Help!! Crazy, Wacko Lawyer!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lilac123, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. lilac123

    lilac123 New Member

    Hi Every "Body",

    I posted recently about being rewarded my disability with the help of the Congressman's office. I had hemmed and hawed around about hiring this lawyer in case I went to a hearing. He at first wouldn't take my case saying there wasn't enough evidence. Well, I got a letter from my Rhuemy and he was more than willing. All the time through this I was working with the man from the Congresman's office.

    My problem is I tried to contact this lawyer and discuss his fee of 25% (at the insistance of the congressman's office). He went totally balistic on me over the phone like how dare I even question it. I never have even met with him and only had one brief phone conversation which left me very discouraged and upset. He took full responsibility for my being approved and said it was because he talked to my doc and told him how the letter should read. I thought of all this and knew that the dates didn't match up (when the doc wrote the letter and when he took my case). I called and asked the doc. He has never met with this man nor discussed me with him. I have 15 days to write a letter to a senior judge in Chicago but am kinda scared this guy could do something to me. I told the congressman's office about this and he laughed and said he can't do anything to you.

    My nerves have been very bad over all of this and I am battling a horrible cold. I am trying to pray about it. The real kicker is this lawyer claims to be a Christian based law practice. It was just so strange how he became so combatitive just because I asked how he handles things like this. It was obvious he didn't do anything and it was because of the Congressman's man talking to the hearings office and getting them to look at my case right away. (I had written a letter and then a dire need letter).

    I just hate injustice and it seems like common sense that this guy is getting paid big bucks for not doing anything. He had me questioning my own beliefs. I know now he was trying to itimidate me.

    Sorry so long. Just wondering if anyone has been in this position? I wonder how many times a lawyer gets the 25% automatically when they havn't done anything.
    Lil
  2. renae1979

    renae1979 New Member

    I work in the legal field and there really isn't anything the lawyer could do to you. Write the letter!! His fees for services he didn't really do are unreasonable and he shouldn't be awarded them. It's that simple. The court system doesn't award hefty attorney fees for lawyers who don't do anything - trust me! Just write the letter and with the Congressman's office behind you and helping you out with all this, it should be very simple.
  3. Bailey-smom

    Bailey-smom New Member

    Write the letter! Good luck!

    Kelly
  4. LakeErie

    LakeErie New Member

    He is only entitled to a fee if he is registered with SSDI as the attorney of record & then they send him the check. Otherwise he is out of luck.
  5. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    Hi Lilac,

    Some people have a lot of nerve. I've been in the legal field nearly all my life. If you have not signed a paper saying that the lawyer represents you, he doesn't. It's just that simple.

    Do whatever you need to do. He is trying to bully you into getting something for nothing, and to make it worse, he is hiding behind religion to do it.

    Truly, the man should be ashamed of himself. This is not the kind of man that you want to have on your side, and there isn't a darn thing that he can do to you...not a thing. Please do not worry.

    You needn't even take his calls anymore if they are going to upset you too much because we all know that this can make things much worse for us physically. Just carry on with your life and take care of your health. You've done all the hard work already.

    I think you should write your letter and then see if you can get some rest so you can feel better. See if you can't put him behind you. Of course, it's up to you if you wish to have any further conversations with him, but it sounds like he isn't worth it. Don't worry, he will not be awarded a dime, especially if you do not even mention his name in your letter or any written correspondence.

    Best of luck!
    Bebe

  6. tngirl

    tngirl New Member

    I think you should write the letter. He should not be entitled if he did not do any work.

    Did you sign a contract that you would pay him a fourth of the settlement?

    I used to work as a social worker, the client had to be in court and was appointed a guardian ad litum. I found out the attorney billed for several hours of conferences we never had.

