, Kate. They follow up on questions and seemed to always know when to call vs when to just leave things. I honestly think i could have paid much more if Richard had not given me the correct guidance and been considerate of this at all times.
Posted by a client
I consulted with Rick regarding the dissolution and liquidation of common assets between myself and former business partner. He allowed me to share the complex issues and listened carefully to the key legal points posing questions if necessary to gain a better understanding.
Furthermore, he assessed the legal components of my case and together we addressed possible scenarios and their outcomes.
From this, Rick helped me quickly prioritize the best plan-of-action so that I may begin preparing for the inevitable.
In conclusion, Rick put me at ease regarding the other parties threats and maneuvers thus far, citing their lack of any legal foundation.
Posted by Jim
I went through an "amicable" divorce and I initially utilized a cut-rate lawyer who oversaw a "collaborative" divorce process. I felt pretty smart at first--I had saved thousands of dollars in legal fees and things between my ex- and I were fine. Well, later I was reminded that you get what you pay for when things between my ex- and I went sideways and there were issues over child support and time with the kids. It was at that point that I found out that my prior representation had done a lousy job of advising me and an even poorer job of writing out the divorce settlement.
It was at that point that I sought out and found a new lawyer: Rick Hart. I found him here on Avvo.com and I hired him immediately after a short consultation. Rick has done an excellent job in advising and representing me over a number of difficult issues. He is thoughtful and low-key, but is absolutely willing to be an aggressive advocate when the situation calls for it. My favorite aspect of the way Rick works is that he is always very clear about what things he thinks are worth fighting over (and spending money on) and what things are likely to be very low Return on Investment issues.
He definitely isn't the sort of attorney who seeks to fight over everything in order to churn billable hours out, to nobody's benefit but his own. In fact, I have found him to be the opposite. He genuinely wants the best outcome for his clients and he does a really good job of communicating a realistic range of expected outcomes on every issue.
The bottom line is that I trust Rick completely and would have no reservations recommending him to other (reasonable) people who find themselves facing a divorce.
Posted by Brian
Divorces are never fun, but Rick maintained my confidence through the whole ordeal. He is experienced and it shows. My ex had some pretty unreasonable expectations from the get go and I was being a doormat but Rick turned the tides and all ended exceptionally well for me. Money well spent!
Posted by a Divorce client
When my ex-spouse requested a divorce, I found Richard Hart after researching and meeting with several downtown divorce lawyers (both men and women) and advisors that I had been referred to. The other lawyers had good reviews but something wasn’t clicking for me. I was very aware that even a “fair” settlement had pitfalls and did not want to trust my or my ex-spouse’s limited knowledge, research and choices, or to rely on a mediator to look out for my best interests. I wanted someone with lots of experience and an excellent rating to insure I wouldn’t have to change lawyers if negotiations deteriorated or became complicated. At the same time, I did not want an attorney who would encourage me to pursue unlikely compensation or unnecessary fighting with my ex, which would only increase their fees and decrease my award. I have seen this happen to others to their detriment, even when justified, using up the pool of assets, turning the courts against them, or simply guaranteeing additional ill-will from their exes. I was working very hard to have the best outcome of a painful situation and I wanted an attorney who would support that.
After winding through several expensive downtown garages and multiple banks of elevators for each attorney, I decided that I didn’t need that additional stress and that there must be a really good attorney outside of the downtown area. Reviewing the rating websites, I found Richard Hart had excellent ratings and reviews by clients, peers and judges so I set up a preliminary meeting at his easily accessed office.
From the beginning I found Rick and his staff to be experienced and knowledgeable, supportive, flexible, and careful of my money, advising me of everything I was entitled to and which issues would be a waste of my money to pursue. He listened to all of my concerns about property, pensions, investments, dependants, insurance, etc. and advised me about the possible and best ways to divide the assets, remaining flexible to evolving situations and my personal choices. He reminded me that I didn’t need a cookie-cutter solution; I needed a settlement that would work for my situation and for me, and to be realistic, creative and assertive about deciding what that should be. He was even knowledgeable about my ex-spouse’s company and what to expect from them. I also appreciated that he gave me the option of doing some things myself to save money or having his office handle them. He was tough and firm without escalating tensions, keeping negotiations moving forward to my benefit. He was very professional and also calm and relaxed, even joking appropriately when I needed a laugh.
Working with Rick and his office felt like I was working with an excellent, long-time family lawyer and friend. In the end, I came out of it all with what I consider a fair settlement (better than many I have seen recently), with the fewest “scars” and least damage possible. I would use him again (although I hope I won’t have to) and would recommend him to others without hesitation.
