View Full Version : Is my lawyer trying to scam me?


jpwayne
12-05-2006, 05:31 AM
Our lawyer is asking for 5,600.00 to appeal a motion denying a restitution hearing. My boyfriend owes 130,000 in restitution for fire damages but considering the scope of damage I just really doubt its that much and would like to appeal to discover the truth about the damage amounts.

This fee is supposed to cover the motion to appeal plus the hearing and subsequent negotiations if it should happen. He said for 10,000.00 he would do all this plus a divorce (the wife is in another state and cannot be found so I suppose its more involved than a regular divorce)

I plan on calling a few other lawyers for second opinions but can anyone confirm that this is standard pricing for such services? I wasnt anticipating it to be so much.

dmpdbd
12-05-2006, 07:09 AM
.
Joy - if you are only looking for the damage amounts, there must be some other way. Didn't it come up at trial? It should be in the court records. You should then be able to go from there.

.

mabear
12-05-2006, 07:09 AM
Hopefully someone who either is an attorney or works for one will answer this better than me but that seems pretty standard.

Lions Heart
12-05-2006, 09:08 AM
I don't know how much attorney's generally charge. I know that a friend of mine has retained an attorney and she has to come up with about 6 grand. I had to pay about 3 grand for my divorce. Anyway, good luck to you and I hope it all works out for you.

jpwayne
12-05-2006, 12:19 PM
I got the fire report and statements and it unfortunately doesnt give specifics. He accepted a plea out of fear of her father (friends w/ fire marshall) so there was no trial.

At the motion to request a restitution hearing, prosecution presented two checks from the insurance co paid to the condo board, HOWEVER, there was no backup to support the condo boards claim to the insurance co. But the judge just took a look at the 2 checks and called that sufficient and denied the motion. Hence my desire to appeal and go through with a full restitution hearing and investigation. I want to see if they come up with actual contractor invoices and receipts etc that amount to 130k.


.
Joy - if you are only looking for the damage amounts, there must be some other way. Didn't it come up at trial? It should be in the court records. You should then be able to go from there.

.

LongHaul
12-05-2006, 12:53 PM
I think the $5600 for the appeal is reasonable(actually seems to be far too inexpensive - in CA any appelate action is a minimum $15000) As for the divorce, I think the spread between the $5600 and the $10000 is far too much to pay for a divorce - especially when it appears that it will be a default action. Paralegals do that for less than $1000.

What is this lawyer's SPECIALTY? Family or criminal? (effective criminal appelate attorney's usually NEVER do any other kind of work)

mabear
12-05-2006, 02:01 PM
His attorney didn't ask for any paperwork? Even though he plea bargained the insurance co. had to send someone and/or got bids before paying. I wonder if you could request them from the insurance company?

dmpdbd
12-05-2006, 03:36 PM
.
Joy - The divorce should not be as difficult as the attorney is making this out to be. From what very little I know about your situation, the wife should easily be located and served through her band contacts and I doubt she would fight the divorce. As far as the restitution amount, I think you should work on that on your own as much as possible. In this instance, you may pay more for the appeal attorney than the amount you might possibly get the restitution lowered. Does that $130,000 include strutural (physical) damage to the condo, plus personal property and perhaps also living expenses for the wife and child because the condo could not be lived in after the fire? If you total all that together, it could easily add up. Or, are you just suspicious because his wife's father has "connections"?
.

katybear
12-31-2006, 07:22 PM
I'm confused as to who the restitution goes to. If they received insurance payments for the damage, then who does the restitution go to?

mrsdragoness
12-31-2006, 07:32 PM
I believe the insurance company would get the restitution.