• Report: #602518

Complaint Review: Jacques duChastel de Montrouge

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  • Submitted: Wed, May 12, 2010
  • Updated: Tue, November 20, 2012

  • Reported By: Joel — LaSalle Quebec Canada
Jacques duChastel de Montrouge
5925 av. de l'Esplanade Montreal, Quebec United States of America

Jacques duChastel de Montrouge My lawyer screwed me, nuff' said Montreal, Quebec

*Author of original report: If all else fails...

*Consumer Comment: wrong attribution

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: corruption everywhere

*Author of original report: Screw him

*Consumer Comment: Thanks, but no luck

*Author of original report: Not too late...I hope

*Consumer Comment: Others aren't so lucky

*Author of original report: Case closed

*Author of original report: Took long enough...

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't Give Up

*Author of original report: New development

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In 2004 I had sold items to a customer totaling $4850.00 which were to be paid for by monthly post-dated cheques dated from 2004 until 2008. I had also loaned items to this same customer totaling $250.00. My customer declared bankruptcy in 2006 but did not accurately report his debt with the bankruptcy trustee. He also refused to return any of the merchandise that I had either sold or loaned him.

I had contacted Me. Jacques du Chastel de Montrouge, based on a colleagues recommendation, to hear my case and see if it was legally viable. I had asked him during our introductory phone conversation if he charged for the first consultation, to which he replied no.

I met with him, not at his office but at a nearby caf, and after examining my case he said it was winnable and that it would cost me $500.00 to draft the motion and file it in court, and that any additional fees would be from his percentage of the money we would collect.

He failed to advise me if my business registration was up to date. Though it was my responsibility, since I dont have a secretary I have to check my paperwork myself, and I had more urgent matters to attend to. By his own admission, he simply assumed that it was up-to-date and did not bother to ask me during our first and second meetings. When he started the proceedings, he noticed this discrepancy in the business registry and brought it to my attention. I resolved the issue, but this omission on his part caused a delay in the proceedings, which at the time I figured was relatively minor.

After renewing my business registration, giving him the documents and paying the $500.00 invoice, he was incommunicado for a few weeks. I was later told that it was due to hospitalization.

He then sent me another invoice for $950.00 where he was charging me for our first and second meeting, our phone and Email conversations and the drafting and filing of the motion. I disputed this, on the grounds that the first meeting was supposed to be free of charge, that he never mentioned that he was charging for phone and Email correspondance, that the prices of the fees were never discussed and agreed upon and that the $500.00 fee was supposed cover the legal paperwork. He also wanted an additional $1,160.00 to cover possible contingencies such as skip tracing, contestation of the claim, etc. This in addition to the 25% he wanted from the money collected if I win the case.

Needless to say, I found this highly unreasonable since he refused to file the motion until the extra money was paid, and since he failed to list the prices of the fees in advance, this gave me the strong impression that he was just squeezing me for money and that perhaps the case was unwinnable. In which case he seriously mislead me.

After doing some calculations, I reasoned that $269.53, on top of the $500.00 already paid, was reasonable considering his lack of advance notice. I also took care of the skip tracing myself. He was again incommunicado and this time even his phone service was disconnected, leaving me to think he went out of business and that my case was abandoned. I was able to reach him later and he agreed to the aforementioned amount. He was to send me the invoice but I had to call back to remind him to do so, as I was preparing my tax returns at this time.

He sent the invoice in February and I paid it and was waiting to hear from him. I called him back to inquire how the case was progressing and he expressed surprise that I was still interested, since he (again) believed that I wanted to close the file. I replied that I had never expressed any such desire and that he please look into the matter. I have come to believe that his medical condition, in this case type 2 diabetes, may be affecting his judgment. His response was to send another invoice demanding the balance of the $950.00 he initially charged me, even after he agreed to and accepted the extra $269.53

In summary: He lead me to believe that my case was winnable under applicable law, asked for a set fee, received the money and after many delays for which he is partially at fault, he went back on his word and charged me extra money for services without consulting with me first and he refused to pursue the case unless I paid him the extra money. He repeatedly failed to list the prices of the fees in advance and when I confronted him about his apparent dishonesty, his characteristic response was to act disingenuously. Just today I found out from the local Bar Association that the time delay to file a complaint again a lawyer is 45 days, which would most likely explain why me took his sweet time getting back to me after I paid him.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/12/2010 10:15 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Jacques-duChastel-de-Montrouge/Montreal-Quebec-H2T-3A2/Jacques-duChastel-de-Montrouge-My-lawyer-screwed-me-nuff-said-Montreal-Quebec-602518. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
6Author 4Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

If all else fails...

AUTHOR: Joel Joseph - (Canada)

Collection agencies differ from bailiffs in that they don't need a court order, but it doesn't hurt. There's a few that will collect on a no-recovery, no-fee basis. You pay then a percentage from whatever they can squeeze out of his sorry a**. If he filed for bankruptcy, you may have to wait seven years until it is discharged before you can go after him.

His daughter works at Salon B downtown. Maybe she can persuade him to cough if you ask her nicely.

