In June of 2012, I met with Chris Tolleson, after several phone discussions. I told him that my wife has a frivolous order of protection against me and that I wanted to hire him to get the order dismissed or at least modified. I also told him that I would like to reconcile with my wife and see if she was willing to attend marriage counseling with me. I also told him that I wanted FAIR and REASONABLE visitation with my son. I explained that my wife was now in a different town, but that I knew where she attended college and that I had contact information for several of her family members. Chris Tolleson agreed to do these things for a FLAT FEE of $850. He explained that the flat fee meant that it didn't matter if it took him 2 hours or 100 hours to handle my case, and that all of it would be handled by the flat fee, regardless of how much work he had to put into it. It was further agreed that I could pay him $450 down and the remaining $450 at my liesure.
Chris Tolleson then picked up the phone and called my wife's mother. My wife's step-father answered. Chris Tolleson told her step-father that "I'm trying to get in touch with your step-daughter. I have some paperwork I need to get to her." This was the extent of the conversation. I IMMEDIATELY told this man that he should not have said such a thing, as my wife could easily construe this as me serving her with divorce papers, which neither one of us have filed.
I left his office, hoping for the best. A month later, I had heard nothing from him and I emailed him. He NEVER responded to a SINGLE email I sent to him, so I called him and after a few days, finally managed to get in touch with him. He told me that he was still trying to locate my wife and that her step-father didn't want to become involved. I reminded him of the emails I sent him with contact information for other family members, as well as what town she lived in and what school she attended. He assured me that he would take care of the job.
After another month, I got the same excuses when I called him. I sent him an email, explaining that he was not doing anything to help me and that perhaps I needed to hire a different lawyer that was competent enough to do what I hired him to do. I told him I would file a formal complaint with the appropriate state agency, namely the Committee on Professional Conduct, if he didn't start showing immediate results. He arranged to meet with me in his office to try to salvage our agreement.
When I met with him, he told me that he had now earned the initial $450 because it took him 2 hours to read my few emails and listen to the few voicemails I left him in regards to wanting a status update on my case. I reminded him of that flat fee he told me about, told him that there was no way it took him that long to read my emails and listen to my voicemails, and that it didn't matter how long it took due to it being a flat fee. Furthermore, I reminded him of the fact that if he had done his job, I would not have had to email him or call him in the first place. He then tried to tell me I would have to give him the remaining $450 to get him to finish the job, and he also told me that he was not a private detective and finding my wife was not his responsibility. I reminded him of our agreement and then he told me he would be emailing me a contract within the next 2 or 3 days. I told him that I was agreeable to what we previously discussed: him getting the order of protection dismissed or modified, contacting my wife to find out about reconciliation and/or counseling, and to get me some decent visitation with my son. I further told him that if he did not get the contract to me in the 2 or 3 days that he had mentioned, I would forward my complaint. He pacified me by telling me what I wanted to hear and I left.
A full WEEK later, no contract had arrived in my email. I emailed him to let him know that he already was telling me something without following through and I attempted to call him, as well. After another week of trying to contact him, I emailed him a final time to let him know that I was sending in my complaint.
I also complained to the BBB after they told me that they COULD handle disputes over fee arrrangements with lawyers. They closed the case because it had already been sent to the Committee on Professional Conduct. Due to my frustrations with this vile creature, I decided to create this page to let the world know to NEVER hire this man and to let your friends and family know that he took my money and did NOTHING to help me.
In a nutshell, I hired this villain to get me some relief from a corrupt family law system in Arkansas. He made ONE phone call for $450 and then systematically lied to me, pretending that he was looking for her and could not find my wife. I am not worried about the $450. It is the principle of the thing. He cost me 3 MONTHS of WASTED time. Thanks to him, I have had to endure 3 months longer without seeing my son than I would have endured, had the sorry man actually done the job I hired him to do. He took my money and did nothing for me. I hired him because he told me that he had gone through a similar situation and that the judge in his case was corrupt and that he got so mad at the system that he became a lawyer, vowing to fight for the rights of his clients and their children.
Chris Tolleson "practices" law in the city of Conway, Arkansas. I have posted his business card so that the world can see who he is and know to stay away from him. Friends don't let friends hire crooked lawyers.