• Report: #986529

Complaint Review: Jeffrey L. Burnham

  • Submitted: Mon, December 24, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, December 24, 2012

  • Reported By: Amir — Lilburn Georgia United States of America
Jeffrey L. Burnham
400 West Kansas Avenue Independence, Missouri United States of America

Jeffrey L. Burnham Jeff Burnham Law Independence Kansas City Missouri MO Criminal Defense Lawyer Attorney at Law Independence, Missouri

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During initial consultation in late June 2007, Jeffrey L. Burnham quoted his fee at $2,500 or $125 per hour and said it would take $10,000 to take the single-count class C felony case to trial. Although Jeff's fee was same as that quoted by other attorneys, I went along with Jeff because he said "I play golf with judge" (I like to hear from you if Jeff told you this too) and others didn't. On 06-28-2007, Jeff revisited me at jail with a Notary Public to have me sign a Power of Attorney agreement to allow him to write and cash a check on my bank account because I had no one on the outside who could pay Jeff's fee or post bail. I don't know how Jeff does his book keeping, but there was never any written contract from Jeff in the beginning or an invoice at the end. This way he could later melt it all down to he said, she said, and while that may be the case, anyone is welcomed to get on the phone and get a few in Missouri. [continued below]....

The first check that Jeff wrote and cashed was for $10,000 -- $2,500 for Jeff's fee in full upfront and $7,500 to post 10% of the $75,000 bail through a bail bond service. Jeff knew other details about my case. He had to have known that $75,000 was a secured bond, and you can't make bail by I putting down 10% on a secured bond. Although Jeff cashed the first check, 4 times his quoted fee, on 06-28-2007, it took him 3 weeks to file a motion for bail reduction but the best deal he got was $50,000 in unsecured and $25,000 in secured bond, or $30,000 upront, so I stayed in jail. It showed that "I play gold with judge" was merely his bail and hook line. In first court hearing on 07-18-2007, it was Judge, not Jeff, who brought up the issue of unusually high bail: "Why is the bail set so high?" Judge asked the Prosecutor, who replied: "I don't know. I haven't read the case." Next thing you know, Jeff opened his mouth: "Because Defedant is a flight risk." Judge lowered the bail to $10,000 in exchange for surrender of my passport.

On 07-19-2007, Jeff wrote himself and cashed another check for $7,500 but used only $1,000 of it to post 10% of the now $10,000 unsecured bond, embezzling the other $6,500 as retainer. Cashing of this second check constitutes nothing less than fraud. Also, it turned out that his criminal "defense" attorney representation was nothing more than "I play golf with judge" representation. I had better legal advice from black detainees in jail than Jeff. They were all like paralegals due to the excessive legal scrutiny they have to live under in the US. One detainee advised me to have my lawyer file a motion to suppress or exclude confession/evidence because it was obtained thru false promises. I was told "you'll be going home in a couple of hours with your stuff (laptop)" for my cooperation. All Jeff had to say was: "They are allowed to lie." This isn't entirely true. They can and do lie but legally they can't make false promises or threats of violence to gain cooperation. I asked Jeff to call in the only witness who had testified against me, who was a convicted felon and was bribed and coerced into testifying against me. Jeff couldn't even do this much. All that Jeff was willing to do for the $16,500 retainer was to plead me guilty, which he did on 08-22-2007.

Again, to my amazement, in the last meeting with Jeff, all he had to offer for refund was story of a Jackson County judge who had retired, relocated to Costa Rica and started an escort service there. When I went to pick up my stuff at the police station, the detective who had arrested me asked me: "Why did you plead guilty if you didn't do it?" If Jeff couldn't defend a case that even the arresting detective wasn't convinced of, do you really think he's capable of anything beyond pleading you guilty for the most he can get out of you? Never hire a lawyer who's been a prosecutor before because they never stop working for the state. The only difference between a public defendant and a private lawyer is that a public defendant will plead you guilty for $300 and a private attorney will plead you guilty for $2,500. Only problem with public defendants is that they don't turn up at every court hearing so offer to pay then double their fee at the end if they do show up at every court hearing. Attorney-client privilige is like innocent until proven guilty thing. It sounds great but doesn't exist so don't get too frank with your lawyer. I didn't admit anything to the cops or to Jeff because I had nothing to admit to. There's something terribly wrong with the system if a lawyer unilateraly charges you 6.6 times his quoted fee, never once asks you "Tell me what happened" and pleads you guilty without any admission of guilt. Many go for private lawyers because they figure public defendants would be loaded with cases. With the arrest quotas and crackdown that came in 2007, Jeff was as loaded as any public defendant so there goes that argument too.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/24/2012 09:04 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Jeffrey-L-Burnham/Independence-Missouri-64050/Jeffrey-L-Burnham-Jeff-Burnham-Law-Independence-Kansas-City-Missouri-MO-Criminal-Defens-986529. 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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