Just got back from attny consult

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This one has been a GAL in this state, a prosecuting attny, and a criminal def attny. It's all I could line up on such short notice. Anyway, he didn't sound promising at all. He said it's all about LRE and I shot myself in the foot by using "my safety" as a means to push for services. Now, he does see that there is no reason they can't shorten a program or put difficult child in something else due to the fact that I had said all along that I would take my son home after a transitional period. But he can't do much about their decision to do otherwise. He says step 1 is to try to smooth things out with PO and show I have something in place to take care of my safety concerns. Well in reality, that's what I needed PO to write in the parole plan and those were the things he and I were discussing before he turned Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde on me and now doesn't want to hear anything I have to say at all. Step 2) Get attny to try to help smooth things over- if I hire him, it's $1000 flat fee. Step 3) request a court hearing to review difficult child's status and parole plan and argue that there are less restricted environments then what is ordered, no guarantee on winning, if I hire him it's an additional $1500 on top of the 1000, flat fee.

    And, difficult child basicly has no rights, he didn't really answer my question about my rights but said he'd seen cases where if the parent quit communicating with PO or abiding by POs requirements, the kid was taken to court for noncompliance even though it wasn't the kid and the kid gets more sanctions. The parent might not get much as far as serious fines or jail time but the show causes go on the record and make things stickier in the future, should there be more court cases. He did seem quite knowledgable about how some CSU people can be but says many parents have tried and can't really do much about it. I guess that explains how they can continue on their control trips and writing parole plans without even looking thru the file first.

    I'll be counting the days until my mid-Dec. appointment with the attny I saww before but she didn't have any openings until mid-Dec. I don't know that she can tell me worse than this and she doesn't charge as much and seemed to be a little more understanding of the parents' situation, when it's not a parent who's really doing nothing.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Sorry for the let down. I guess he has to say it how he sees it. That is a lot of money. Wish I had a money tree, you would get some for sure.

    I hope your appointment with the other one goes better. What happened with the medications? Do you know?
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    No- I'm hoping difficult child will call tonight so I can tell him. I need to write him, too, but it will be a few days before he gets the letter since we have Tgiving this week - maybe he'll get it Friday. They don't get mail on Sats for some reason.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    He sounds way overpaid for so little. I'd keep looking.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yeah- I think he didn't want the job. I've found attnys who don't want a job that involves a complaint or 'issue' with those in the system have much higher rates- and I doubt it's coincidental.

    The other attny is a seasoned GAL- the only one over 35 I've seen in this state. LOL! She's asking for a $750 retainer, or whatever, and she charges on an hourly rate. I had just spent over $500 on a car repair this morning that I thought was going to cost $350 max and I'm planning on paying off difficult child's restitution tomorrow for his Christmas present and to avoid me having to spend another day driving out of town to go to court and explain that it didn't get paid because he's still incarcerated.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    There's a reason attorneys are compared to sharks.

    This guy clearly has seen way too many parents who didn't care. I think he's full of baloney.

    I'm sorry that he couldn't give you better news... I think there has to be some way to work it.

  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    As someone whose hobby has been sharks for most of my life, I believe everyone that perpetuates the lawyer stereotype owes an apology to sharks. :p
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    thank you- it was a free consult though and those are the ones who usually charge higher fees if you hire them. But, the do give some tidbits of helpful info while you're there. He was clearly hard-nosed against parents, while the previous one and the one I have an appointment with in mid-Dec told me things like not to worry about any future threat of DSS- it's a bluff at this point and at difficult child's age there's no way that Department of Juvenile Justice can get difficult child in my bro's hands before he's 18 and they don't need a guardian for him then- and that the previous jurisdiction was BSing me on all that.
  9. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Im sorry it didnt go better. The fees are huge. I guess our guy really did have mercy on us! It's hard to find someone who does juvenile justice work and has much success-the sysrem has a weird design. Partly this is to try to keep kids out of secure care and to have flexibility, but this makes it difficult for a lawyer. So he did not give you much insight on your parental rights?
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I gave him a brief hx and explanatioon of current situation. Then said my first question was what were difficult child's rights and was this double jeopardy since the program is really a dispositional program suddenly slapped with the name 're-entry' due to rec'g fed funding for that. question 2) could he help with PO situation and the current plan for group home; what are my rights in relationship with PO, 3) what are my rights if difficult child is in group home. He discussed 1 & 2. He said we don't know about the group home- it's just now starting as something that can be used while on parole. When used as a diversion or disposition, that's thru probation. (Probation is prior to commitment to Department of Juvenile Justice or prision; parole is after release from Department of Juvenile Justice or prison, similar but slightly different due to funding and parental involvement, I think.)
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you are disappointed. Have to say that attorney's fees around here exceed that for juvie cases....$1800 just to appear in Court for a bond hearing (and private attorneys do not have to wait as their cases are heard first before the public defenders). Hope the other attorney has the experience and knowledge to let you know if there is, in fact, anything you can do. Meanwhile I think the suggestion to "make nice" with the PO is a wise one. DDD
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    in my opinion it hoovers. The entire system is so messed up that a parent who wants to do right by her kid and by her community gets witchslapped from every direction. I don't like this lawyer. he is a jerk.

