After finding out that my wife was driving around my children while intoxicated and after two DUI's(one with one of our children in the car) I realized I was headed for divorce. Diane advertised that she was a proponent of mens rights and she was recommended to me by the Lessee of her office.
I was very distraught and emotionally confused. At the time I didn't realize that alcoholics blame everybody else for why they drink, so I was taking everything personally and blaming myself. Diane Mellott saw this opportunity and convinced me that she understood alcoholism and had dealt with it before and that she was qualified to handle my divorce. She requested a $20,000 up front retainer, which she said she would accept $19,000 if it was in cash. In my vulnerable and emotional state I relinquished the cash to her.
I told her I wanted to try to save the marriage if possible, but she insisted that I should let it go and there was no hope and I should protect myself and my family's interest. I had lots of questions and she always seemed to put them off. I faxed and left messages with long lists of questions I had, including questions about a court order which she actually made deals behind my back with the opposing attorney without telling me.
Then when we stood in front of the judge, she told me I could not say one word or I would be held in contempt and go to jail while the Judge read off the order in a string list of items which I never agreed to. Being that alcoholics manipulate and lie, I kept corresponding with Diane about misunderstandings and misrepresentations that my wife was making and inquired as to how I could protect myself. She always seemed to be out of the office, on vacation, in court, or in some emergency hearing.
At one point she took me out to lunch, supposedly to discuss the case, bought me drinks and let me just say that the conversation led by her is not where it should have been leading to. You can read between the lines. She was going through her own divorce at the time and her emotionality, appearance, and aptitude to handle my case seemed obvious to me to be below par. I discussed a refund, but she told me I had already used my hours up. At $20,000 I asked her for a detailed invoice months ago, which she never provided.
I asked for a copy of my file, which I continue to do, but she refuses to provide. I constantly send her faxes, emails and leave messages to her office. It's been over one month and she refuses to contact me. I am going through the worst time in my entire life and she is not there for me. At one point the court ordered me to provide documents to the defense. This was a deal Diane had made behind my back without making me aware prior.
She told me that we were waiting for the defense to provide like documents so my wife took us to court for these documents, Diane said it was just a meeting and would take 5 minutes. It turned out to be a trial and she got hammered so bad by the Defense that I got held in contempt and it cost me $5,000. The Judge yelled at me and her. She was not prepared at all and despite my communications with her, as far out as three weeks to this "meeting" she would not accept a preparatory meeting or conversation and just told me to "show up."
Again, the defense clobbered us and she even had a fight in the conference with the opposing attorney when they were willing to bypass the hearing. She couldn't get along with the other attorney and in my opinion appeared to have a hangover. The defense attorney finally freaked out at her and said "thats it, we are going into the court room." I was held in contempt.
Now, the Judge, the defense attorney, my wife, all probably think that I am just as scummy and irresponsible as she is because she is my attorney. I am much worse off now than if I would have just been my own attorney. I am humiliated. Furthermore, my wife tells me that she is continually sending correspondences to her attorney and that her attorney is supposedly sending them to Diane. Very rarely do we get any correspondence from my attorney relating to anything of this nature.
Now, in the interest of time I won't explain in detail, but I had my back up against the wall with many pressing issues and I need an attorney more than ever and Diane is flat out ignoring me. I am blown away by this. She even made custody agreements behind my back while telling me to sign the document and literally refused to let me read it, then made hand-made changes in writing when I left. She refuses to give me a refund of the $19,000 in cash I gave her. She refuses to give me my file or a detailed invoice.
I have documents from her apologizing for her lack of communication and that she would do better, but it is worse than ever. She is not an attorney. She takes your money and does far less than the minimum. She has caused me more heartache, stress, anguish and frustration than I could have ever imagined. She is, in my opinion, immoral, unethical and she should be disbarred from practicing law forever. It's bad enough what me, my wife and children are going through.
She has made everything much worse. I only hope that somehow she will be stopped from causing anyone else any further harm or financial losses. From what I see, the judges dislike her, the other attorney's strongly dislike her and anybody I mention her name to has had bad experiences with her, even the judges chambers secretary, who refused to comment on what she thinks about her, merely said "I'm not surprised" when I told her what was happening with my attorney. I feel like I am drowning and I can get no help. I have no money for a new attorney.
Diane basically abandoned me and the impact this is going to have on my children and I in the future can be catastrophic. My intent is to file a complaint with every organization I can and to eventually file a lawsuit against her. I've seen a lot in my life. This takes the cake. I am in unbelievable and immense disbelief of this persons lack of character and behavior, especially in a profession that is bound by oath and creed to be a public servant. How can this person be allowed to be an attorney? I just don't get it?
What is happening in this country that people can get away with this? Don't just walk away, run and tell as many people as you can to do the same. She is a flat-out crook, in my opinion and most people I have spoke with have the same or worse to say about her as well as her ex-husband. I can't even use the words on this site to repeat what they said. I am embarrassed and humiliated to even have had hired her or to have been associated with her. Again, I am just blown away.