Report: #1161948

Complaint Review: Stephen F. Carley

  • Submitted: Mon, July 14, 2014
  • Updated: Mon, July 14, 2014
  • Reported By: Jerome Hoffman — Atlanta Georgia
  • Stephen F. Carley

    Atlanta, Georgia

Stephen F. Carley a $15,000 fee developed to a $300,000 fee for no reason Atlanta Georgia

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Jerome Hoffman’s claims are erroneous and unfounded.

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Stephen F. Carley Attorney probate court in Atlanta, GA

A $15,000 fee developed to a $300,000 fee for no reason



Stephen F. Carley Attorney in Atlanta, GA, represented my wife, Jane Grant, in a probate matter before Fulton County Probate Court. A legal fee of maximum $15,000 turned out to be a fee of over $300,000 with Mr. Carley and other attorneys: Michael Lambros and Emory Schwall. Mr. Carley brought in an attorney by Emory A. Schwall, who profess to be an expert in an irrevocable trust.


Why my wife needed an irrevocable trust? No one could answer to this day, I ask this to Mr. Carley ten different times and never received an answer, and in fact, Emory Schwall, whose Stephen Carley brought into the case to represent Jerome Hoffman came up with the idea. And he is not a specialist in this matter. He went to another firm to have it prepared.


An irrevocable trust taken off of Westlaw would cost approximately $1,000 for the form. Emory Schwall gave it to a friend of his who did the irrevocable trust at another law firm, and charged the estate $11,000.


There's a whole website on this fiasco. What is interesting is that almost every Sunday, over a period of nine months or more, Mr. Carley would telephone that on his way to Church, he would be passing by our home and ask if he could pick up a check. It got to a point where we would refuse to pay him anymore until there's a settlement. These are facts.


A probate court hearing that took place in May 2012, Erik Owen Leavell lectured Mr. Carley and Mr. Schwall, outside the courtroom, on the merits of the case against Jerome D. Hoffman. But what Mr. Leavell did not inform Mr. Carley or Mr. Schwall is that Erik Owen Leavell, at that time, is a disbarred attorney in Florida, who stole clients' money and who has since been arrested in criminal assault in two different cases in Cobb's County, GA.


Mr. Leavell also ask these gentlemen to be on FOX news. They declined. Mr. Erik Leavell, the disbarred attorney, had his moment of glory and participated on FOX news. And what FOX news had to do with this probate matter, no on knows until this day. But Erik Leavell called FOX news.


FOX news New York was later informed of the past of Mr. Leavell.


These are facts.




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#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Jerome Hoffman’s claims are erroneous and unfounded.

AUTHOR: Stephen F. Carley - ()

In 2010 and 2011 I represented Jane Grant in court proceedings in Atlanta, Georgia brought by her two sons, Jim Wallace Grant and Charles Whitfield Grant. Jerome Hoffman (who was a friend of Jane Grant at the time) now falsely alleges that I agreed that my fee would be $15,000.00 but came to $300,000.00. There is no truth to this. Jane Grant employed me to represent her and agreed in a written agreement to pay my legal fee based upon an agreed hourly rate and the amount of time I devoted to her case. My total fees ultimately turned out to be about $73,900 plus I spent about $2,700.00 in out of pocket expenses that she agreed to reimburse me. My fees and expenses were presented to the Court for approval and were approved by the Court. Jane Grant never objected to my fees or the expenses. The fees of the other attorneys involved were about $76,000.00 and $62,000.00 respectively and were also approved by the Court. All of the fees would have been less except for the activities of the complaintant, Jerome Hoffman that caused additional legal services that otherwise would not have been necessary. Almost one half of my fees have still not been paid.

The other allegations of Jerome Hoffman are also false as follows. To my knowledge I never telephoned Jane Grant on a Sunday. I do not know Mr. Erik Leavell. I was never asked to be on Fox News. Jerome Hoffman never married Jane Grant. He claimed that he and Jane Grant were “common law” husband and wife. The Court disagreed with him. Jerome Hoffman employed Emory Schwall, Esq., as his attorney in the matter.

The matter was extremely serious for my client, Jane Grant and extensive legal work was involved. It was necessary to take a number of stenographically recorded depositions; and, several Court hearings were required.

I understand that Mr. Hoffman has been in many disputes and is a convicted felon and served years in prison.

For confirmation of these matters you can contact the other attorneys involved including: Michael Lambros, Esq., Catherine Packwood, Esq. and Emory A. Schwall, Esq. and the two said sons of Jane Grant.

I have been licensed to practice law and engaged in the private practice of law in Georgia for over 43 years. For over 38 years I have had an AV rating which is the highest rating of an attorney by Martindale Hubbell and LexisNexis which evaluate and rate lawyers nationally.

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