Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Example of how a BAD LAWYER can be WORSE than NO LAWYER.


How a BAD LAWYER can be WORSE than NO LAWYER!

I did NOT select the first lawyer that I met with. I saw THREE before finally choosing the one I did. He was young and charming. He appeared to be competent. He talked a good game...told me about what he would do for me and what he would fight against. He DID tell me...in that FIRST conversation, that if at ANYTIME I became "unreasonable" he would DROP me because he does not represent "unreasonable" people. 
I saw no real problem with that...I AM REASONABLE. So I put my life, and the lives of my children, in his hands...along with a significant chunk of money. Money which I had been forced to BORROW. 
At our SECOND MEETING, he uttered the words that should have been my FIRST RED FLAG. I had JUST told him about some of the evil things that the abuser had been doing and he said...

"Well! He is simply a NORMAL man who is terrified that he is going to lose his children. You will see, he will CALM DOWN once he sees that this will not happen!"

After advising my lawyer that I was CERTAIN that he would soon see that this was NOT a description that fit MY abuser" He looked at me with an all knowing, patronizing grin, flashing me his straight, white teeth and made no comment.

So it went. He kept INSISTING that he would see that I was treated fairly, instruct me about what EVIDENCE I needed to collect and then PROCEED to CAVE on EVERY single thing my abuser demanded. 

He asked me, in the beginning, what was the single MOST IMPORTANT thing that I wanted...and I told him I wanted majority time share with my children.

He stood by, without even arguing on my behalf while the abuser continued to abuse me....with the help of an attorney who did not care about the truth, fairness OR about what was best for the children.

With EACH unreasonable demand MY attorney would say "That is what a GOOD lawyer does. I would do the same thing if HE was MY client!" That never made sense to me. I WAS HIS CLIENT and he did NOTHING to protect me. 

Following are some of the things they that he FACILITATED happening. This is the stuff of narcissistic nightmares....

