I wrote on the website - legalmatch.com - I was in pro per and confused about procedure. I had 8 responses. I spoke with Lance Claery and it was his straight forward way of speaking, his ability to quickly deduct the key factors of my case as well as my agreement with his suggested plan of action and the amount of money needed to have the firm accomplish this - $750 resulted in my decision to retain Clarey and Green. I understood his course of action was to Request an Order to Put Aside the Order for the Determination of the Arrears as well as the firm would participate in the court ordered "meet and confer" and show the other party what their costs would potentially be to encourage a settlement. He said we can do that for a retainer of $750 and get started on it immediately with a good faith payment of $450.
I received an email from James Green Nov 14 "Thank you for speaking with Attorney Lance Claery regarding your family law matter. As Lance explained, we may begin working on your case immediately for a reduced retainer of $750"
I decided to go forward with Clarey and Green.
Arran leaves me a message about his being assigned to my case - I call him back to speak with him - just to know who I will be working with - we do not discuss my case we talk about his experience etc
I fill out the required paperwork and make the initial payment Nov 15
I leave a voice mail message for Arran Nov 16
November 19 I receive an email from Nicole Negron with a letter attached:
This letter is to outline your specific case goals. You have retained this firm to assist you with opposing Mr. Barrys request to set aside the prior court order. Additionally, you would like assistance filing the Notice of Delinquencies, as requested by the judge.
I write to Nicole
Hi Nicole - thank you for sending ..the information, however, is completely wrong! I will write to Arran ...and I'll cc you..is that preferred or completely unnecessary? Please let me know..thanks again..All the best ~ Jolie
I will look into it tomorrow morning and get back to you.
I never heard back from Nicole.
On my Dec 1 invoice - memo regarding case goals NN $27.50, letter to client regarding same NN $41.25, review letter from client NN $27.50, review letter from client NN $41.25 Nov 20 - I email Arran, cc'ing Nicole trying to convey what I actually need and what has already taken place so we can be on the same page. Essentially, I was starting over, as it was only Lance that I had explained it to before. I also scan and send documents that may or may not be pertinent, to Arran, I am not sure as I have not spoken to him at all regarding my case. $137.50 deducted from retainer for Nicole Negron services (???) and I had not even discussed my case with the attorney assigned, Arran Treadway. I finally do discuss my case with Arran Nov 23 - he says he's read my documents and email, yet the discussion is considerably longer than it had been with Lance who had been straight to the point, instead Arran shares his opinions and observations of different courtrooms, judges etc
During the phone call I had asked Arran If it would be alright for me to write to Order after Hearing without the other parties approval in order to save myself the expense and time of objecting to the one they had written - not in line with the minute order as well as very late - and present it to the court without the other parties approval - per Family Division Chapter Five 5.11 (e) Alternative In Event of Failure of Responsible Party. If the responsible party fails to prepare the order required by subdivision (a), another party may prepare a proposed written order after hearing and lodge it directly in the issuing department of the court without prior approval bythe other parties with a cover letter to the court indicating that the order is being submitted due to failure of the responsible party to timely prepare the order. The cover letter and proposed order must be lodged along with a proof of service on the other parties. I believe the other party's attorney was asked to write the order after hearing despite the fact that I had prevailed his looking up a specific Court Rule while on the phone with me reading it ...my question being - would it be alright for me to write the Order after Hearing
He looks up the rule while on the phone with me and he reads it ..and says yeah, if you want to you can..I say i am asking your opinion, will it hurt my case to put it aside? I ask - what is your professional opinion?...and I never did get an answer in regards to his opinion just .."you can if you want to"
Charge on invoice - Phone call from client AT $110.00
I write the Order after Hearing as I had discussed with Arran, and I am going to submit to the court and I think it might be best for him just to take a look and make sure it is okay..so i email it & leave voice mail for him.
I receive a voice mail from Arran - this is what he said
he received my Order after Hearing and I can attach the form number ## - or I can just submit as a pleading...it looks okay .... the only thing he sees missing is "the other parties approval to the form and content" you will need to get the other party to sign it..for approval to the form and content ....other than that it looks okay.....(long pause) ......."I would have to look at some of my recent Orders' to check..... but it looks alright other than the missing signature of the other party (another long pause) ....Yes, so I have drafted the request for order, I still need your income and expense declaration along with 2 months pay-stubs...your declaration..uhmm...I still need to write the Points and Authorities ....and the request for Attorney fees..yeah so ..."we still have a long road ahead of us" I will be in the office monday morning...
This is where I realize my entire retainer has been spent and I do not even have a copy of the "drafted" Request for Order - and the retainer is gone. Then i only gets worse..I ask all work to stop and .new charges are added just to make sure no refund is due now I am charged for the firm's associates reviewing their letters to me to the file and the money was gone and I have a balance due now - for what??? Nothing at all...beware of this scam - this firm - legalmatch.com - scammers all the way!!