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I do not have good relationships with legal professionals

(71 Posts)
GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Fri 31-Jan-14 17:31:44

Oh dear. Due to me being a creative type and going through a very emotionally difficult time, I seem to have TERRIBLE relationships with all my family law solicitors. The first few I left as they weren't giving me a very good service but the last one was unhappy with the fact that we 'weren't understanding each other very well.' It's true! She never answered questions directly, told lies, omitted informing me about very important things (well that last part was the barrister.)

Please, please help me choose a new one. How do I go about choosing? Time constraints mean that I may have to take the first one that agrees to take on the case.

Or does my personality mean that I'll have to represent myself?

Please any insights or advice generally welcome! It's an extremely difficult time for me.

Clouddancer Fri 31-Jan-14 22:58:52

I just took a second opinion on my case, and I chose someone who had written and published in the field, had a personal testimony on her webpage and came on a recommendation. She also is involved in leading CPD training etc. All this was on the website. She was lovely, very gentle manner, and gave me very honest advice.

The second opinion has given me an objective clarity of the situation. Very expensive, but I wish I had done it a couple of months ago, because while my solicitor is following broadly the same course, she did not talk me through it so well, or if she did, it got lost in the firefighting that was going on before, and my absolute disillusionment at one aspect which was badly handled all round.

ladyjulian Sat 01-Feb-14 09:03:11

Family law can be a really difficult area to advise in because the emotions involved are often so raw. This in turn means that clients don't always hear what is being said. OP, I mean this in the nicest way, but if you've sacked "a few" solicitors and then the latest one has sacked you, do you think the problem might be that you're a difficult client?

There are some ways you can improve your relationships with lawyers:

* Don't call every ten minutes. I had someone this year call me on xmas eve to ask if there was any progress (no) and then call again on boxing day, as though I might have had a progress update from the other side by owl post on xmas day. This only serves to annoy. Once a week or by email should be enough unless there is something urgent like a hearing coming up.

* Be realistic. "I want a residence order for the children I haven't seen for two years, and I want it tomorrow" isn't going to happen, and then you're going to be angry and disappointed.

* When being realistic, listen to the advice you're being given. When your lawyer tactfully says "I think that might be optimistic" does she mean "not a hope" or does she mean "if you're optimistic enough it'll happen" (clue: it's the first one).

* If there is bad news or negative advice, how do you want it presented? If you would rather they cut the tact and just told you "not a hope," say so at the outset. This is particularly so if you struggle with communication, this is nothing to be ashamed of, you're not alone, and we would rather you told us this to start with. If on the other hand you are feeling very vulnerable and want a lot of handholding with your bad news, tell us that too.

* Please, please, please, tell your lawyer what you want. She isn't psychic. Don't say "All I want is X" when actually, this is the bare minimum that you want. This is a very female thing to do - we are so conditioned not to appear greedy or grasping or selfish or any of those 'bad' things. Your lawyer is not going to judge you. Tell her what you want out of this and then she can a) get it for you, b) tell you it's unrealistic or c) try for it and come up with a Plan B if it isn't going to happen. If you can't say it with your mouthwords, write it down and hand it over.

* Make notes if it helps you. Coming to an appointment and vaguely saying "I just want it sorted" isn't helpful. Write a list of what you want to discuss before the appointment. This will also save you from phoning five times the following day. If you like, email the lawyer before your appointment saying "These are the points I want to discuss."

* Your lawyer is not your BFF. It's very tempting to fall into that relationship because for many people, the lawyer is the first person who has listened to them uncritically and believed them and not said "but back in 2007 your ex told me…" If they can't get what you want, this is not a betrayal of friendship.

Demanding clients are fine - in fact, they can be the best clients because they arrive with an idea of exactly what they want to achieve. Spending two hours with them discussing this is what we do. Speaking to them regularly is not a problem because when they phone they have a question and they want an answer. Difficult clients are the ones who try to appear undemanding and hope that we guess what they want.

I'm not suggesting OP that you personally did any of the above, but you asked for tips so it might be helpful.

And yes, obviously there are some poor lawyers around, this post isn't intended to suggest it's always (or even mostly) the client's fault!

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 09:03:54

So I should do some research and shop around? My confidence is so low and I'm not very good at standing up for myself. I'm losing my case and I fear that no solicitor will have the time to turn it around before the next hearing!!! :-(

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 09:08:06

Thanks Lady. Cross posts there. That is helpful. I haven't got a CLUE what I want!

