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Holland, Donnelly & MishlerBreach of Ethics

As a divorced mother, my fiance endured a financially devastating experience when dealing with Michael Donnelly of the law firm Holland, Donnelly, & Misher in Monrovia, California. Perhaps more importantly, the disposition of her case swung in her ex-husband’s favor because Donnelly chose to “mediate” the child support payments under dispute by choosing to consult — indeed, represent — my fiance’s ex-husband in the matter rather than his own client, my fiance, even though it was she, and not her former spouse, who paid Donnelly a substantial retainer.  Not only did Donnelly not serve as my fiance’s advocate, but his treatment of her was a glaring manifestation of unprofessionalism and a breach of ethics. Within this forum, a chronicling of key events in the case is essential so that readers can judge for themselves whether this attorney acted in a reputable manner. My fiance retained Donnelly to fight a legal action initiated by her ex-husband for the purposes of downgrading his child support payment. She fully expected the law office to return her calls, provide a reasonable turnaround of key documents submitted to the firm together with an explanation of services being provided on her behalf, and to represent her best interests. Yet these fundamental services were withheld. Prior to the court proceedings in regards to the disputed child support (as well as negotiate child visitation), Donnelly advised that he and my fiance should meet with the opposing party, the ex-husband, at the courthouse cafe in an attempt to resolve the case. Prior to this pre-court meeting, the ex-husband intercepted Donnelly on the way to the cafe, and Donnelly gave him, the opposing party, an opportunity to speak to him separately (part of which I witnessed) while en route to the cafe, thus enabling the ex-husband to unduly influence the disposition of the case. At the cafe mediation, my fiance heard Donnelly asking her former husband what amount of child support he would agree to pay and witnessed the lawyer placing that exact amount on the court order. Donnelly additionally set into motion a plan to increase the ex-husband’s visitation to an additional two weeks per year. In short, Donnelly undermined her interests and championed those of her ex-spouse. Further miscarriages of justice and shoddy behavior occurred involving this law firm. For instance, Donnelly never sent instrumental court orders to the Child Support Services office, our investigation revealed, causing the child support case to be dropped. Beware of this attorney.

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