  • The abuser took (carted off) 70% PLUS of our marital possessions and I never got them back. The police stated he could take anything he wanted and I could not stop him because we were legally married. As an example, they used my car. They assured me that he could TAKE MY CAR and leave me without transportation and NOTHING would be done because it was just as much HIS as MINE. From That day on I slept with the keys around my neck on a lanyard. My lawyer stated that he thought I should “just let him KEEP the STUFF and we would go for CASH” I never got any of the stuff back…nor did I get any cash. He didn’t even ASK FOR ANY.
  • The abuser LIVED in the marital home for THREE MONTHS after I filed for divorce, coming and going as he pleased, eating my food, getting dressed for dates, treating our home as a hotel room while posting FB pictures of his new "soulmate"...and REFUSED TO PAY ONE PENNY toward the bills. HE LIVED FOR FREE and stocked up his money. My lawyer stated that there was no way to get him out of the house and I just needed to grow up and deal with it. He further stated that I would have to pay the bills ANYWAY so him being there was NOT ACTUALLY causing any financial hardship.
  • During this three month period, while I was working two jobs, paying all the bills and he was “dating” and paying NOTHING….he REFUSED to get out of the marital bed. He gave me the option of SLEEPING WITH HIM…or camping on the couch. I slept on the fold out couch for that entire three months while he was nice and comfortably “recovering” from his DATES. Sometimes he would be gone for DAYS…but I did not DARE to sleep in there for fear he would show up unexpectedly…so the bed was EMPTY half the time and I was on the couch. My lawyer said he could not be concerned with such “petty nonsense”
  • During this SAME three month period, my children were going through HELL and both of them felt the need to sleep with me. I think they were trying to protect me…and it DID decrease his abusive rants and threats because he did not want the kids to hear him. SO…it was me and TWO teenaged boys, sleeping on a fold out couch…for three months, while he slept in my king sized bed. Lawyer did not care and thought I was “exaggerating”
  • Same period, the abuser expected me to pay his car payment and Insurance and give him gas money for his date nights. When I refused to do that he stated that he was going to sue me because I was SUPPOSED to continue paying the bills I had BEEN PAYING in the marriage. EXCUSE the French…I told him to GO FUCK HIMSELF. The lawyer stated that, in actuality, the abuser was correct but that he DOUBTED he would pursue it.
  • On a couple of occasions, I awakened to find him standing over me, staring down at me with this creepy, blank faced grin. He stated he was “Just standing there and had every right to do so”. This freaked everyone out. I am convinced he was SHOWING me that he could have done ANYTHING to me and that I was vulnerable at all times. My lawyer stated that this could not be considered to be threatening in ANY WAY and I needed to “get a grip”
  • The abuser lied in court, hiding his income, as he is self-employed, and ended up paying NOTHING toward the support of our children. My lawyer made NO EFFORT to show that he was hiding income because he stated “It is impossible to prove cash income”. He told me I would have to deal with it. He MADE NO EFFORT even to point out the OBVIOUS INCONSISTENCIES.
  • The abuser, despite paying NOTHING, was given the right to claim one of the children as a tax exemption. The lawyer stated that he went ahead and AGREED to this because it is ordered 100% of the time by the judge anyway. No way to fight it!
  • He slandered me continuously and told all the members of his church that I had “Tried to hire a hit man to kill him”. When I advised him that I would be suing him for slander since I am QUITE AWARE that I have NOT tried to hire a hit man….he stated he found out that it was “a mistake” but STILL left all the church members with the assumption that I am a crazed, murderous, loon. As far as I know…they STILL believe it. When I asked him why he did not tell them he was WRONG he stated “It is none of their business!” (My lawyer stated that he was no interested in this “kindergarten crap and told me I needed to grow up”)
  • At FIRST- The abuser made me 100% totally responsible for maintaining the marital home, paying all mortgage, taxes, insurance and paying for ALL REPAIRS. He maintained rights to a FULL 50% of the equity and the ability to watch the house like a hawk...tormenting me in the process. My lawyer automatically agreed to this stating that “at least I got to keep the kids in their home”
  • Later- in the final divorce, the abuser insisted that the house be sold (although he had PROMISED our children NOT to do this) and refused to pay for half of the cost of cleaning and preparing the house for sale. He still received a FULL 50% of the equity. My lawyer stated that this was the best possible outcome because it would further separate our finances.
  • The checking account my pay checks went into was in BOTH our names. It was granted to me in the divorce as he NEVER added anything or utilized it and I had many auto payments coming out of it. After being TOLD that the account belonged to me, he REPEATEDLY contacted the bank and changed the address on the account to HIS address so he could keep tabs on my money. The bank stated that, short of closing the account or him signing off of it…he had just as much right to receive the statements as I did. My lawyer, again, just advised me to just close the account and did not say ANYTHING about him purposely breaking the court order by trying to get access to MY ACCOUNT. It seemed to HIM that by keeping the account open…I was “nearly INVITING him to invade my account”
  • During initial mediation, when I ABSOLUTELY refused to pay him alimony, he tried to SELL me an extra day every two weeks, with my children, IF I paid him $1000 a month. My attorney merely CHUCKLED and stated “If I was his attorney, I would do the same!” There was no mention of how DESPICABLE this was or use to show that he was more concerned about money than time with the kids.