Bunbaker Sat 01-Feb-14 09:10:33

What has being creative got to do with it?

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 09:12:14

My ex has dragged me into court lying about neglect and abuse (not the extreme kind, but still!) Now he's posing as Superdad. It's risky business because the courts look like they want to give him joint residency and do you know what, if he was a reliable, nice guy that would be great! A break! Yay! However his lying, abuse and clever scheming to get what he wants tells me that this is not the case and that he is duping the courts. They are falling for this hook, line & sinker. My fear is that he will go on to make up more lies and end up by applying for full residency just to kill me off completely. I fear he wants to crush me.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 09:16:38

Being creative probably has little to do with it but being an artist with ideals, integrity and morals means that I find the 'justice' of the legal system appalling. I'm frustrated. It also means that I am lost in the legal jargon as Lady pointed out above. I am exactly that optimist and have these exact communication problems. My ex on the other hand loves to play these kinds of games. sad

bakingaddict Sat 01-Feb-14 09:33:16

I'm not a lawyer but you seem to have pre-conceived ideas and a 'it's me against the justice system temperament' which will always put you at odds. Next time why don't you engage with your solicitor and actually listen to what they might be telling you.

Sometimes what you believe to be very important information to solicitor's isn't really because they are trying to formulate a legal argument

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 09:35:05

As for what I want, I want for him to look after the children properly when they are in his care. No mind games, controlling, emotional abuse, saying things about me, taking care of them physically, keeping them warm, taking note of their boundaries and capabilities, supervising them properly so that there aren't accidents, avoiding alcohol at all costs. The likelihood of him doing these things however (I know from experience) are very slim!

I also want for him to be satisfied with the contact he gets and not go and put another application before the court for full residency.

I know, however, that I can't control what he does or doesn't do. I am stuck between fighting him all the way and pointing out all his ineptitudes (again. The court dont listen) or finally just letting him have the contact he wants now, (thus making myself look reasonable and agreeable to the court) , making the most of my free time and trying to recover from it all.

ladyjulian Sat 01-Feb-14 09:35:35

Okay, so in the "what you want" category you have: you want full residency and you do not want him to have residency, joint or otherwise.

Do you want him to have contact? If so, how much?

If the ideal world situation is I just want him to fall down a drain, discover he likes it and stay there forever, reset it to what could you live with? Contact? Overnight contact? Weekends and holidays? Could he take them away for a week over the summer? (bear in mind i have no idea how old your dc are!)

If he is playing the system, you need to know how to come across as reasonable. A mother who says "I don't want the children to see him because he's a lying barsteward" is not going to sound reasonable, she's going to sound as though she's taking her own anger at her ex out on him via the children. Whereas one who says "I would love him to have them from time to time but I want it to build up slowly, I think immediate residency would be too much too quickly" is much more reasonable.

Get a scrap of paper and put three headings on it: What I Want, What I Could Live With, and What I Couldn't Live With. Use that as the basis for instructions when you find a new lawyer.

If you can't find a solicitor at short notice then you could try a Direct Access barrister.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 09:39:33

You're right baking addict. Any ideas as to how I might go about changing my 'me against the legal system' stance? I feel so disempowered. I need to either find new legal representation VERY soon or else represent myself.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 09:42:57

What does 'joint residency' actually mean in practical terms? He has been given 1 overnight every Saturday night

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 09:44:31

The next thing he is after is joint residency and 2/3 overnights and this will be decided at a hearing on 28 Feb

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 09:50:48

At this hearing, it's probably best if I say 'Look. This is very soon for joint residency to be awarded. I feel that his parenting abilities have not even been looked at. I also think there is a risk that he might abduct the children, as he has threatened to in the past. Why give him all this control when I have had to protect the children from him in the past?'

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 09:55:56

I think he will try to get full residency as I am so weak & vulnerable at the moment. I think he will then try to turn the children against me and leave the country.

ladyjulian Sat 01-Feb-14 09:59:02

How old are the kids?

By joint residency I mean a shared residency order. Is that actually what he's after, or is it just more contact that he wants?

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 10:03:15

DD 7, DS 4.

He wants 'joint residency, 2/3 overnights, 2 weeks in summer and every other Christmas/birthday.'

