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Arbitration hearing against attorney - Help.

Started by bluesman, Oct 16, 2004, 10:38:59 AM

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Do anyone have experience going through arbitration to settle a dispute with an ex-family law attorney?

My first attorney did a crappy job so I had to fire her. I had paid her $22,000 and now she wants another $17,000. I got a new attorney who was fantastic. That's also when I learned how really bad the other attorney was.

So I've got an arbitration hearing coming up because I've told the first attorney to go pound sand because I'm not giving her another $17,000. The first reason is I don't have it and the second is that she doesn't deserve it.

Does anyone have any words of advice?



I would formally request all expenses that she is charging you for. Get a detailed itemized list. Make a copy and highlight what you feel is incorrect...
"Children learn what they live"


I appreciate the suggestion.

Pointing to specific line items won't help me much I'm afraid. She did work for me but it was crappy work. She didn't fight for me. Her strategy was to appease my ex and her attorney in hopes that they would become more reasonable. She told me that judges like to see the two sides work it out. I thought that was the smart thing to do based on what my attorney told me. They walked all over us. After enough of that I had to fire her.

So my beef with the ex attorney is that she was incompetent. She should be happy with the $22,000 she already got from me.

I honestly don't think I can get the arbitrators to tell me I don't owe her anything. Not being pesimistic, just realistic. The attorney would not agree to binding arbitration so I'm starting to think there's no reason for me to lay all of my cards on the table at this point. I'm not willing or even able to pay her so she's just going to sue me for the whole thing regardless.

I'm thinking I should save any arguments for the day where we actually end up in court.


You could always file a complaint with your State Misconduct of Professionals Board...

"Children learn what they live"


Triple the money judgement (at minimum). Use an attorney from outside the local yokals that can/will work with your current family law attorney.

You must be emotionally drained due to her money-grabbing gross incompetence and ability to run up her fees with  a distraught parent.

In addition, a counter suit may have the effect of sending a subtle message to those in the family law environment.

Just some thoughts.  


>You must be emotionally drained due to her money-grabbing
>gross incompetence and ability to run up her fees with  a
>distraught parent.
>In addition, a counter suit may have the effect of sending a
>subtle message to those in the family law environment.

Thanks, Davy. Drained is exactly how I feel. The biggest emotional pain comes from my ex moving our three beautiful children over 2,000 miles away. Worst of all, the advice of this first attorney directly contributed to that being possible.

The counter suit may be the way to go. The only problem is I have nothing left to pay another attorney. If I could find one to take it on a contingency basis I might have a chance. But realistically I don't think the case is that strong. Apparently, the state bar doesn't allow unethical behavior but they don't seem to care much about being a moron.

Thanks for the advice.


My son's first lawyer did absolutely nothing. After the disasterous first hearing, we found SPARC & learned that we needed a Board Certified Family Law & Custody Specialist. He told us that the first one had done nothing. Then we got the final bill. We showed it to the new guy & he said he would take care of it.

He wrote the creep & told him that he had totally trashed the case & that he was advising us not to pay another cent. He also told him that he should be glad he got as much as he did & if we got another bill from him, he would assist us in a malpractice suite & demand all monies returned, compensation for my son, as well as compensation for the children. We never heard another word from the jerk.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression!

Kitty C.

Way to go, gr8dad and msme!!!!!!!!  You guys AND your atty. kick a$$!!!!!!!!
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


I would have paid money (not that I have any after being subjected to the family law courts) to see the look on that idiot's face when he got that letter.

I'll talk with my current attorney and see what he'd be willing to do. He's seen all of her work and hasn't said it was malpractice. But that doesn't mean we can't throw it out there, huh?

I've already asked him to help me with an appeal on a pro bono basis which he's said he will do. It's worth a shot.



Where do you guys live and whats your attorneys name?  Does He Travel?!!