DISHONEST LAWYER IN FORT LAUDERDALE, FL XXXXX
I am reporting that complaint now since I was out of town.
Late March 2015, I met lawyer ********* ******* ******* by chance with no whatsoever recommendation. I needed to evict my former tenant introduced to me by my former real estate agent called **** ***** ******** while I was out of the country. **** ***** ******** never met him prior to hand him the keys. Both were wrong but I am here to discourage you to hire Mr. *******. It was my first and hopefully last eviction and I did not have any experience with either paperwork or language used in such situation.
Mr. ******* proved to be a very unprofessional/indifferent/lousy lawyer. I never forced him to take the case and he never mentioned to me that his plate was too full for me. First of all he charged me $850.00 that is much more than the regular eviction cost ($500.00). Unfortunately, I found out too late and could not switch lawyers. He was never clear to me where, when and why I should fill a certain document. He never read my lease and agreed to a final settlement not in my favor. He was always too busy either to speak to me on the phone or return my telephone calls/emails. He lied to the Florida Bar association located in Tallahassee stating that while in his office I physically attacked the front female desk attendant. That was totally wrong. I never came close to her. How a professional who consider himself a lawyer can lie to that extent and give the good example? If such professional can do that perjury, whom else can we trust nowadays? A good lawyer as any good professional is hard to find nowadays. Yes, I was in his office without a scheduled appointment and since he did not return either my phone calls or emails, I did not have another choice to reach him. He wanted to call the police and I did it. I reported him and I have a recording #. He wanted to charge me an additional $250.00 to file an affidavit on Friday, May 22nd when my former tenant was supposed to return the property on Monday, May 25th. It was ridiculous! He was always late instructing me what to do and due to all the above, I decided on the premises to continue on my own.
Since I hired him, I lost my sleep and peace of mind. I had to hire another lawyer Ms. ***** ******** and pay for her service in order to respond to my questions. Again this was ridiculous.
My tenant left leaving behind a huge amount of destruction and devastation not enough to be charged with the security deposit reduced by the real estate agent fee and within 15 days when the legal one has to be performed within 30 days. NOTHING LISTED IN MY LEASE WAS HONORED. HE WAS NEVER ON MY SIDE THEN WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF HIRING AN ATTOREY "SPECIALIZED" IN EVICTIONS? It was a waste of money and time hiring lawyer *******. Again, he never read the lease dated and signed by my former tenant and myself.
I reported lawyer ******* to the Florida Bar association in order to alert them about the above.
Last but not least, I should emphasize that I do not have any interest to waste my time and yours if I was not right. It is very wise to consult BBB prior to hire any "professional" workers. Please do not believe in what he will write back. If he was capable to lie to the Florida Bar association there is noting else to say.
I won't recommend that lawyer to anyone.
I wish to be refunded for the fee I paid for a mediocre service which is $850.00. Lawyer ******* should have listed in the final settlement the refund of attorney fee expenses and the remain months of non rental occupancy for that situation which were listed in the lease as follows:
If LANDLADY employs an attorney due to TENANT's violation of the terms and conditions of this Lease, TENANT shall be responsible for all costs and reasonable attorney's fees as incurred by LANDLADY whether or not suit is filed.
LEASE PAYMENT DETAILS
In case TENANT should vacate or abandon the property prior to the end of the lease. TENANT shall be responsible for the whole year rent fee as well as for the percentage brokerage fee for breaking the lease.
The percentage of the real estate agent fee was reduced from the security deposit and that was not a fair decision. Security deposit was settled for only 15 days.
Lawyer ******* NEVER read the lease and consequently did not succeed to reach a fair settlement.
On March 26, 2015 the complainant hired me to do a residential eviction and deposited a $850.00 retainer. Of the $850.00, $500.00 was the attorney fee for an uncontested case, the balance was for costs. The attorney fee for a contested case is $250.00 per hour additional.
On March 27, 2015 an eviction complaint was filed in the county court of Broward County The tenant was served April 1, 2015.
On April 6, 2015 Attorney Barry Haimo contacted me stating that he represented the defendant tenant. A settlement was agreed to by all of the parties and filed with the court on April 16, 2015.
The settlement called for the early termination of the tenancy on May 25, 2015 and for the tenant to pay prorated rent. Tenant had paid last month's rent at lease inception, so it turned out that he was entitled to a refund for the prorated balance of May's rent.