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 10:04:42

Well this is what he wants on paper. The court is bending over BACKWARDS to give it to him. Then, he will say he wants full residency, I believe.

I'm falling apart. This has gone on so long already and I have NO SUPPORT :-(

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 01-Feb-14 10:11:41

Always talk from the point of view of the children - do not make your ex the centre of your statements. For example:

"The children are very settled with me, and although they benefit from contact with their father at weekends, during the week/schoolnights, they would find it very unsettling to stay with their father."

"I don't think it will be in the best interests of the children to suddenly go from one night a week to 3 nights a week. They are used to a stable home with me"

I don't know if these statements match your exact circumstances - but you get the idea.

It will depend on the judge as well - my friend's just been through a bitter divorce, and her ex was pushing for 2 nights in the week. She was told that Tunbridge Wells judges don't look favourably on mid-week contact because it unsettles the children's school day to be going back and forth. This was enough to get him to drop the demand, and just have weekend contact.

Never make it look like you're battling your ex - always put the children's interests at the forefront.

I'm not a lawyer - just been through the whole thing with my friend recently, and she had a very good lawyer.

prh47bridge Sat 01-Feb-14 10:14:17

I haven't got a CLUE what I want

That's the problem you need to resolve.

Divorce is largely a negotiation about who gets what, how the finances will be split and how the children will be dealt with. Most books on negotiation tell you that you need to start with a clear idea of your ideal outcome and the minimum you will accept. The two positions need to be different otherwise you are not negotiating, you are simply issuing an ultimatum. And both need to be realistic otherwise the negotiation is likely to fail. If I want to buy a brand new Porsche my ideal outcome may be that I pay £5 and the dealer throws in tax, petrol, insurance and servicing for as long as I own the car but that isn't realistic so I need to think again.

In the business world, if it turns out that it is not possible for both parties to achieve at least their minimum acceptable deal they will walk away from it and there won't be any deal. In divorce the courts intervene. It is preferable to avoid that if at all possible so you really need to figure out what you want. Until you do you are undermining your lawyer's efforts to help you.

My fear is that he will go on to make up more lies and end up by applying for full residency just to kill me off completely

If the children are currently living with you his chances of getting full residence are minimal unless the children would prefer to live with him and are old enough for their wishes to carry weight with the court.

prh47bridge Sat 01-Feb-14 10:23:00

I want for him to look after the children properly when they are in his care

The courts cannot order that. If there is evidence of abuse or neglect they will intervene but otherwise you simply have to trust him, however difficult that is.

I also want for him to be satisfied with the contact he gets and not go and put another application before the court for full residency

You stop him from putting in an application but as per my last post he is unlikely to get full residence unless that is what the children want. And given their ages it will be several years before their views are regarded as persuasive by the courts.

He wants 'joint residency, 2/3 overnights, 2 weeks in summer and every other Christmas/birthday'

You may not want to hear this but many courts would say that is not unreasonable. The courts take the view that it is important that the children are able to have a good relationship with him.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 01-Feb-14 11:02:00

At what age are the children's views considered?

prh47bridge Sat 01-Feb-14 12:16:48

Their views are always taken into account but the views of a young child won't carry much weight. Children aged 12 and over are usually considered to be old enough to know what they want but that isn't a hard and fast rule. It depends on the circumstances and the maturity of the child.

babybarrister Sun 02-Feb-14 22:03:28

i find it very surprising that if you have already had legal advice that you are learning new things on here - someone should have told you about the relevance of children's views

courts like shared residence orders - quality of parenting does not really come into it if it is good enough to have any overnight contact

I do wonder how you feel about receving advice that you do not like? I would suggest you self rep if you are not confident in lawyers

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sun 02-Feb-14 23:00:52

Thanks Bb and to everyone who has contributed thus far.

At the moment I have no solicitor as mentioned and I need to make up my mind in the next few days as to what I am going to do as my old solicitor will be coming off record later this week confused

When my old solicitor comes off record on Thursday, the judge will ask me who is coming on record, no? He will I think expect me to have someone organised but because she only dismissed me on Friday (as mentioned, we were 'not understanding each other' as she put it. I would put it another way.)

Seeing as she only dismissed me on Friday, I wonder if I should ask for an adjournment?

