Lots of smoke & mirrors but little bang for your buck
At 25, last year (2010), when I needed a lawyer for the first time in my life I scoped out many. I went with Miss Morris as my best friend had had a good experience with her BEFORE she had her own practice, while she was employed at another lawfirm. I believed that she would be able to help me the way she had helped my friend as the situations were similar. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!
Miss Morris shuffled me back into her conference room, talked to me for an hour and promised me the world and my life back for the fee of $1500. Despite, that I had gotten offers for less from other attorneys, I trusted Sandra and went with her.
After that consultation, she had me fill out a stack of paperwork agreeing to have her represent me and agreeing to pay her the flat fee of 1500, then 250 an hour after that had been used up. The paperwork stated that I agreed to have Miss Sandra W. Morris, Esq. represent me, it did NOT say I agreed to have the offices of Miss Sandra W. Morris represent me!
Additionally, she never explained that because I had two different court cases-all relating to the same matter-that I would have to pay the retainer of 1500 not once, but twice! She ended up charging me an additional retainer fee, which we had never discussed during our first conference. I paid it because I had never needed a lawyer before; had no experience with the law or being in any sort of court system; I was scared and naive and Miss Morris took advantage of that!
She also sent a substitute lawyer to one of my court dates without even consulting me and she failed to show up at another court date all together. The other lawyer and I clashed and it was a horrible day in court. The substitute lawyer even broke my attorney/client privilege by telling the other party ver batim what I had said I intended on doing in order to protect myself!
Upon the approach of the next court date, Miss Morris seemed to be ""out of the office"" constantly. Throughout my relationship with Miss Morris I sent numerous emails, left numerous messages and I was rarely responded to. She replyed to two of my emails, and I waited weeks for those replies! More often though, she would claim she never received the emails, although they never got kicked back to me for an invalid address. Other times, she simply ignored the fact that she ignored me. I was contacted back by her offices perhaps three times. I must have left 30 messeges and sent 15 emails. They were very repitituous as her offices would fail to respond! Furthermore, neither Miss Morris, nor her office staff would ever answer the questions I had, instead they would go 359 degrees around the questions and leave me dizzy. I felt like I would have been better off paying a rock to represent me, as Miss Morris and her office did about the same thing as a rock would have.
Once I fired her, she told my new attorney that she did not have my file and that I had to get it from the substitute lawyer she had sent to court. She also claimed that I owed this lawyer 1000 for coming to court with me for HER.
When I fired her I requested a refund. Rather than returning the money I paid for the services she did NOT provide me, she sent ME a bill for a few hundred dollars with a backdated list of services I had apparently (although not really) received, including the service of the first consultation (for which I NEVER AGREED TO PAY-if I had not used her as my lawyer after that first consultation, she never would have even known my name to bill me because I did not ""agree"" to have her represent me or fill out any paperwork until AFTER that consultation!!!)
Overall, I had a horrible experience. She made many promisesbut she kept few. There was plenty of smoke and mirrors but the only lasting thing I received from her was a bill that her offices doctored! I wouldn't allow Miss Morris to represent me if she PAID ME! Never use this lawyer! She is a scam artist!