    The judge was not exactly happy with that.
  7. lilac123

    lilac123 New Member

    Thanks to everyone for replying to this post. I am feeling a bit better about it today. I wrote a letter and the congressman looked at it via e-mail and said it sounded very cordial and proffesional and I should send it out right away.
    Just a brief history. I had contacted this lawyer after my second denial. He replyed by letter he couldn't take my case as there was not enough evidence. I needed a letter from my Doc. I got the letter and sent it to the congresman and to him. He immediately started soliciting me to sign papers with him. I hestiated for at least a month. I had been in contact with the congressman and he sounded like he was going to maybe be able to help along with a dire need letter. So, yes, I did sign an agreement for the attorney thinking I might need him for a hearing. It never went that far.
    I am going to mail the letter out to the judge though after much prayer and support from others. This is just such an injustice to people and the system that they be compensated when someone else was able to do the job. I might have been able to let it go had he not been so irrational on the phone. He was trying to scare me and make me feel bad.
    I have been reassured that he can't hurt me so here goes.
    Thanks again for all your support now I can concentrate on my treatment and feeling better. Besides this horrible cold I found an absessed tooth this AM. Ouch!!
    Thoughts and Prayers to all of you.
    Lil
  8. poodlemommy

    poodlemommy New Member

    did you sign a contract with him. If not then he cant do a thing.
    poodlemum
  9. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    I'm really sorry, lilac, but if you signed an agreement, saying that he was to get 25 percent of anything that you received; whether or not he has done anything, he is still entitled to that 25 percent. Didn't know that part when I answered you the first time.

    It's like if you are an actor and you have an agent and a manager but still get your own work. They didn't help you one single bit, but you still have to pay them the amounts agreed to in the contract.

    You're kind of stuck here. Do not write letters to him or make any telephone calls to him if you can possibly help it because he will charge you separately at an extremely high rate for taking your calls, answering your letters, etc., call it "costs," and take it out of your settlement, especially if he is sleezy to begin with.

    At this point he should not have any further "costs" if you have no dealings with him, and if he does, ask him to explain each and everyone in detail.

    Best of luck to you!
  10. renae1979

    renae1979 New Member

    Unfortunately, if you signed an agreement with him that states what percentage of your settlement he gets, then that is what he is entitled to regardless of how much or how little work he did. It is called contingent fee basis.

    You may be able to argue that he didn't perform the services required by the contract, but you'll just have to see what the judge says.
  11. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    me and them just don't mix well, I've had so many run ins. I once applied for a job w/ a so called christian lawyer at his firm. It was a long interview w/ testing. He humiliated a coworker in front of me (I felt bad for the guy) and by the time I left, I felt beat up, he was that bad. I was reeling for days and it was just an interview.

    If you signed on a contigent basis, I guess the slimebucket gets his fee. I believe a contigency basis puts him at the risk of working on your case and getting nothing if you don't win too.


    Jeanne
  12. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    ...why is it that seems to me like businesses that say that they are religoun based are often the ones most likely to take advantage of people and to treat them badly and use God as an excuse to do it? Maybe it's just me, I don't know.
  13. Zzzsharn

    Zzzsharn New Member

    In my opinion, any lawyer that has to "advertise" that he's a CHRISTIAN, isn't the kind of Christian I want to deal with.. Again, this is MY opinion..

    Lil, do what your heart tells you, you are not wrong. He didn't do any work, and he knows it, that is why he is/was defensive.

    Best of luck,
    Sharon
  14. justlooking

    justlooking New Member

    that after I received my award letter but before I received my back pay, the SSA sent me a letter about my attorney's fees. If I had a grievance with my attorney and didn't think he should be paid, I could sign the paper with a statement to the judge for them to consider whether or not he should be paid. I didn't have any issues with my attorney getting paid and I didn't dispute his fees so I can't tell you the procedure but you should go to the SSA website or call the SSA about it.
    SSA does this to protect the disabled from unethical attorneys!!! Please be sure to check this out ASAP!!! The attorney may not be telling you about this or may be trying to scare you in order to intimidate you.


    ps I just went to the SSA website...go to
    1)already receiving benefits
    and then to
    2)representation

    It talks about how much they can charge, how they get paid, how they must document what they did for you and provide it to SSA, and how you can dispute it.[This Message was Edited on 11/04/2005]
  15. lbok

    lbok New Member

    There is a big market for people who think that someone listed themselves that way will be trustworthy. Only one problem - who determines whether or not the person is even a Christian. If someone is selling a service they will follow the money and that can actually get even more unscrupulous people masquarding to take advantage - especially in high trust markets (like lawyers).