My options for this Thurs are:

-Ask for adjournment because no solicitor at present (also because I am in no way ready for the ridiculous hearing they want to have and it is ridiculous to expect the children to be ready either)

-Tell the judge I'm representing myself but that still means barely no time to prepare.

-Find someone v quickly before Thurs to represent me. I fear this option will not be poss because it won't be poss to bring someone up to speed so quickly before next hearing, which will be crucial.

MaryPoppinsCarpetBag Mon 03-Feb-14 08:22:10

Barristers can get up to speed very quickly.

I would be more concerned that you aren't ready, that you don't know what you want.

Sadly most of the things you listed in the post above are just not things that the court can order. It's devastating to send a child off to someone who doesn't provide the quality of care that you do. The only way to get use to it is to realise that it's a bigger picture situation. Even when a parent isn't offering what you can, they do offer many other things that you may not have noticed yet.

What is this hearing for and what do you want the result to be? I don't think self-representing would be a good idea until you can answer this.

It's so hard to realise the system cannot work in the way you need it to but that's is how it is so now the focus needs to be on what it can do for your children.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 11:15:55

This hearing is for joint residency and2-3 overnights per week. I would like to prevent this and keep it as it is.1 overnight per week.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 11:17:08

It is very sudden. The overnights have just begun.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 12:22:05

Could I mention at the hearing that I am worried that my ex will use the courts to take the children away from me in due course???

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 12:22:59

... That I am worried that he will continue to twist things and lie to achieve this?

babybarrister Mon 03-Feb-14 12:23:35

the issue of shared residence is a red herring as it is just a name and does not indicate 50:50 time - in any event the names are all about to be rehauled into "parenting arrangements"

you need to get your head around the fact that there will be an increase in overnight stays - that is what will happen. A better approach is suggesting that the increase should be slower and perhaps with a further interim hearing/report to see how it is going

mumblechum1 Mon 03-Feb-14 13:04:13

I agree with Babybarrister. The important thing is to stage the increase in contact gently so that the children get used to seeing their father more often.

The courts are usually keen to encourage the father/child relationship as outcomes for children who do have a positive relationship with both parents are better than otherwise.

When I was in practice there were many clients, particularly mothers, who were reluctant to allow contact as the fathers parented very differently to the mums. This doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing so long as the children are safe. It is very difficult though, to hand over your child to their dad if you know that they are not going to get what you consider the same standard of care as you offer, however they may get something out of the contact which they wouldn't if they didn't have that relationship with their father.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 13:06:58

Yes. The father has been abusive and neglectful. I know this for a fact but have no proof. This is my main concern. The other concern is that he will use the courts to take the children away from me.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 13:09:53

He has so far lied about the abuse and neglect and lives in a fantasy world where his parenting styles (abuse/neglect/manipulation etc) have now been given validation as ok. I know that nothing I can do will stop the tide of overnights but I feel there should be something I can do to stop him continuing to crush me by taking the children from me.

mumblechum1 Mon 03-Feb-14 13:27:43

What sort of abuse and neglect do you mean, Green?

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 15:07:16

It would compromise my anonymity if I give details here unfortunately!

Let's just say very worrying abuse and neglect which, quite simply, the courts do not believe and which unfortunately paints me as the liar in their eyes.

mumblechum1 Mon 03-Feb-14 15:29:42

Ok, to be honest, you will probably be best self repping. Most solicitors try to avoid taking over long running cases just before a hearing as they may have to drop other clients, and it's easy to miss little details when you are given a ton of evidence to wade through.

As you know all the details, and as the courts tend to be sympathetic to people representing themselves, you should perhaps give it a go. There is a lot of guidance online about the dos and don'ts, and you'll also get some help on here, I'm sure.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 03-Feb-14 16:06:56

Green, what reasons could he give the courts to take the children away? Courts will not give him residence, if they currently reside with you, without a very good reason.

Did you do most of the parenting? Sahm? Working mum? Does he work FT?