  • While he was still in the home, there were several incidents of things BREAKING or turning up MISSING...VANDALISM, etc. Each incident occurred WHILE he was there but was not DISCOVERED until he was, coincidentally, GONE. At one point he vandalized the well and I called the police. They stated he denied it and they had no reason to think he would do such a thing. Another time he went into the attic and vandalized equipment which belonged to the cable company. The technician stated there WAS NO QUESTION ABOUT THE FACT THAT IT WAS DONE PURPOSELY and that this could not have “just happened”. It REQUIRED that the person enter the attic, crawl all the way to the other side and PURPOSELY disconnect it. He was willing to allow my son to record these assertions…which we did. My lawyer did not think this was pertinent.
  • He would sneak into the house, listen in on conversation, record conversations illegally and, basically, pop out of nowhere, showing us that we could NEVER be safe. My lawyer stated he had the right to come and go as he wanted and he did not find this at all threatening.
  • He carted off ALL THE GUNS in the house (INCLUDING MINE- Total estimated value of guns and gun safe- At LEAST $5000) but never failed to let us know that HE was ALWAYS carrying a loaded gun either in his car or on his person. My lawyer stated “what do you guns for? Let him HAVE THEM!”
  • He bought the kids new cell phones and told them that it was IMPERATIVE to their SAFETY that they NEVER go ANYWHERE with ME without taking the phones. Told them to keep the PHONES CHARGED at all times and told them that if they did NOT he was taking the phones back. (My lawyer stated that he was CERTAIN that he was only concerned that he does not lose contact with the kids)
  • He told our children that he had “tracers on their phones” and that “they could NEVER be ANYWHERE that he could not “get to them”. He then threatened them stating “I will KNOW if you go to a counselor” and “YOU BETTER refuse to talk to them if your Mom MAKES you go!” “I will ALWAYS KNOW and I want you to call ME IMMEDIATELY and I will come and get you!” (My lawyer called THIS a different “parenting style” and not inappropriate)
  • He was CONVINCED that I was taking them to see a counselor one day. There was no court order to FORBID it…but stupid ME, I listened to my LAWYER who stated I should delay all counseling until after the divorce was final. On THAT day, the abuser REFUSED to allow me to leave the house with the children. He got between my open door and the car, hovering over me, and badgered me about “my plans to take the kids to therapy” and stated “If you DO, you will be SORRY!” refused to move and allow me to leave. The kids were in the car in a near panic and trembled for over an hour asking “What do you think he is going to DO?!” Then, I took the kids out for dinner, to try to get them OUT of the turmoil for a little while. He called and texted their phones every 5-10 minutes, for the ENTIRE EVENING….demanding that they TELL HIM WHERE THEY WERE and further scaring the shit out of them. (My lawyer FINALLY suggested that I apply for an order to get him to leave the house…an order of protection. He stated he DOUBTED whether it would approved…it was DENIED because the judge said he did not “constitute a real and present danger to me or the children)
  • After THAT, I refused to allow them to take the phones with them when we went on an outing. This was met by THREATS to press charges against me because he had a RIGHT to KNOW where his children were 24/7. He stated he had BOUGHT THE PHONES FOR THE CHILDREN and I MUST allow them to carry them at all times. I told him to show me that law and I would oblige. Of COURSE, no such law exists. (My lawyer again stated this was “piddly crap” and refused to address it)
  • He, multiple times, threatened my adult son with physical harm by stating that he felt, falsely, "THREATENED" (when my son was not doing anything) by him and RECORDING this…while all the while carrying a loaded gun (after telling several people that he would “LOVE to have an excuse to shoot the little Ni***r). (I had multiple WITNESSES to THIS and my lawyer stated (“It is unlikely we will have to call any witnesses…anyway, they are your family members so the court will think they are lying for you.”)
  • Called up my adult, disabled son’s disability with SSA and FALSELY reporting that he was WORKING. THIS was an absolute LIE, however, the burden was placed on us to DISPROVE it…and not on him to PROVE it. This resulted in the loss of his benefits for a period. (Regardless of the fact that the abuser TOLD OUR MINOR CHILDREN THAT HE, did indeed, do this and He stated, in front of them, that my family needs to learn to respect him and that my son needed to be PUNISHED for his disrespect...) (My lawyer stated, with only the children as witnesses, we could not PROVE he did this. Better to just let it go!)
  • My lawyer talked me into signing a TOTALLY UNFAIR divorce agreement by saying, over and OVER…”If you do NOT sign this, as it is, HE IS GOING TO TAKE YOUR CHILDREN!” Like an idiot…I BELIEVED HIM. I KNEW I had done nothing wrong, but I was TERRIFIED that the court would take my children. I would have SIGNED ANYTHING at that point. (When I complained about it to the lawyer he stated…”Well, you GOT the kids for majority time share…you would THINK that this is what you would be concerned about…not all this OTHER CRAP”)
POST divorce
·       He sued me for “Contempt” accusing me of everything from hiding his belongings that I had ALREADY GIVEN HIM…to accusing me of ALIENATING the children….AND trying to utilize my personal BLOG (which was partially anonymous) as evidence against me. (My attorney stated “If I was his attorney, I would do the same!” and that I BETTER start FORCING my teen-aged children go with their Father or I could end up in jail. He stated the court was likely to side with the abuser. The abuser had done EVERYTHING he could think of to FORCE them to go and was unable to as they were seeing how dirty he was playing and they began to fear him. Still, my attorney stated that he ”KNEW darn well that I COULD MAKE THEM GO and that would be very clear to the court as well….and that it was OBVIOUS that this was the case”)
·      Asked that I be FORCED to pay his legal fees since I “Forced him to sue me because I was not following the parenting plan” (My lawyer stated that this was very possibly going to be ordered since I made more money- despite the fact that I am, basically, paying 100% for their support. He stated I needed to “be more reasonable and offer to make it up to the abuser”)
·      Asked that I be JAILED for contempt (My lawyer stated that it was quite possible that I would be jailed if it went before the judge and advised me to “GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTED TO SETTLE outside of court”)

