*Disclaimer* This is for personal record keeping for a friend and myself. Feel free to continue to read if you like. Just thought you’d like to know. *Disclaimer*
My friend, Melanie, is getting divorced. It’s the divorce of eternal proportions. In the Commonwealth of VA, if you have children, you must be separated for 1 year before you can file for divorce. That time frame has long since gone. They separated not too long after he went to Iraq in September 2003. About three to four months later, so around the new year, 2004. It’s now 2007.
Last year her husband spent a lot of time balking at the paperwork. She’s tried very hard to keep this out of the actual courts. She finally submitted approved and signed paperwork six months ago.
In the last six months she has waited for word that her divorce is final. At the time she was under the impression that was all she needed and things were good to go and it was really just a matter of time. She’s attempted several times to call her lawyer to find out the status of her divorce.
On Thursday, 7 June 2007, she personally went into her lawyer’s office. It was at this time she was informed there would needs be a deposition of one of her friends before anything more could be done. She was leaving town that afternoon for approximately a week and a half. She called me on the way out to her car.
In an effort to move this process along, I rang the lawyer myself to give him my information so we could schedule said deposition in a timely fashion and get this poor girl her divorce. It’s been three and a half years for crying out loud. She’s since gotten involved with someone else and would really like to, I don’t know… move on with her life?
I called this lawyer at just before 11 AM Thursday morning and got his answering machine. This was immediately following my phone call from Melanie. I left a very detailed message giving my name (with spelling), what case I was calling in regards of, the fact I was free and would like to schedule this ASAP, and I listed my phone number twice.
I called once more just before noon in hopes that I could reach this man, and while I was with Melanie so that if he had any questions his client would be right there. Once more, answering machine.
I heard nothing until today. I called the office at 10:28 AM this morning and finally a human answered. His secretary was rather rude during the entire conversation. When she answered the phone, I could not make out what she said. When I told her who I was and why I was calling I was then informed that my friend was mistaken. That “at this time we are not ready to move onto that phase.” I asked if there was any kind of a time-frame that I could know about since it was me who needed to make arrangements to meet with someone. I would hate to go on vacation for a month and have it come up, you know? (I know people who go away for the entire month of July. We are in a very transient area here in DC where people go “home” for great stretches of time.)
I was told that it was none of my business and it was between “us and our client.” I let them know that I thought that already waiting six months was a bit extreme. I also let her know that I was keeping records of my calls so that we could know just how long it took. (Hence this blog as well.) I was told I didn’t need to do that. Yeah, well it’s a legal matter and I informed this woman I kept records of all things in a legal matter. I even had my mother call on Thursday her lawyer to find out what I could expect from the deposition. So I informed this woman I had contacted a lawyer for myself. (I’m sorry, but it’s only good practice to contact a lawyer to find out what is expected of you when you are dealing with legal matters.) This did not go over real well. I’m assuming because this whole time frame is just so bad there’s worry about notification to the Bar Association. (Kind of why I’m keeping detailed notes.)
Now my complaint is 1. You could have returned a phone call to at least politely say, “Thank you for your interest in moving this along ma’am, but we’re not quite ready at this time. We’ll be in touch.” 2. Your secretary started off rude when she answered the phone. 3. I understand that you have more clients than just my friend, however if you have so many clients that you cannot do your job in a timely fashion you need to not take any more clients. Doctors do it all the time, so can you.
I love my friend dearly. Unfortunately she’s a woman, she’s cute and fashionable, and she looks very young. She’s prone to people taking advantage of her because of this. They see her cute little curvy self and her head of blonde hair and think she’s an easy target. I don’t know if that is what this lawyer is doing or not, but he’s obviously not keeping up his end of their contract. When she paid him an exorbitant amount of money for a case that was never going to even see a courtroom, she fully expected things to be done in a timely manner. Now obviously some of this hold up for the last three and a half years has been legal and her husband. But what of the last six months? When they’ve done absolutely nothing so far as we can tell?
Why do we live in a society that cares so little for customer/client satisfaction and so little for actually doing our work well? I’m sure this guy is a great lawyer, but from what little I’ve seen, he’s seriously let down his client.
At any rate, now we have a record. As of 7 June 2007 they have a ready and willing and prepared to come in witness for a deposition. As of 11 June 2007 someone in that office has spoken with said witness. The paperwork is signed, sealed, and delivered. How long shall this lawyer make us wait?
Oh on a further note, I attempted to also call the courthouse on Thursday to speak with a clerk to see if I could set up my own appointment. I figure this deposition will be fairly strait-forward though. Yes, my friend is separated. No, there’s no hope for them to reconcile. Yes, I think both parties take this divorce seriously. That sort of thing. I’ll happily go to the courthouse today and tell a recorder this. The clerk told me that my only choice was to work through the lawyer. Rats.
Anyone who’s made it this far, thank you. Now light a candle, say a prayer, do whatever it is you do that this process can move along so that Melanie can finally get divorced. I’m anxious to go marry her off to her new guy. Goodness knows it has been long enough.
Sorry, Melanie, to put so much detail in here. I really think we need a public record. You may not take this to the Bar, but you may want to. My cell records are yours for the subpoena as is this blog entry. Let’s get you divorced so we can marry you and William!! 🙂 ((HUGS))
(This is still the internet, I refuse to put my real name on here. I really need to adopt this as a legal alias… ROFL)