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 16:34:46

Sahm. Working on new career path now after long break looking after kids as babies. He works full time but his mother is fully behind him and probably encouraging him. They want blood. They want to see me suffer. So far, he has twisted all the facts and makes himself to be a family man and makes me out (with a great deal of success) to be implacably hostile. They do not believe what he is really like and at the hearings, were very much on his side.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 16:41:31

Yes I certainly have done most of the parenting. They have no reason at all to take the children from me but it is true that things are starting to get on top of me and the injustice so far as well as the extended period of emotional abuse has left me emotionally in tatters. He has all of a sudden got the school now on his side despite previously having NO contact whatsoever with the school. He's so clever and now has so much power. I really don't see him being happy with 2/3 days a week. That would be almost convenient for me if I'm honest but it would have a dreadful impact on the kids. I can't even do the handovers as I can't even bear to see him. Friends have been doing it for me but that can't last! I think that he wants to take the children emotionally and physically away from me. I think he wants all the power and will then leave the country. He has threatened to abduct them before. He is not from the U.K.

JohnnyUtah Mon 03-Feb-14 16:45:55

I was a family solicitor for many years. I think you should seriously consider representing yourself. Make notes so you can get across what you need to. Suggest that you hold the kids' passports if you are worried about him leaving the country. Try for an understanding of how the system works. You will need to explain why it would be detrimental for the children to stay with him two or three nights a week - if it is just that your ex does things differently from you then that might not be enough. How is his care not good for them? That's what you will need to get across.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 19:51:47

My old solicitor and barrister both suggested I represent myself. I had a gut feeling that doing this for my appeal hearing would be best but I didn't go with that gut instinct. The thing is I don't have a clue about the law!

mumblechum1 Mon 03-Feb-14 20:30:26

The thing is that there isn't really a lot of technical legal stuff to know about contact disputes, it's totally about the child's needs.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 20:41:57

On the site Johnny provided Advice Now, it doesn't say what legal stuff I might need to know if I'm representing myself. Just that I'll need to be prepared to acquaint myself with the law. Anybody know what I should be reading just to get my head around how much work it might be for me? Or how doable? My solicitor & barrister both suggested I do it myself. My womens aid project worker said she thinks I should find a new solicitor. It's my decision I know & I just need to find out what it entails so that I can decide by Thursday.

Does anyone know if I can ask the judge on Thurs for more time? To prepare for the hearing, write document that needs to be written?

prh47bridge Tue 04-Feb-14 00:18:25

As mumblechum1 says, there isn't much to know for contact cases. The court will be trying to determine what is in the child's best interests. There are no obscure legal points that will help or hinder you.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Tue 04-Feb-14 11:34:59

That's interesting! If anyone has any tips for representing myself, please do share!

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Tue 04-Feb-14 11:35:37

I'll have to liaise with the other side won't I? Might be hard if they're tough cookies?

mumblechum1 Tue 04-Feb-14 12:32:47

My tips are to be as factual as possible. If you have evidence that your children are at risk you should be asking for a Re: L hearing, also known as a fact finding hearing.

This usually happens before the court makes an order where there are serious allegations of harm.

You should only ask for a Re: L hearing if you have hard evidence. Otherwise if the court doesn't find in your favour, your credibility is shot.

If you have no evidence of abuse or neglect, you should be working on the basis that your ex is going to get regular contact but that it should be built up gradually to give the children a chance to get used to it.

So far as liaising with the solicitors on the other side, just be polite, factual, and remember that they are doing their job which is to get him the contact he wants. Try to avoid getting too emotional with them, but talk in terms of what is in the children's best interests.

JohnnyUtah Tue 04-Feb-14 14:40:27

I think a lot of us might be in a different jurisdiciption from the OP though. For the avoidance of any doubt, I only know about England and Wales. I think other posters are probably the same as me.

JohnnyUtah Tue 04-Feb-14 14:44:38

Well autocorrect surpassed itself there....

mumblechum1 Tue 04-Feb-14 14:54:46

Oh, I've been advising on the presumption that she's in E&W.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Tue 04-Feb-14 15:26:53

Yes that's fine. I am not a million miles from England and Wales and Re: L hearings, for example are relevant where I am.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 08-Feb-14 12:46:01

Ok I am now resurrecting this thread as I have to decide urgently if I am going to represent myself or try and find someone new this week!!