That's as far as the law will allow, unless you have some connections in high (or low) places...
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#2 Consumer Comment

wrong attribution

AUTHOR: anon - (Canada)

Sorry, I wrote the above comment and mistakenly submitted it as written by the "owner of the company".
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

corruption everywhere

AUTHOR: anon - (Canada)

Listen, the system is so corrupt, that when this crook had the nerve to take me to court for alleged fees owing, and I spent an entire day in court, without a lawyer up against a lawyer, and my health is poor and I simply shouldn't be doing things like that, which he knew, and I won and was awarded a paltry $50 in costs by the court (which in fact I had paid out of pocket to file my defence against his lawsuit), well, guess what, there was no way for me to force a sitting member of the Bar to pay that court-ordered amount. The courthouse staff advised me that I would spend many times that hiring a bailiff to get the money from him. The Bar just ignored me. Imagine, a lawyer not paying a court-ordered penalty with complete impunity. The system is completely corrupt. And now the Bar is protecting him. So, to add insult to teh injury of being robbed, he thumbed his nose at the court and never paid me the 50 bucks.  
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#4 Author of original report

Screw him

AUTHOR: Joel - (Canada)

In that case, I suggest you go with a collection agency on a no-collection, no fee basis. Squeeze the guy for what he owes you plus applicable collection fees. If he's bankrupt, that might be a problem. Hopefully you won't run out of legal options...
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#5 Consumer Comment

Thanks, but no luck

AUTHOR: anon - (Canada)

Thanks - but I tried. The Bar said that he's a sick man, they don't want to put him through the ordeal. Really! The corruption never stops.
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#6 Author of original report

Not too late...I hope

AUTHOR: Joel Joseph - (Canada)

Sorry to hear about your case. If you contact the Quebec Bar Association and file a formal complaint against him, they may be able to help. It shouldn't take as long as it did in my case, so hurry up before it's too late. Be sure to have your documents handy as proof, they'll want copies.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Others aren't so lucky

AUTHOR: anon - (Canada)

I too got ripped off by this lawyer, for about $725, which I will never see. I'm glad you got your money back. I wish the rest of us could.

This guy is something else. In my case he billed me for a $700 courthouse fee to file my lawsuit, then didn't pay the fee, so when I fired him the courthouse still had to be paid if I wanted to continue with my suit. This isn't supposed to happen, because you have to pay the moment you file your suit, but this clown obviously had some equally crooked buddy at the courthouse taking his cases without the necessary payment. Completely corrupt. I complained to the courthouse, they didn't care. Just amazing that the public could get ripped off like this so blatantly and no one will stand up for them.

I hope Mr Duchastel de Montrouge rots in a very hot place for a very long time. Good luck anyone else dealing with him. 
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#8 Author of original report

Case closed

AUTHOR: Joel Joseph - (Canada)

I finally got the cheque in the mail as promised and my bank cleared it. So that it. Overall, I had a net loss of $10.00 not to mention all the time and energy I put into submitting having the lawyer take my case and then screw me around. Water under the bridge.  Some good may have come out of it, though. An honest man is hard to find, but an honest lawyer...
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#9 Author of original report

Took long enough...

AUTHOR: Joel Joseph - (Canada)

After filing my complaint with the Quebec Bar Association and waiting two years for them to process my complaint and reach a settlement, I learned in the meantime that Mr. DuChastel has been disbarred for tax fraud and other unethical practices (a crooked lawyer getting his due...sweet) and has filed for bankruptcy. His family is bailing him out regarding his creditors and they're going to reimburse me all the money he took from me, short $10.00, but since this took so long to iron out and deal is on the table as is, I'm not going to lose $759.63 over that. Part of the deal was that I has to erase these posts or failing that, post a final notice that the issue has been permanently resolved, which I'll do as soon as I get that check in the mail. It seems the best things come to those who wait.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

Don't Give Up

AUTHOR: Tol de Rol - (United States of America)

Don't give up, there are still things you can do. First, this lawyer has many complaints against him for similar behaviour. It's important that all his victims speak out.

You can make a complaint to the Bar about his billing practices and other behaviour even though the 45 day limit has passed to get a refund. For example, he is supposed to provide you with a written fee agreement and estimate at the beginning. Not having a telephone, not returning your calls, etc. is serious for a lawyer, even if he was ill - he has employees who could have kept you informed. 

One of his tricks is to low-ball the cost of legal action, which is very expensive, get the client on the hook, and then keep billing them. They feel that they can't turn back and throw away their investment. A fee estimate and agreement would at least have let you know from the outset how much the action would cost and let you decide with full disclosure. The Bar is very sensitive to this issue. I won a case against Duchastel in civil court last year on these grounds (I too let the 45 day period pass for similar reasons - he goes incommunicado on you until the 45 days passes, and then pops up and asks for his bill to be paid). (You can also investigate taking him to court to retrieve your money even though the Bar refuses to order its return. If the amount is under $9000 you can file the papers yourself in small claims court for about $100 and he will have to show up in court and explain his behaviour. He's a lawyer and will have an advantage in court - you aren't allowed to hire one in small claims court - but small claims is very informal and often consumer-friendly.)

Speak to someone at the Bar soon. And google Duchastel - the Quebec government is prosecuting him for securities offences, if he loses he'll probably lose his lawyer's licence. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Good luck, and persevere.

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#11 Author of original report

New development

AUTHOR: Joel Joseph - (Canada)

Two weeks after filing this report, my lawyer phoned me to say that he saw the report online and he said that "You do what you have to do and I'll do what I have to do." Taking this veiled threat in stride, I stated that this would not have been necessary if he had been honest with me from the start. We argued a bit and I cussed him off out of frustration and he replied in kind, finally shouting at me "You're not Obama!" before hanging up. What's with him and Obama? Is it because I'm Black and he's White? For his sake, I hope not.
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