I was shafted by 2 lawyers. The first one wouldn’t listen to anything I said or wanted. She kept pushing me to settle despite my concerns about my ex: mainly that he’s a bully and would take me back to court in a heartbeat if I just caved. She also took weeks to return a call or email and eventually fell behind on my case. Soon she was charging me to read emails from me telling her to do her job. I don’t know how that’s legal but it is.
My second lawyer nearly cost me, my parental rights. He got a Guardian ad Lidum involved which shouldn’t have been a big deal. The one he chose however hated women. He is an advocate for dads getting more time with their kids. WTF. The GAL, my ex, and my ex’s lawyer tried to get the records from our co-parenting sessions while we were still attending them. Of course, my wonderful attorney failed to tell me so my ex did everything he could to wind me up in sessions to make me look bad.
By this point communication with my lawyer was taking days. Now I’m not the type to bug my lawyer constantly. I want to ask my questions, have my conversation, and be done. But I want my lawyer to call me back. I want him to believe what he says. Which he was doing none of.
Anyway, when I discovered what was going on I found the contract we signed with our counselor and sent it to my attorney. My ex and I both agreed to not have access to the records and not to subpoena them. My lawyer wasn’t getting it even after I told him exactly where it was in the contract. I literally had to quote the clause in the contract to my lawyer before he understood that my ex and I both signed our rights to the records or to even subpoena the records away. Needless to say, I fired that lawyer.
It was onto lawyer number 3. I talked to four more lawyers before hiring one. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake. I knew what I wanted and what to look for. I wasn’t afraid to ask for it either. They did work for me. This time I asked what their approach for the case would be? What is a realistic time frame to expect a response? Had they had cases with my GAL before and what did they think of him? Had they dealt with people like my ex before? How much of their caseload was handled by junior partners/other lawyers or paralegals?
I’ll discuss the importance of these questions in my next post. For now, I can say the third time was a charm.