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 08-Feb-14 12:51:05

If anyone has any experience of representing themselves or if there are solicitors and barristers out there who can tell me any tips for overcoming this obstacle and doing a good job at defending myself, this would be really appreciated. Lots of people have pointed out the importance of notes and I have been putting them all in a neat folder and am going to start drafting my next Statement Of Evidence. I hope to acquire my notes from my previous solicitor by telling them that I am representing myself. This, I think will allow me to have a read of all notes before deciding if A/ I'm up to the job and B/ who, if anyone, I need to represent me. I have only a matter of days to make this decision!

heliumheart Sat 08-Feb-14 13:53:37

What about self-rep with a McKenzie Friend? I used one recently for my children act hearing and she was a fantastic support. I'm using a lawyer for the finances but trying to save costs by self-representing when it comes to the children matter.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 08-Feb-14 20:28:45

Oh really? Is a mc k friend just a friend with legal know how who takes notes? Any info much appreciated.

heliumheart Sat 08-Feb-14 21:23:15

From what I have heard they vary enormously - mine has legal training and is a paralegal, but now works full-time as a McK Friend. She charges £50 per hour, and it cost me £300 to employ her for my hearing last week. For that she prepared my position statement and came to court with me. During the hearing I spoke to the Judge (she cannot advocate for me) but she took notes and was able to whisper suggestions to me throughout the hearing.

It was a bit of a risk for me but I was very pleased with it overall. I am racking up thousands (£12k so far and counting...) in legal bills trying to sort the finances, and just can't cope with the bills I'd incur trying to deal with my monstrous ex. He is a nightmare and argues/debates everything, he has wasted so much time and money we are apparently building an excellent case for being awarded costs for some of it, but who knows what will happen there.

Are you in London?

Popplecake Sat 08-Feb-14 21:46:28

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple, reading through your posts, you sound exactly like me in my situation . . luckily I haven't been "sacked" by my solicitor but I know have been unhelpful (a pain!) in a lot of ways and in some respects "pestered" them based on my sense of morals and integrity and outrage. I'm sure I have come close to being sacked ;)

If you are thinking of self-representing, the best thing to do is have a simple statement and bullet points of what you want to say. Try to keep to the facts, and if you have any evidence to present, maybe make a list of this under each bullet point and present it as you go.

I would also say that try (hard as it is) to not get hooked in to emotional responses if you self-rep. I have noticed that some solicitors try really hard to divert you from the real issues by throwing up things that hook in to the sense of justice/injustice and try to make you reply in ways that -seem- irrational or emaotional based on an angry or upset response. Be so wary of that and know that by letting the stupid, irrelevant things slide you are actually "winning" although it might not feel like it.


GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 08-Feb-14 22:32:03

I'm not in London HH. Oh my God I didn't know that McK friends cost money! Must do research.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 08-Feb-14 22:32:37

That's great advice thanks Popplecake!

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 08-Feb-14 22:34:14

Does anyone know if I can indeed get my legal notes in the way described a few posts above?

babybarrister Sun 09-Feb-14 12:41:59

There are paid and unpaid MFs - none are allowed to provide legal advice. They are meant to keep a note of what going on. For £300 you could have a direct access junior barrister btw!

eurochick Sun 09-Feb-14 12:47:33

You can request your file but they generally have a right to retain it if there are unpaid bills.

heliumheart Sun 09-Feb-14 13:42:46

babyb - really? £300 to write a position statement, travel and attend court for 2 hours????

babybarrister Sun 09-Feb-14 15:14:52

yup - and they actually know what they are talking about .....

MaryPoppinsCarpetBag Sun 09-Feb-14 15:39:07

I think it depends who you get really. I've used a brilliant MF but had an awful barrister - she set proceedings back by about 6 months.

heliumheart Sun 09-Feb-14 16:23:50

Any suggestions who to contact who would charge such reasonable rates? Very appreciative of any help.

babybarrister Sun 09-Feb-14 20:18:06

look on the Bar Council website for a full listing of Direct Access Barristers. Choose someone junior and who specialises in family.

heliumheart Sun 09-Feb-14 20:39:11

I seem to remember being quoted a lot more than that for the most junior person my lawyer recommended when I wanted help at a non-molestation hearing. I've had a look on that website and there are hundreds listed and it doesn't divide them into categories according to how junior they are. Seems a bit daunting to try and run through the whole list and end up phoning lots of people who will probably charge quite a lot more than £300. Our next hearing is at the end of April, I may ask a family barrister I know if she can recommend somebody who she knows will be very cheap.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 10-Feb-14 00:28:35

I should have said- I am entitled to legal aid. Am I crazy thinking of representing myself?!

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