I went to Seth Wilson and attorney with Morris and Clemm in Plymouth meeting, Pa.
I was looking for representation due to an issue with a home inspector and potentially the agents involved with the sale of a house.
I met with him in June 2011.and we discussed a complaint against the inspector and possibly agents and seller.
I had inspection report from him and a subsequent one after purchasing the house, having relied on the initial inspector report. That report did not indicate the electrical hazardous issues in the house, among other problems not disclosed but found on the second inspection. The case, using the 2 reports, would have been an easy proving case for negligence.
I did not hire Mr. Wilson at that time.
He wrote me a follow up letter verifying I had not hired him. He wrote that I should be aware there was a 2 year statute of limitations for consumer fraud. [continued below]....
..... He made no mention of the one year statute that was still running/ that there was a separate statute for negligence on the part of a home inspector.
(He never asked to see the contract which was boilerplate, citing the Pa. Real Estate Law 1 year statute against home inspectors for a complaint of negligence.) Since the one year was still active and he did not mention it I relied on his statement of 2 years. (The one year ended on Dec 10, 2011.)
Having trouble with another lawyer I decided to hire Mr. Wilson. He was given a retainer of 4000.00$ on May 25, 2012, 5 1/2 months after the statute of limitations against the inspector for negligence had run. (But never mentioning it, evidently because of his lack of knowledge about the specific and main law under which he had taken my case and money.)
He took the case and wrote a complaint for initiation of the lawsuit. It was only against the inspector and contained only 2 counts. 1) breach of contract and 2) Negligence.
The Pa real estate law specifically states there is a one year statute of limitations against home inspectors for negligence. It is "black letter law" and not an issue of seeing the contract, which he never asked to see and then blamed me, in an email/letter for his not asking to see it.)
I researched the law after I became aware he had lost me the statute.
Since he included negligence in his complaint, and as he never mentioned it to me when the statute was still running, he was negligent and ignorant (unaware) of the Pa. real estate law.
It is not on the client to do the research to know about the statute(s). That is why you retain a lawyer in the first place.
When I sent him email stating he was responsible for my losing the one year statute, since I relied on his letter, he told me he absolutely was not at fault. He wrote that a case for fraud would be much harder to pursue and an almost impossible barrier, despite writing in the initial letter only about the statute for fraud. If it was such a hard case why then did he take my retainer when he knew, should have known, he only had the 2 year statute for fraud with which to work, and yet never claimed fraud? He did return my retainer however the problem was he lost me my one year statute under which it would have been an easy case, based on the inspection reports. (The inspector said "romex" wiring not knob and tube. He then wrote to me in a letter it was "not visible" the day he was there. It was easily visible. The second inspector also found it to be hazardous and dangerous. 2 electricians agreed with that assessment.)
I sued Mr. Wilson in small claims court. He was able to get it thrown out on a technicality. In the parking lot after I told him I thought he would have been a man and taken responsibility for losing me the statute.
He asked what did I want and then offered me $1500.00 and giving me a 5 day deadline for acceptance.
When I said I agreed he sent me a 'release" form that said he took responsibility for nothing, In exchange for his payment I was not to tell anyone that he had made any offer, that there was any payment made, or that there was a release. I was also never to "disparage" him or I would be made to pay 10,000$ per incident.
I wrote him that if he took responsibility and admitted he lost the statute I would accept the 1500.00$ and sign a confidentiality agreement and non disparagement clause.
His response was to not even bother to reply.
This lawyer does not know the law for which he had been retained, lost me a major statute of limitations making any subsequent attempts at litigation against the inspector much harder and costlier. In addition he did not have the professionalism to step up to the plate and acknowledge what he had done.
(I had hired 2 lawyers, one only to write demand letters for which he was paid 150.00$ Our contract stated he was being hired for the specific and sole purpose of writing the letters, nothing further.
The second lawyer I hired after the statute was up, still relying on Wilson's nondisclosure of the 1 year statute. That lawyer was unable to complete the work which is why I hired Wilson. I explain this because I am uploading the letter form him that, even after statute up he is still talking about negligence, as well as denying he is responsible for loss of the statute. (He is also wrong on the damages based on Pa. real estate law. He has debated about that with me on a number of occasions.)