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Topics - Hazel

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Dear Socrateaser / Well, it's a win...I suppose.
« on: Aug 09, 2006, 06:23:59 PM »
Had a rule to show cause filed against me in January '06.  I'm 800 miles away... hired an attorney who turned out to be a poor choice.  (Didn't return calls or let me know what happened in court, yada yada yada.)

As a result, a case that should have been quickly wrapped up ended up taking months and months to resolve.  (There was absolutely no contempt.)

Finally, 3 weeks ago I discharged my attorney and hired a new one who I think is GREAT.  (Former Assistant U.S. Attorney and a very experienced litigator.)

First court appearance by the new attorney, OC withdraws EVERYTHING!  So, it's done and I should be doing the happy dance.

But instead I'm pretty torked because I JUST spent a grand to retain this attorney.

Maybe I should just let it go... but I'm totally irked that this is "justice" - Being accused of a crime that I didn't commit, then spending thousands of dollars defending myself for said "crime" only to have it completely dropped.

In actuality, I feel like pressing a malicious prosecution charge, making my ex absorb thousands of dollars in attorney's fees defending herself, then just dropping it all after about 6 months if it looks like I might lose.

I realize that this may not be the most reasonable course of action.

Can you talk me down?  :)

As always, thanks for everything.

Best regards,

Dear Socrateaser / A little humor
« on: Aug 07, 2006, 08:42:48 AM »
Hi Soc,

Since it's not too busy on here today, I thought you might like a little humorous reading.   Rumor has it that this was an actual court filing:


Dear Socrateaser / Refund of Retainer
« on: Jul 13, 2006, 02:40:47 PM »
Dear Soc,

Again thank you so much for all you do here.  I can't possibly put into words how much your responses, both to me and to others, have helped.

 I strongly feel that my attorney did not represent me diligently.  This matter should have been wrapped up months ago, and from the getgo was a slam dunk.  It is still dragging on due to her inaction.  

When I asked her why on earth she didn't file a motion to dismiss after the OC had been shut down by facts, her ONLY response was "Because I thought you wanted to do this cheaply, and that would have cost money."  Ummm... yeah, but losing due to her inaction and indifference will obviously cost way more than filing a simple motion in a timely manner.  (Further, I never said that I wanted to do it "cheaply".  I, of course, wanted to avoid the expense a full blown trial if possible.)

Nonetheless... Sorry for rambling... I spoke to another attorney today, and now I will be paying another retainer because I can't take this for one more day.  When I asked him what he thought the judge would think if I switched attorneys mid stream, he told me outright that the judges at the court house aren't at all surprised to see my former attorney's clients fire her in the middle of a case.

I've read and copied some of your comments to others in the past regarding attorneys and recovering fees.   The advice that you gave for disputing charges was advice that I'd like to take.  The problem is that I have never received a bill from her, so I've nothing to dispute item by item.

I paid a $1000.00 retainer back in January.  She may have used it all, but I've no way to know and I seriously doubt it.  In 7 months, I have never received anything from her in writing.  I would like to be able to recoup a portion of the retainer, if possible, so that I can apply it to the new attorney's retainer.

Additional word on the street is that this attorney has well known substance abuse issues, and although I didn't believe it at first, from what I've experienced I'm no longer doubting it.    I realize that it is pure conjecture, however I now believe that the OC knows I have an incompetent attorney, and that this, coupled with the fact that I am 800miles away, is what has caused this lawsuit to continue well beyond reasonability.  

I have documented every event ad nauseum, and feel that I have a strong case to dispute any charges beyond the retainer amount, possibly even a portion of the retainer amount.  I have no desire to take anything from her that she has rightfully earned... I have no idea how to proceed.  Perhaps I should just move on and cut my losses... any advice you have will be followed word for word.

1)  Should I request that she send me a final bill?

2)  Should I tell her up front that I plan to dispute all past and future  charges, or should I get a bill first and THEN inform her of the dispute?

Dear Socrateaser / Status hearing
« on: Jul 12, 2006, 11:07:42 AM »
Dear Soc,

I am involved in a court case that just won't die...  :(

1) Under what circumstances is a status hearing usually ordered?  

2) What is the benefit to the court?

Thanks for your time, hope your vacation was great!

Dear Socrateaser / Help with court acronym
« on: May 16, 2006, 06:49:37 AM »
Dear Soc,

I had a contempt charge filed against me in January 06 regarding college support for my 19 year old daughter.  Although the charge was completely without merit, the opposing counsel has remained steadfast and unwilling to negotiate for the past 4 months.

The case has not yet gone to court.  Instead, a pre trial conference was held yesterday.  Coincidentally, the child's final semester grades were also released yesterday, and the child's GPA has dropped to a 1.72.  The signed agreement clearly states that if child fails to maintain a GPA of 2.0, the agreement becomes null and void.

I've not been able to reach my attorney to find anything out about the pretrial conference, however it states on the county's website the following:  "Agreed Order to be submitted OTC"

1)  What does "OTC" mean?

2)  In the event that "OTC" means the judge wants to send the case to mediation, can I refuse this?