The complainant repeatedly called and emailed about the tenant not having paid May rent, and also to inquire as to my availability on May 25, 2015, which was the Memorial day Court Holiday.
On May 20, 2015, I emailed the complainant an affidavit of non-compliance to fill out and noted that a motion for a judgment of possession for non-compliance with the settlement agreement would entail an additional attorney fee of $250.00 in the event that the tenant did not move out on May 25, 2015 as agreed.
On May 21, 2015 complainant arrived at my office without an appointment, pushed past the secretary and entered my personal office though the closed door. She was advised that her case had settled in April, and further proceedings would require an additional $250.00. Complainant refused to remit an additional retainer and also refused my request to leave my office. I advised her that she was now trespassing and called the police. I left for lunch, and was advised that the complainant returned while I was away and committed a second act of trespass ** my office.
In summary, complainant paid for an uncontested residential eviction. A settlement was achieved within two weeks in which the rent was paid in full, she recovered $308.00 in damages, and the tenant vacated four month's early. Despite the case being settled, the complainant continued to incessantly email and call the office, while refusing to pay for any additional attorney time. The defendant moved out May 25, 2015 as agreed.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Prior to hire l.Johnson for the eviction, I alerted him that I would be out of town 6/3 to 8/27. I was told that the best way to reach him was by electronic mail. Not true!
Thanks to the second lawyer whom I hired, I decided to select the second and last settlement that was not the best for my own best interest. That settlement never protected my rights and did not follow the terms of the lease. I do not know why. But that was the kind of lawyer I met by lack of luck.
Refund for a prorated balance of rent for one week rent? Then why l.Haimo did not list it on the settlement, right? My lease had strict clauses and not a single one was honored by lawyer Johnson since the tenant broke the lease from A to B for many intolerable issues. I was forced to evict him.Soon my property won't exist.
Yes the settlement drafted by former tenant's l.Haimo listed the last month of May to be paid by the tenant.That settlement was submitted to lawyer Johnson prior to myself.Neither lawyer read the lease and both made a SERIOUS mistake.Last rent did not have to be listed in the settlement but what about the remain 4 months to complete the 12 month rental period? Apologizing was not the best for making mistakes especially originating from 'professionals'.They are not admissible.Period.
Most of my calls and emails were never returned or returned on due time.L.Johnson was always on the phone dealing with more important 'victims' than I. L.Johnson was always too busy either on the phone, court, Miami, etc.Yes the last rent listed on the settlement was never paid to me.Both lawyers never read the lease prior to draft the settlement.It was a serious mistake made by L.Haimo and worst NOT DETECTED BY L.Johnson. I was asked to date and sign the settlement and I did it. I am not a lawyer and I am not supposed to know what both of them ignore even called 'professionals'. NOT READING THE LEASE, WAS THE FIRST OF MULTIPLE SERIOUS MISTAKES MADE BY BOTH LAWYERS AND UNACCEPTABLE TO ANY CLIENT.
On the 6th paragraph, first l.Johnson dated wrongly the date.It was not on Wednesday, May 20th but late Thursday, May 21. When lawyer Johnson woke up and emailed me a document for the sum of $250.00.Yes the clock was ticking and every day was counting in that eviction process when the final date was scheduled for holiday Memorial Day, Monday 25th, when l.Johnson was not scheduled to be in his office. (Never got his personal contact information) I did not understand why the reason of that fee at the last minute when the tenant was scheduled to return the property on Monday, May 25th.L.Johnson never mentioned that he would return me the fee in case the tenant would return the property on time. If the reverse situation would happen,I won't ever recover the money, right? The document did not mention it as a non-refundable fee.Yes, if the fee was refundable, I would have paid it.From the beginning of the month of May, I kept reminding the lawyer that the tenant's return property date would fall on Memorial Day holiday, I did not get the last rent and he won't be available on that holiday. It was me in control of the calendar since I wanted that case finished prior to leave town and every single hour was precious to me and per sure not for him since he was involved with other cases.But I never got any feedback from him.IT TOOK HIM 21 DAYS TO REACT AND WAKE UP WHEN THE RETURN OF THE PROPERTY WAS ONLY A WEEK END AWAY.Incredible! I immediately emailed back the lawyer but did not get any response by late Thursday, May 21st.The next day, Friday, May 22nd, I called his office and I was told that lawyer Johnson was in Miami and the attendant did not know when would be back.I also was scheduled to be in Miami and upon return to town I decided to pay a visit and pop the question.I needed to know why should I pay that fee.Lawyers are expert requesting funds from their clients but have not time and interest to justify those funds.Second, (I am quoting) "in the event that the tenant did not move out on May 25, 2015 as agreed".In the event?How come l.******* could guess that the tenant won't return the property as scheduled and charge me that fee without any explanation?Worst, in his email, he did not specify that fee was not refundable.I would have paid him for what?He hid it to me.I needed to know and went to his office to get a answer.Yes the attendant called him from the front desk and he refused to see me.He was always rude from the moment I met him.Then I decided to knock at his door. He denied speaking to me if I won't give him a check for $250.00 and then just learned that that fee was not refundable.Yes if the fee was refundable and the tenant would have left the property as scheduled, would I get a refund from him? Who knows? But that scenario was not optional. It was take it or leave it. Then why charging me without knowing per sure that the tenant would leave or not? Why not listing "refundable' in the document? IT WAS JUST PURE EXTORTION!
