Donovan, Chambers PC / Excessive Attorney fees, procrastination that incurred financial loss
Mr Donovan refused to return his retainer of $2,686.24 when I informed him I was not happy with his services in November of 2005, therefore I agreed to keep him as counsel. For 2 years, Mr. Donovan neglected to proceed with my divorce case and has not communicated with me at all, his procrastination has caused me financial loss of child support payments , loss of rental income, loss of assets that were sold, a lower credit rating due to rental mortgage being paid late, and my inability to file head of household on my yearly tax form that would have incurred a tax break. I have also suffered the undue stress of avoiding an abusive spouse and filing a protection order that the attorney never filed. Mr. Donovan never returned the first phone call over a two year period, even though I left him numerous lengthy messages requesting his assistance and an update on my case. Mr. Donovan and I had one phone consultation and one office consultation I initiated that lasted approximately 45 minutes each. Mr. Donovan made a lot of promises of what he would do, but never followed through. I informed him at the initial consultation that my spouse agreed to a divorce, but we were in disagreement on division of property. Mr. Donovan quoted me a price of $2,500.00 plus the court cost for a total of $2,686.24, to handle this case with me paying the mediation fee at the time of mediation. We never discussed an hourly rate, nor any additional payment. At the second mediation held 09/10/07, I agreed to give my spouse what he wanted in order to have divorce finalized by year end. I have now received a bill 22 months later stating that I owe an additional $4,175.00 for a total fee of $6,675.00, and have yet to receive a divorce (26.7hrs @ $250.00 an hour). Now Mr Donovan has withdrawn as my counsel (after receiving the notification that I had filed a grievance with the GA. State Bar and have currently filed petition for fee arbitration). I do not have the funds to retain another attorney, and have not received a thing for the $2,686.24 that the attorney has received, not to mention that he has sent a letter stating that payment is required in full within 30 days of the additional fee of $4,175.00, otherwise action would be taken against me. I also lost time from work for three court dates that were rescheduled within the first 30 minutes due to mediation being a state requirement, I feel the attorney knew this requirement and should have rescheduled the court dates in advance of our appearance ( another 3 hours that the attorney spent on the case). The two hours of two mediation sessions that he attended will bring the time he spent on the case to 7 hours, and 10-12 paragraph notices he sent out over the two year time period.