On December 11, I went to the courthouse. At the counter for Civil Claims I explained to the clerk about the situation. He checked in the computer and found a file under my wife’s name. He gave me the file-number with a paper of Affidavit. Even we had been denied this file number. So, in what way was I supposed to write the “notice of act in person”? And, still I was being billed for the same file that I could not have the number. With this much pressure mounting on us by this lawyer in order to make us pay the whole amount we owed him, I wondered why he never used any such pressure tactics on my wife’s partner to recover her share. Why he never bothered to ask the dancing schools to put the money in a trust account until the dispute resolved? Were we being penalized for our poverty? Was this whole process normal?
The same day of December 11, I met a lawyer and paid fifty dollars, for which he even did not give me a receipt, to write a Notice of Intention to Act in Person. The next day I picked up the short notice and faxed to both Mr. Scot and Mr. Douglass.
With the Notice in hand, I gave my wife ex-partner five days to either give my wife’s share or I would write a letter to her and would go to the court after that.
She consented to release what she believed to be my wife’s true share of the assets. This was something even less than one quarter of the inventory that she had given several months before. Thanks to Mr. Douglass’ policy we had little document to pursue the case in the court. Finding another lawyer and going through the same procedure to recover the same documents with the results was not practical. Even the little documents they had provided us were not in a state to be presented to the judge. Nevertheless, there must have been many more documents that Mr. Douglass had kept us totally unawares of; and he had hinted to their existence in his letter. The documents that he had given us I never used in dealing with my wife’s ex-partner any way.
On January 17, 2001, after my wife’s ex-partner received my verbal promise that we would not continue with the case in the court, scores of receipts and invoices related to 1999 activities of the business were given to us. I copied all of them and have kept them in a safe place. I have no doubt that Mr. Scot would not be surprised if I showed him the copy of those documents. After all, he was the one who wrote the conclusion to the agreement that I wrote on February 05, 2001. I still have a copy of this conclusion to the agreement that he wrote at his client’s request, however he did not sign it himself. No doubt that he won a victory for his client, no matter what method he used. Were these methods according to the same law and justice that he had taken oath to uphold?
On February 11, 2001 I picked up what my wife’s ex-partner had put aside for her. The net result was all loss on our part. Mr. Douglass and his company had charged us in any way they wanted and recovered nothing except inconsistent photocopied documents. Then he started playing with facts and keeping our documents. My wife’s ex-partner has kept everything she had made as a result of my wife’s work by shunning an accounting. She also kept over seventy-five percent of what she has given as inventory. Mr. Scot had his share of the benefit too.
Few months has passed February 11, 2001. My wife and I are slowly recovering from months of stress. I am still paying my last bill that amounted over seventeen hundred dollars. I have more than ten months ahead of me to pay it in full. Fear of interest on top of what I have paid, compounded interest, collection agency are always with me. From this experience I have totally lost my trust in legal community.
In January 2001 after two months of trying to obtain the receipts of my payments for November and December, once I contacted Mr. Douglass asking if after I paid my bill he would release my file.
“The file is yours,” he would answer.
Again, I contacted the accounting office asking for my receipts and the same question that I had asked Mr. Douglass. The answer was positive again. Eventually, after seven calls and messages, I received my receipts in February.
My wife and her ex-partner have signed an agreement of mutual release and the file is of no use any more. But, I want to keep it as a witness of what this legal community has done to my family. Nonetheless, I wonder how can I ever trust that, instead of a file, I do not receive the same finger from Mr. Douglass that my wife received from her ex-partner more than one year ago? Or, I ever receive all those documents? Or, I receive them intact? Mr. Douglass has never told us how many of those documents he had received. After all, these people are experts in distorting facts, misinterpreting the law, and hiding evidence from the people who do not know the law.
In the face of these realities I feel I am lost. I do not know if I am too boorish to understand this situations or the legal community is smart enough to exhaust my patience and resources. Hopefully, what I am asking you is clear and leaves no room for any misinterpretation. I want to know:
1. If you are charging me for reading and responding to this letter, as your colleagues at the law firm have done, please do not answer.
2. If you are going to introduce me to another lawyer to deal with the matter, at any cost, please accept my apologies and ignore this letter.
3. If you believe all the procedures and billings including lawyers’ arithmetic errors, their repetitive charging for the same service and even knowingly and purposely adding to our trouble were correct and this community is out of the reach of ordinary citizens like my family, please tell me where to turn in the face of these kind of troubles. After all, you are the people who know the law.
4. Finally, if you believe the procedures have not been right, please tell me what I am supposed to do with the matter in general and over twenty-seven hundred dollars of payment.
I appreciate your attention to this letter and am looking forward to see your explanations.
Mr. Skeptic of Rocky Land
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