3)  I am assuming that since a trial date was not set at the PTC that the contempt charge has been proven invalid.  Is this a safe assumption?

Thanks so much,

Dear Socrateaser / Attorney "too busy"
« on: Feb 13, 2006, 01:11:43 PM »
Hi Soc,

I am the defendant in a motion for rule to show cause.  The state is Illinois, and I currently live 900 miles away.  By the time I received the motion against me, I had only 3 business days to either get to Illinois to attend the hearing, or retain an attorney to appear in my absence.

I did manage to retain counsel, and she did appear in court at the appointed time.  This was 18 days ago, and I have not heard one word from her since then.  I have left messages and have spoken to her assistant.  The assistant only states that "court went well" and tells me not to worry about it.  The plaintiff has not dropped the charge and there is a new court date "sometime in March".

There have been 3 scheduled phone conferences with the attorney, but every single one was missed by her because she was "held up in court".  She appologizes profusely through her assistant, yet has done nothing to remedy the situation.  I realize that I am not her only client.  I am only looking for a 5 to 10 minute phone call to let me know where I stand.

My gut feeling is that perhaps she is too busy to handle my case, but it's possible that since the new court date isn't until March that it just isn't a priority for her.  I'm struggling with whether or not to continue on with her, or just make the break and find someone else - not an easy task from 900 miles away.

Are my expectations reasonable?

Dear Socrateaser / Contempt charge
« on: Jan 22, 2006, 09:05:03 AM »
Dear Socrateaser,

DH is the Defendant responding to a Motion for Rule to Show Cause and Contempt.  The State is Illinois.  The motion states specifically that DH has "refused to contribute towards any of the educational expenses" of his adult daughter.

We have a cancelled check for spring '06 tuition and fees, endorsed and cashed by the plaintiff, along with an email from her stating that she received the check and acknowledging what it was for.

We live 900 miles away from the Plaintiff.  We believe that she has filed this suit as a form of harassment/bullying, as she and DH do not see eye to eye on best interests of child.

We have a phone conference with an attorney tomorrow.

1)  With the evidence as it is, is there any way that this charge could stand?

2)  If you were DH's attorney, would you seek any sort of penalties against the Plaintiff for knowingly filing this bogus lawsuit?

Thanks so much for your help.

Dear Socrateaser / Aptitude and desire for higher learning
« on: Apr 01, 2005, 01:27:02 PM »
Dear Socrateaser,

The state is Illinois.

Exact wording in divorce decree:
The parties agree that they shall contribute toward the minor child's college education to the extent that each is financially able based upon aptitude and desire for post-secondary education.

Child is a senior in high school, graduating in June.  Current GPA is 2.16 on a 4.0 scale.  Grades have been slipping steadily since last year.  

1)  Does this phrase "aptitude and desire" really mean anything?

2) If so, how is it measured by the court?

Thanks so much.

Best Regards,

Dear Socrateaser / Living Expenses
« on: Jan 20, 2005, 02:40:56 PM »
Hi Socrates,

Again, thank you for the service you provide.  It is truly priceless.

DH and I are working on coming to an agreement on college support in Illinois.  The sticking point is going to be "Living Expenses".  I have been trying like crazy to find some case law to rely upon, to no avail.

Child will attend community college and reside in CP home.  CP, being understandably reluctant to let go of CS windfall, is padding "living expenses" in order to continue support and avoid financial contribution.

1)  Can you point me in the direction of some case law (or better yet, just look in your crystal ball and give me the answer) to explain how "living expenses" are generally calculated?

Best Regards,

Dear Socrateaser / Sorry Soc, another college support question...
« on: Jan 13, 2005, 07:38:34 AM »
The state is Illinois.

Divorce decree, signed in 1987, clearly states that child support will end when child graduates from high school...  But the next paragraph states that "parents will contribute to college education based on their ability to pay and the child's aptitude and desire for higher learning."  We have an ability to pay and the child's grades are fine.  (Problem is, we have no desire to pay...)  Child will be graduating from high school in June '05.

DH has paid over $55,000 in child support in the past 6 years alone for one child.  He's never been late, and has never missed a payment in 17 years.  Child support is currently $1100.00 per month.  Child wants to live with Mom and attend a community college that will cost approximately $2000.00 per year.  (But of course Mom will want us to pay her for "living expenses.")

We do not wish to contribute to college financing, because we feel that we've already paid more than enough, and that this very "entitled" child will be better off if she works her way through.  We have no intention to give our other children free rides at college time, either.

1) Due to the ambiguity in the original decree, could we legally consider the exhorbitant child support amount we've already paid to be our "contribution" to college costs?  (Yes, I know you're probably laughing at this and that I'm grasping at straws here.)

2)  Is there any chance that we'll be ordered to continue full child support for the next 4 years?

3)  What do you think will really happen if he is ordered to pay and refuses to do so?

4)  If you were in our shoes, would you fight this to the extent of going to jail, or would you give in?

Thanks so much for what you do here, Soc.  ;)

Kindest Regards,

Pages: 12
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