This is just a PARTIAL LISTING of what my first lawyer let them do to me without A SINGLE WORD. When I would get frustrated, and ask why, he would tell me that I was UNREASONABLE and shout at me, displaying anger and disrespect. 
He ONCE called me a LIAR in front of opposing counsel (not in the court room of course) and then allowed opposing counsel to do the same….stating “It is OBVIOUS that you are lying! Even your OWN ATTORNEY thinks so”.

In mediation, prior to appearance for the contempt charges, (which my lawyer insisted on even though I told him I was NOT giving the N ANYTHING ELSE VOLUNTARILY) my OWN lawyer tried to get me to amend the contract to take away his need to TRANSPORT the children back and forth when it was his time share. His EXACT words were “Well! It would not HURT you to provide transportation a little more frequently. It would be a show of REMORSE if you volunteered”. When I told him that SHOWING REMORSE would be ADMITTING GUILT and I was NOT GUILTY…he was uninterested in hearing that.

He also told me, that day, that “EVERY WOMAN says her ex is a Narcissist and he just didn’t BUY IT” He said that the “PROBLEM in the divorce was ME because I was being UNREASONABLE” and that “HE HAD SUCCEEDED in getting me MAJORITY time share which was what I told him was most important to me”
In actuality…the abuser OFFERED to give me majority time share if it meant he would NOT HAVE TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT THE CHILDREN!

In my LAWYER’S consideration he had done a GREAT job and I was too vindictive and unreasonable to see that!

THAT was the day he called me a liar and started screaming at me for being “Unreasonable” and on that day….

I had heard enough. 

I SHOULD have dumped his sorry ass way back at the beginning….but he knew what to say to make me THINK he believed me and would fight for me…and then CONSISTENTLY FAILED to do it. I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt…I should NEVER have done this. This is MY LIFE and the life of my CHILDREN we are talking about.
He had NO CONCERN about the outcome because when it was over… he would go home and FORGET about us!

I stepped from an abuser at home to an abuser that I was PAYING. In SOME ways, I think he may have been even worse…because he was taking my money and NOT DOING what I paid him to do.

I had no money to hire another lawyer. I was broke because I was paying to support my children and had been forced to find, and obtain, new housing which was VERY EXPENSIVE. My FAMILY tried DESPERATELY to convince me NOT to go to court on the contempt with this idiot lawyer. I was going to go in WITHOUT a lawyer but, in the end, knowing that the abuser and his unscrupulous lawyer would try ANYTHING to badger me and break me down, one of them loaned me the money to obtain new counsel.

My NEW Lawyer seems to be a WHOLE LOT MORE “in my corner”. She BELIEVES me at least and says, after reviewing the paper he encouraged me to sign, she stated that I was COMPLETELY SCREWED and suggested that I might want to consider reporting him to the bar. She has handled MANY divorce case of abused spouses..and she is QUITE WELL AWARE that NARCISSISTS DO EXIST...and the lengths to which they are willing to go to WIN. She LISTENS to me and seems to GRASP what I am trying to get across. Most importantly, she will fight for what is important to ME. She might make SUGGESTIONS but she understands that it is ME who will have to live with the results.

She assures me that I have NOT committed CONTEMPT is ANY conceivable way…with the exception of the children refusing to go with him for a period of time. Once the threatened to have me jailed, the kids decided to just GO. They wait for each hour to pass until they get to come home again….but they DO GO…for now. 

Since I neither told them NOT TO GO nor did I have the POWER to MAKE THEM GO…who can tell how long they will bow down to his threats against me. I guess we will see. I FULLY intend to make sure the JUDGE hears me say that...as I do not want to end up in court AGAIN. 

At any rate, they are now 16 years old. I think it is pretty obvious that I could neither STOP THEM from going if they WANTED TO or MAKE THEM GO if they refuse. Their own Father has admitted that HE CANNOT...but expects ME TO DO SO. My new lawyer DID POINT THAT OUT out during the first hearing and she insinuated that this was RIDICULOUS.

Hey! If a big, powerful, he-man cannot force them...why assume I AM ABLE TO FORCE THEM?  In the first hearing she was able to point out several inconsistencies (LIES) that he and his lawyer told...and I believe the Judge may be starting to get the picture. 

With HER by my side, I am better able to relax and remain calm and composed.

My contempt trial (part 2) is coming up this month…I will post an update about how my new lawyer fares!

So THAT is part of my story…and EVERY WORD of it is true. 
That stupid attorney did me GREAT HARM by showing the JUDGE that HE did not even believe me!
 I could NOT have done any worse if I had represented MYSELF and I would not have been out $12,000…I still owe him $2000 and he has petitioned the court to make me pay him. 
My new attorney quickly pointed out that there was “no language to allow for this in the divorce decree” and the judge said 
“You are CORRECT! Too bad for Mr. ______!” 

He could STILL choose to SUE me for the money and I do NOT DOUBT that he likely will. 
I will face that when I come to it!


In closing....
Please, Please, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure that your attorney BELIEVES you and is willing to fight for you. 

If not, change at once. I wish I had!

1 comment:

  1. I had two lawyers, that did and said the same thing. I didn't get my annulment and then though the hearing happened in July.. nothing was done for 2 months all for immigration purposes..Why have a lawyer who isn't going to fight for you? How do you find them?

    ReplyDelete