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Fuming - and need advice

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
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Rockinruby|1456884345|3998194 said:
CJ, a couple of things....

I don't think you did anything wrong with calling to follow up. Don't feel bad about it. You've done your best to communicate in a fair manner to give them a chance to dismiss the charges. I would stick to written communications from here on out and copy in the appropriate parties as suggested. They are giving you no option except to proceed with filing a complaint. I understand that the attorney connected with you in a warm way, but she still needed to stop to the explain charges first. :doh:

The other thing I was going to say was to be sure you send the new letter off promptly. It looks like you will be sending it off tomorrow which is great! I know this is a stressful situation for you so it seems the sooner handled the better with this latest development. I am glad you updated the thread. We are all hoping you have a good outcome soon. :appl:

Loupetroop is the preloved jewelry site. People will create a listing with their email info when they want to get in touch off of PS. :wavey:

thanks rockinruby! I really appreciate it.

I feel I've tried as best as I can to explain myself - they must just not believe me.

I plan on sending that letter out tomorrow for sure.
 

MollyMalone

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CJ, I am a lawyer (albeit not in private practice) & what "it looks like from the outside" are poor business practices on their part -- even under their most self-serving version of events, there is no written agreement; no one there has claimed you were given a heads-up that the free time was about to expire; and there is a serious lag time between the phone consultation & their mailing of an invoice.

Regardless of whether the lawyer could conceivably be subject to professional discipline (in NY, the rules for attorneys do not require, generally speaking, a written agreement if the lawyer doesn't expect to be charging more than $3000 in total), these are things that do not weigh in the firm's favor in the context of a billing dispute.

ETA the motto that the grandmother of one of my college friends used to encourage us, instead of "Stand tall" or "Chin up":
Bosoms to the moon, ladies! ;))
 

CJ2008

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Thanks for the encouraging words Molly :wavey: - and it does help to hear how you see it from the outside as an attorney yourself.

For a quick update...

Yesterday I had left a VM for the attorney, and had also sent her an email asking her to give me a call (even though I later decided I probably wasn't going to talk to her).

She emailed me back today referring me to the firm's comptroller - so the lawyer herself definitely turned out to be a dead end. I am still a little surprised by this believe it or not. I'm naive aren't I.

And I did mail out that certified letter first thing this morning.

I don't know why, but something tells me the letter won't do a thing...they seem very secure in their stance.
 

Gem Queen

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You could also send a letter to the attorney and tell them you're going to call the attorney bar association and explain the situation. They just might back off. They don't like to hear "THE BAR."
 

CJ2008

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Thanks Gem Queen. That is exactly what I did, actually.

So here's the update.

I sent the lawyer the letter, explaining to her all the circumstances.

I got a response today - 2 page letter basically denying that they were not clear...that they have notes and emails...that I was indeed told it would be x amount for speaking with her, and saying that when they tried to reach me after the conference and I didn't call back it indicated I was trying to dodge the invoice. :confused:

In the very last sentence though she says that regardless, they will write off the invoice. And she copied the bar.

I'm happy that they wrote it off but it really bothers me that this is what they think. :confused: And the guy at the bar I spoke to will probably think I was lying too.

ETA: I should add (and repeat) that although it sounds good on the surface they definitely do NOT have emails or anything in writing showing that they were clear on this. Because that never happened. And what they consider being clear verbally certainly wasn't. I am 99% certain that the FIRST time I ever heard what her fee would be if we wanted to move FORWARD was DURING the conversation with her, when *I* asked her. And thinking back I remember her sounding a little surprised, like a little jump in her voice that I didn't know. It didn't mean anything to me at the time, I didn't think twice about it, but I remember that now.

I'm thinking though that as much as it bothers me I shouldn't respond and just let it be.
 

missy

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CJ, that letter to the Bar had the exact intended effect we knew it would have. It made them back off and their reply was a way to save "face" so to speak. Full of lies and why should you care. Let it go. You don't have to pay nor should you feel guilty about what they wrote. You know it is not true and now the Bar knows they tried pulling this with you and it may cause this law firm to think twice about pulling this crap with someone else. Well done CJ!
 

PintoBean

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I'm so glad this has been resolved. Don't let the letter bother you - Asshats write asshat letters :whistle:
 

MollyMalone

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CJ2008|1458174519|4006423 said:
* * * I got a response today - 2 page letter basically denying that they were not clear...that they have notes and emails...that I was indeed told it would be x amount for speaking with her, and saying that when they tried to reach me after the conference and I didn't call back it indicated I was trying to dodge the invoice. :confused:
In the very last sentence though she says that regardless, they will write off the invoice. And she copied the bar.
I'm happy that they wrote it off but it really bothers me that this is what they think. :confused: And the guy at the bar I spoke to will probably think I was lying too.
* * *
I'm thinking though that as much as it bothers me I shouldn't respond and just let it be.
I'm quite confident no one at the bar association thinks it's you who has not been candid in this scenario. That letter of theirs is a shabby CYA one , written to make them look better (they hoped) in the eyes of the bar association to whom it was being cc'd. But it's an epic fail -- after all, if there were any such emails, they would have attached them as supporting documentation.

It's a shame they behaved so poorly (as a lawyer, I'm feeling embarrassed by it). But fret no more!! Enjoy the fact that on this St. Patrick's Day they've agreed you don't owe them any "green".

Cheers for YOU ~ Molly
 

CJ2008

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thank you missy :)

Yes - I do hope that if anything positive comes out of this is that the firm changes its policy / improves its procedures so this doesn't happen to anybody else. And also so the lawyer can collect her fees for time and work she puts in. Because as I was telling DH last night the person least responsible / at fault is the lawyer herself. She went into that call, I'm sure, thinking I was fully aware it was a paid consultation. But how she handled the after tells me she either doesn't believe me at all, doesn't care, or that she wouldn't dare think that maybe her office didn't do such a great job or made a mistake. So either way, I walk away with a really poor impression of her too.

pinto :lol: that was so funny I love it

thanks molly didn't realize about the green! :$$): perfect timing!

And please - do not be embarrassed for a moment - I truly don't see it as an "all lawyers" thing - but as someone (the receptionist) making a mistake/not doing a good job then not having the guts to own up to it, and possibly a very disorganized office with lack of proper procedures in place. And the lawyer DEFINITELY could have handled this differently where she could have left a good impression on me even after all this. So now even though they wrote off the invoice I am still left with a poor impression and would never consider using her.
 
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