    On the other side - the real Christian business owners tend to be harangued or guilted by people into giving lower fees or donating things. So, it goes both ways - clients looking to take advantage of Christian business owners too. If you are going to go to someone because they are Christian I would look for advertisements in church papers or Christian radio stations. Those people might be more investigated or well known, or if they had problems word spreads around faster.
  16. lilac123

    lilac123 New Member

    Wow, I didn't expect so many posts!! That is great. I don't get a chance to get on as much as I used to. Anyway, yes as some mentioned above, when I received my approval packet, there was a page about filing a dispute within 15 days. I wrote a letter and sent it to the congressman to look at. He was insisting from the very beginning that I do this and doesn't believe in Attorneys taking that money from people who really need it. So, here is the letter I wrote for those interested. I hope maybe it can help me and someone else too! Oh, he also called the attorney yesterday and told him he advised me to do this and he should expect a call from this judge in Chicago. Evidently he knows him or talks to him on the phone.
    Thanks everyone! Best to you all! Lil Here Goes!!::::

    Paul Lillios, Regional Chief Administrative Law Judge
    Equity Office Building, Suite 2901
    200 W. Adams St.
    Chicago, IL 60606


    Dear Mr. Lillios,

    I am writing to request a review of the fees my attorney is going to collect regarding my Social Security Disability Case. I had retained Mr. *&^@$%#$ as an attorney when I thought I was going to need representation at a hearing. I never did even meet with him personally and only had one brief conversation on the phone with him which left me very upset and discouraged.

    I along with my family wrote letters to my Congressman’s Office in order to get someone to help me. It is my belief that Mr. Nate Hurn, Constituent Services Specialist was solely responsible for getting my case expedited and looked at. He was most helpful and very professional.

    I received a Fully Favorable Decision based on the evidence on October 27, 2005. When I contacted Mr. @#$%^& to discuss my concerns with him collecting 25%, he became very emotional and irrate with me. I am an educated person but not very wise in the ways of how all of this works. It just doesn’t seem fair or right that he be financially compensated when he did nothing to help me. I even offered to come to an agreement of some financial compensation for the one phone conversation or any paperwork his office may have done. He said that it was totally because of him that my case was found favorable. He told me that he met with my doctor. I talked to my doctor and he stated he has never met or discussed me with Mr. Henry. I don’t know if maybe he confused me with someone else or that was just an all out lie. After my phone conversation with Mr. #$%^&& regarding all of this I am a bit frightened to be writing this letter. It is my belief he was trying to intimidate me. He almost succeeded but I am the type of person even with my disability and sickness that I will not be bullied or taken advantage of. And, it makes me wonder how many other people who are not educated or able are taken advantage of in this manner.

    I never imagined I would ever be in this position of being ill and unable to work. All of this is very disturbing for me in my physical and mental state at this time. I just want to do what is right for me and for anyone else who may go through all of this in the future. I still hold on to the hope that someday with treatment I may be able to work again and help people as I once did. This is not something I would wish on anyone. It is not even necessarily a matter of the money just plain principal and common sense that someone be paid for a job someone else was able to do.

    Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.


    Respectfully,
  17. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    Hi Lilac,

    Well, I've got to say, that is a beautifully written letter. I hope it does the trick. If he has any say in the matter, I'm sure your letter will influence the outcome.

    Please be sure to let us know what happens when you find out.

    Love,
    Bebe
  18. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    If for any reason he ~does~ collect the 25% even after your dispute, you can file a complaint with the State Bar to get your money back.

    Check to see if your State Bar has a website. The website for my state walks a client through the complaint-filing process. An attorney can actually be suspended for lying to the way he lied to you. Good luck and best wishes :)!
  19. poodlemommy

    poodlemommy New Member

    Great letter lilac. I think you will win. I just wanted to come to the defense of some lawyers. I had a wonderful lawyer represent me for my LTD case and my car accident. He was professional, considerate and always acted in my best interest. He returned my calls and emails promptly. He worked really hard for me. Even my family doctor was really impressed with him and he had her convinced to come to court and testify for me if needed. He was great. I know there are alot of bad lawyers out there but mine was great and Im very grateful for his hard work.
    hugs, poodlemum
  20. renae1979

    renae1979 New Member

    Great letter! I know that judges don't like to give lawyers fees for not doing any work or good work, so I think you may just win this one!! You will have to let us know! Good luck!

    And, as the other poster mentioned, if not you should check with your State Bar Association about filing a complaint.