Unfiltered Story #215151

, | Unfiltered | November 12, 2020

(My family has been in legal battles with my birthfather over childsupport and related stuff for many years. Currently, these battles are between him and me, Me being the last child to still get child support. I am already of age, but in Germany you are still entitled to financial support if you have not finished your education yet. This applies to me as i am in college getting my first degree. The lawyer that used to handle all of our issues has recently retired, so i had to find a new one. The woman i hire is very competent and awesome in court, but with time i get two major problems with her:
Number 1: Our old lawyer always arraged for me not to have to attend the court dates and would either represent me on her own or arrange for my mother to be allowed to represent me. The new lawyer seems to be either unable or unwilling to do that. This is very anoying, since i moved away for college but the court dates are in my home district. The court seems to scedule all dates to be in the middle of the week, so to appear i have to spend money for the trains as well as miss at least 3 days of classes.
Number 2: It is incredibly hard to get her on the phone, which for me is the best way to contact her as i am almost never in my home state during office days.
One time i have to appear in court i miss several classes that are important for a very important exam a few weeks later. Train/weather issues make the way home and back to college a long and expensive mess. The trial itself takes less than an hour and is so obviously going in my favour i am wondering why the hell there even was a court date at all. My fathers claim is set to be dismissed as long as i provide a few pieces of documentation, which i do within the week.
College keeps me busy the next few moths, but when i hear nothing from the court after almost half a year, i email my lawyer for an update. She promisses to look into it. Two months later i get an email. It is friday, 10 AM, only two hours befor the office closes for the weekend.)

Email: Dear [my name], in your legal case the court has set a new court date for [date]. A copy of the summons is attached to this email. As you can see, your personal attendance has been requested, to please make sure to keep the date free from other appointments and to be there on time […]

(I am fed up. The first hearing was already a great waste of time and money on my part. Adding to that, the date is, again, in the middle of a week, this time clashing with classes of an intense and actually a bit expensive prep course that i have saved money to pay for for a while. I decide to call the lawyer and tell her she will have to find a way to get me out of this, since i will no be there. i contact my mother first and she warns me that the receptionists will pull every trick in the book to not let me talk to her, so i need to be firm and not let them push me around.)

Receptionist: Hello, this is [lawyers office]!
Me: Hi! I am [my name], a client of [lawyer]. I have just recieved an email from your office and need to speak to [lawyer] about it urgently.
Receptionist: I am so sorry, but [lawyer] at curretnly busy with a telephone appointment, would you mind calling back later?
Me: [deciding to indulge her the first time] Sure, no problem! What time exactely will she be free to talk to me?
Receptionist: [sounding unsure, seems not prepared to answer that question] Well…… i think in about 30 minutes?
Me: Perfect, i will call again in 30!

(I hang up. To pass the time, i return to my computer and open the attachment. The first thing that irks me is the date stamp on the first page. The office has gotten the summons on wednesday morning, but they waited to send it till friday morning, not having any reason to believe i would be home and checking my email in time to call them befor the office closes for the weekend.
I keep reading when i notice something else: On the list of people that are required to appear in front of court, my name is missing. It only lists my lawyer, as well as my fathers lawyer. I pull up my copy of the summons for the last court date and check the list there: My lawyers name, my name, my fathers lawyers name, my fathers name. It takes a second for the realization to sink in: I am actually not requested to appear in front of court at all! Now really angry, i call the office again imediately. I keep my tone nice and unassuming, however. Less than 10 minutes have passed since the first call and i reach the same Receptionist)