That lawyer never took the time to explain and consult me for any step in that eviction process.He wanted to control my life and finances.From the beginning of May, I took my time to inform him by repeated emails that the tenant did not pay the last rent for the month of May listed on the settlement, he was scheduled to return the property on Memorial Day when he won't be accessible but it was like speaking to a wall. HE TOOK HIM TWENDY ONE DAYS TO REACT. 21 days!
On paragraph 7th, I, myself, called the police since I was at the right place and at the right time to face at last that lawyer and get an explanation for additional fee.I remained two hours outside the office waiting for the police to come.When days later, I checked with the police to see if police report was ready to be picked up, I learned that l.Johnson cancelled the call.Unfortunately the police officer named Robert Bolden did not fill in a report with # is XX-XXXXX.Why not asking the lawyer to provide his own one, right? L.Johnson is again lying as he did it to The Florida Bar.Why not watching the camera surveillance located in and out his office to check who is right?From the moment I decided not to pay the fee, I stepped out from the office as a lady and called the police.There was nothing else for me to do there.I definitively was in the wrong place not up to the level sense of my dignity and respect.I knew that I was dealing with an immoral individual who wanted to exhort more money.I never came back at that disgusting 'law' office since I did not have anything else to do there and never mal treated the attendant.How come a lawyer could lie?It is unthinkable but true nowadays!
From that moment, I decided to continue on my own.I did not have anything else to lose.We were late Friday and the tenant was scheduled to return the property on Monday.What else to do in such short time?On that Friday by 4:00 PM, the Court House was already closed.What l.Johnson wanted to do was per sure wasting my time and extorting me more fees.
Rent was paid in full? Where and when?
L.Johnson, did you ever read my lease prior to start the eviction process?No, you did not have that time but time to charge me additional fees YES.When I finally agreed with the bad settlement imposed to me, you never got it after I dated, signed and scanned back to you.When I called your office to confirm, yes I was told that you did not get it and you were in Miami. If I had never called you, we were just wasting more time since you never either had the time to complain or confirm receiving it. Again, yes you were too busy and indifferent for such banal routine office tasks.You caused me to lose my sleep and peace of mind. It is unfortunate that I did not evict my former tenant on my own from A to B as suggested by strangers. Per sure, I would have worked better than you.
Damages?Again l.Johnson was wrong, confused and misunderstood that the $308.00 was 'presented' to me for damages but on the contrary was yes DISCOUNTED from the security check ($925.00).Yes what was left was only $617.00 (rent $925 - $308.00) to return it within 2 weeks.Due to the huge amount of damage/devastation found in the unit ($2.341.29), there was nothing to return than summarized bills.That amount does not include attorney fees, lost of furniture donated or just trashed away and countless hours spent on the phone trying to repair my property.It was as a devasting tsunami went through.
To all readers, I strongly recommend you to consult BBB prior to hire any worker.Again I won't recommend l.Johnson unless he would agree to pay a retainer to you stating that he will read the lease or any other legal document and would return calls/emails on time.Ha,ha!!!Yes once you pay their retainer, they can control you the way they wish.When I was the first time in his office, he mentioned that he could draft the lease for me. Ha,ha! I responded that the issue was not the lease but the tenant who does not read it or the lawyer...
Final Business Response
The client signed the settlement agreement and thus can not subsequently complain about its terms.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
but the service rendered was not professional and not at all prompt. Unnecessary and additional non refundable fees were tempted to exhort from the client. My opinion on that lawyer's service continues the same: do not hire him!