    I DO think you have to make nice with PO. otherwise he can and will make your and difficult child's life miserable.

    Do they have to release difficult child on his 18th birthday no matter what?

    Get into game playing mindset and take the guy cookies, or chips and salsa (make it look homemade even if you just buy a jar of equate salsa and toss in half a can of corn to make it look less store bought) or whatever and apologize, say you didn't mean to make trouble, just had been dealing with some other stuff and were frustrated. I KNOW it galls to do that, but it is the ONLY way to have a prayer of this guy not making thing even harder for you and difficult child. Just tell yourself that it is a contest to see who can lie the most - and you are GOING to win by being nice to this guy. He is ONLY nice to you to get what he wants, and there is NOTHING wrong with doing the same to him.

    You know where I think this guy will end up. it is super hot, and he will spend his day dealing being punished by the kids and parents he jerked around while on his power trip. This is part of their reward, and his special Hades.

  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't know what to apologize for. I was going by what he told me. The only thing I think I did wrong was slam the phone down on him but really, I'd do it again. He was very confrontational and didn't even want to acknowledge that he'd sat right there and told me something different a few days earlier. And when it's something this life-changing, there's no reason he couldn't have called and started by saying" there's been a change in position" instead of going off on me and acting like he'd never told me any different. I think this man has a problem taking responsibility for what he's telling people and just wants to always look like the good guy. Whatever. in my humble opinion, if a phone converstaion turns to yelling, the person won' t calm down and have a rational conversation (whether it's me or the other person) it's time to stop the conversation, cool off, and regroup. Honestly, if he can't explain what the REAL program or order involves, I'd prefer that he just issue it and let someone else explain it rather than BS me about what the requirements, advantages, etc are, then me have those expectations in mind when it's time to talk to the provider, or whomever. That just sets me up to get mad when I hear from them that something entirely different.

    Now, if he doesn't want to talk to me and just wants to mail me my orders or whatever, great, that gets it in writing without lip service that's just BS to get me to buy into something. And if he changes it 3 days later, there's proof.

    I had some conflict with the PO had when difficult child was in Department of Juvenile Justice before, although he wasn't a dr. J/mr h, but by the time difficult child was recommitted, he was saying the EXACT things I'd been telling him all along. LOL!
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think maybe at this point I might be telling people that you are becoming completely confused at what is being told to you and you would greatly appreciate it if from now on if they would communicate with you in writing by either A: email or B: certified letter so that everyone knows that communication is being understood by all parties.

    In my case I always fall back and say that I have had the meningitis and blah blah blah, but of course you can make anything up that could cause memory issues. Say something such as in times of high stress that you have difficulty handling the input of large quantities of data so you would really like his cooperation in this. Doesnt mean a hill of beans other than you want him to put pen to paper.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Perfect, DJ!

    I will say that during that meeting, re-entry lady looked at PO a few times like she was waiting to see if he admitted telling me this stuff (which wasn't really what her program was or wasn't what he'd led her to believe or super, etc) and then looking at him like she was quite confused. For instance, super was claiming the group home was set in stone, I said that he'd just told me otherwise the day before. Re-entry lady says "oh, then I need to interview difficult child" I said someone just had and she said that was her but she didn't interview him about group home so she had to go again. I said, "well, then does that mean YOU weren't told that group home was set in stone either"? After the meeting, PO takes me to his office and says it was his super that was not up-to-date on his latest thoughts. OK, that would explain that. Then Tues, he calls tells me something different.

    If he had just acknowledged that this was a change in what he'd told me last, fine, I might be disappointed but ok. But to start going off on me for 'trying to re-write a parole plan that was cast in stone"- I have a problem with. And when it's referring to a situation where this means my son ages out of this system going to independent living instead of possibly being released to me in a few weeks, that's not a jerk I take lightly. I honestly think his super chewed his butt that Monday for all this misunderstanding and his way of dealing with it then was to call me on Tues and act like a different person.

    I'm thinking I might tell him that I'd like his super in the room any time we have to have a face to face mtg (every 90 days min) in order to prevent any further misunderstanding. Then, I'll just ignore anything he tells me about anything on required mo phone calls.