Me: Hello! This is [my name] again, calling for [lawyer]?
Receptionist: I am sorry, [lawyer] is at an office meeting right now, would you mind calling back later?
Me: She is at an office meeting? Oh my, that must have been a really short telephone appointment!
(I can almost hear the gears clicking when the Receptionist realizes that she told be just minutes befor the lawyer would be free to talk to me after her phonecall at 10:30, but now complete contradicted herself.)
Receptionist: [with unsure voice] Oh….well…It’s a very short meeting?
Me: Oh, that is no problem, i can wait for her to finish the meeting! You don’t mind if i stay in the line until then, do you? i have a telephone flatrate and this way i will not miss when she is done with her meeting!
Receptionist: [voice now paniky] No, no, that is really not possible! You cannot stay in the line! You have to call back later!
Me: [dropping the nice-girl-voice] Ok, let me tell you how this will go down: I will call back later, I have no problem with that. However, you will tell me the exact time i can call and speak to [lawyer]. And believe me, i will speak to her TODAY! Then she can explain to me why your office decides it is ok to LIE to me!
Receptionist: [voice now very quiet] What?
Me: As i said earlier, i recieved an email from your office about an ongoing case of mine. The info in the email differs from the one in the attached summons on a very important aspect and i would like for [lawyer] to explain this to me!
Receptionist: When did we send you that email?
Me: The timestamp on my end says 9:55 today.
Receptionist: [clinking of keyboard in the background] well…….whats your email adress?
Me: [firstname][lastname]@[provider]
Receptionist: OH! There is is! [tone turns accusing] The time stamp says we sent it at 9:54! [voice turns cheery] Well, seems this was just a mistake then, glad we were able to solve this! Bye!
Me: Wait a second! What exactely was a mistake? And how did we just solve it?
Receptionist: We sent you an email with an attachment that was not about your case, like you said! So you can just ignore it!
Me: Stop right there! I never said that! The attachment is about my case! It is just that the email text says that i have to appear in person in front of the court, but the summons says the opposite!
Recetionist: [reading the email text while quietly wispering the words]…..Yes, the email says you have to appear in person.
Me: I know. But if you open the attached summons and check the list of the requested people, my name is not on there!
Receptionist: [wispering the words of the first page]
Me: The list is on page 4, bottom half of the page.
Receptionist: [wispers names on the list]……your name is not listed here.
Me: Exactely. But if my presence were requested, it would be. This means that i am aparently not requested to show up after all, even though your email said otherwise. The reason why you email this stuff to me is that i moved away for college and live out-of-state now! In order to be present for the court date, i would have to travel back home and miss several days worth of classes, neither of which i will see any kind of compensation for. So this is a big deal for me. That is why i want to speak to [lawyer], so she can explain to me what happened here!
Receptionist: [voice quiet again] So… you actually should talk to lawyer?
Me: [cheery voice] Awesome idea! And believe it or not, that is just why i called today!
Receptionist: [now sounding rushed] All right, i will go talk to [lawyer]. She will call you back within this hour!
Me: Sound good! If i have not heard from her by 11:05, i will call you again, ok?

(My phone rings 15 minutes later.)
Receptionist: Hello, this is [lawyers office]! I just spoke to [lawyer] about that email issue. It seems like this was just an honest mistake on our part. You are clearly not prequested to attend the court date in person. We are terribly sorry about that. [lawyer] will email you after the court date to tell you what happened.

(I still had not heard anything from my lawyer herself and there was still the issue of them sending me the summons late, but i decide to let is rest. At the court date, my lawyers agrees to a deal. While we don’t see why we should settle instead of getting a verdict that would be in our favour, the deal gives us enough of what we wanted that we decide to trust her and accept it. It is only after the deadline to withdraw from the deal has passed that we find out that since the deal did not say who would pay the legal costs, both sides will have to carry half of the costs each and pay for their respective representation themselves. Had there been a verdict in my favour, my father would have had to carry the full cost as well as some of the cost for my representation. Both me and my mother had told the lawyer several times that we would under no circumstances be willing to carry part of the costs as it was my father that sued me with bogus claims. After i pointed that out via email, too angry to speak on the phone, she refused to apologies or admit any guilt. I have not talked to her since and am very happy that i will graduate soon, so i will no longer have to relie on my fathers support and have to deal with [lawyer] or finding a replacement for her the next time he decides to sue.)

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