Attorney John Balent is a predator. He preys on the emotional distress all the while appearing to make you think he'll be your knight in shinning armor through your entire case. He will promise you a flat fee to work your case, give you an extremely simple looking contract that will actually fail to show it's a flat fee. He'll write that fee number down on a note pad in big letters and circle it to reinforce his flat fee claim, but after he's got your money, get ready to be overcharged 2, 3, 4 and 5 times as more of what he quoted you.
From here he will forget everything about your case, very likely make errors and screw up your case. Make incorrect filings, lost important documents and be total unprepared if you wind up in trial.
Visit the website bewareofjohnbalent.com which is a website put together through his ugly public records and of many previous clients. It gives you pointers on how to recover money from John Balent too.
John Balent, as of this writing, is awaiting to be SUSPENDED from the practice of Law for 60 days and is being placed on 2 YEARS PROBATION in addition to receiving a 2 YEAR STAYED SUSPENSION.
DO NOT HIRE JOHN BALENT AND IF YOU HAVE, GET RID OF HIM BEFORE HE SCREWS YOU TOO!!!
Attorney John A. Balent False advertises to gain employment from Prospective Clients. His website claims (in the upper righthand corner) that his practice is "Dedicated Exclusively to Family Law Since 1976" but he actually has been involved in non-family law cases dating back to 1983 according to public records. An obviously angry client has also posted his record of Malpractice Suits, Civil Suits, Judicial Sanctions, Fee Arbitrations and an unsavory practice of lump billing his services to avoid accountability to his clients. That website can be found at www.bewareofjohnbalent.com
I have attached a copy of his website as it read as of August 26, 2014 just in case he changes it.
The website mentioned above suggests that clients should dispute credit card charges and file either for Fee Arbitration or file a civil suit against John Balent to recover and/or cause the disgorgement of ill gotten fees due to fraud and violations of California Business and Professions Code Section 6157 and the Rules of Professional Conduct - Rule 1-400(D)(1) & (D)(2) which prohibit an attorney from making "any advertisement that Contains any untrue statement or Contains any matter, or present or arrange any matter in a manner or format which is false, deceptive, or which tends to confuse, deceive, or mislead the public".
In Short, buyer beware of The Law Office of John A. Balent.