Posted by Michael
In 2009, I was facing an estate division between myself and a spouse of 29 years. She had walked out on me, refused to reconcile, cut off all communication, and requested a property division plan from me through her personal representative (Power of Attorney). I responded with an equitable plan, but her PoA refused to acknowledge or negotiate any terms through 2010. I was stymied. At the recommendation of a good friend, I contacted Rick, who had satisfactorily handled my friend’s bitter divorce action.
Rick was very good at sizing up the situation. Either they responded to our request to negotiate, or we were obliged to sue them to force the issue. They didn’t, and we did, whereupon their behavior became rancorous and obstructive. We did not find out until later, by happenstance, that the opposing counsel had in fact initiated a suit against me in Pierce County---which was strange, because there were no legal residences for either party in that venue. We spent 2011 neutralizing this countersuit and setting the foundation for a proposed property division.
We arranged a mediation in early 2012 and were preparing for it, when we received the news that my ex-spouse had passed away the week prior to the mediation date. Now we were negotiating with the executor of my ex-spouse’s estate. This did not bother Rick in the least, and he was able to handle this alteration in circumstances with ease.
This was an ugly, trying, drawn-out, bad-faith conflict, where the law was not in my favor (they were pursuing personal assets that were never part of the joint estate). Through it all, Rick was supportive, incisive, and active. He let me know which parts of the action were mere motions, and which were substantive. He oriented me toward the elements of the case that we could affect. He mobilized supporting counsel and completely squelched the counter-suit. He was always clear and complete in his communications. And, he welcomed me as a friend, which was a comfort through this trying time. I always knew where Rick stood with me, and that was at my side.
Posted by a Divorce client
First and foremost I would advise anyone reading this review to check out the WSBA directory to search for Richard. You will see that under practice areas there is none specified so the premise that his primary focus is family law is incorrect. This is almost like primary care physician claiming to be a neuro specialist.
In my case I paid for initial consultation and then went on to hire Richard, based on the advice I got my situation went from bad to worst. I worked with Richard on my case for a few months before I decided otherwise. The advice and strategy that I received from Richard got me nowhere near my goal yet I paid for every minute charged to my case. Richard might be a really good lawyer if the divorce is not contentious, both parties are civil or you are a female. If you don't fit into any of these categories I would recommend that you try representing yourself and you will not only get better results but also save yourself loads of money.
The key ideology behind Richard's strategy is a) you should be thankful for the position you are in, no matter how bad it is because it can be worst b) that men can never get a fair trial in the family court system that is why you should bend over backwards to accommodate the other side while keep on repeating may I have another. My question would be that if that is truly the case and men don't have a chance at all then why bother putting up a fight let alone hiring an attorney with the supposed 27 years of experience.
Another issue that I would like to point out is getting a straight answer from Richard on anything is just as difficult as negotiating a peace deal between Israel and Palestine. Granted that family law can be vague however that does not mean that an "experienced" lawyer cannot use his experience/knowledge to give a straight answer based on his opinion. While I would give credit to Richard and his team for their responsiveness but at the same time I cannot recommend Richard to any man going through a messy divorce especially when there are child custody matters involved.
In conclusion I would simply suggest instead of paying $300/hr to Richard , search elsewhere, ask your lawyer to give your specific case references instead of just taking their word for it. In this case I would go as far as saying that you might be better off going to a paralegal or going to the county website to get the info you need to get your case going.
Posted by Ben
I was very lucky to have found Richard. In addition to his experience and knowledge, I really liked his down to earth personalities and cost conscious approach. Richard knew his stuff, was a great guy to work with. I trusted his judgment and advice. We made an excellent team. Together we scored a total win (not many people could say that). My ex-wife was an extremely stubborn, highly emotional and very rude know-it-all. She went through three attorneys while I had the same old Richard in my corner. My ex-wife started off with a low ball estimate on the value of the house she was living in (I moved out), a 70/30 asset split, a large sum of back child support, and an one sided parenting plan full of stupid conditions and restrictions. Richard was able to filter out the noise, separate non-sense from the facts and focus on what really mattered in the court of law, which really helped us to prepare for a mediation meeting with a mediator chosen by the opposing team. We successfully debunked all the claims by the opposing team with facts and took the wind out of their sail. By the end of the mediation, we signed a CR2A agreement that basically consisted of our versions of parenting plan, asset division (50/50) and back child support ($0.00). Then a couple of days later, my ex fired her attorney and hired a new one trying to nullify the agreement. Once again, Richard saved the day. He was able to work with the new opposing counsel and the court to uphold and enforce the agreement. A total win, beyond my expectation! Richard Hart, an excellent attorney, a great guy to be in your corner!