Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Curtis Fallgatter Update

     In case you're checking out this post to decide whether to hire Mr. Fallgatter or not, save yourself the trouble of reading my wordy diatribe, and look elsewhere for legal representation (or forgo a lawyer altogether, if you can manage without one):  that's my advice. 
     Whatever you do, don't hire Mr. Fallgatter.  He's been a scoundrel to me.  He's been a greedy, sideswiping, double-talking, self-serving lawyer, who used the legal system against me for his own gain, rather than helping me, and I would not recommend him or his firm to anyone.  I am about to file two complaints with the Florida Bar against him and his firm;  based on his own report, they won't be the first Bar complaints he's had to answer to.
     Many things have happened since my last blogpost...yet, in essence, nothing has happened.  Nevertheless, I miss blogging and have decided to grace the world with my viewpoint again.
     My opinion is subjective, especially when it comes to the firm of Fallgatter, Catlin and Farmand.  This legal firm is located in Jacksonville, Florida, not far from the courthouse.  I would not recommend this set of lawyers to any potential clients.  Not unless they enjoy the possibility of being sued by the very lawyer they hire to protect and defend them.  Not unless they don't mind losing in court.  I was charged extravagant fees by Mr. Fallgatter, after he used the $20,000 retainer he received from me to pay himself for his first five days of work, when he was just beginning to understand the nature of my case. After three weeks of work, he charged $87,000.  Then, in the midst of my primary legal crisis, he sued me for the money.  By the time the lawsuit was settled, and because I represented myself (until then, legal fees for defending myself against Mr. Fallgatter totaled $35,000) the court ruled in favor of Mr. Fallgatter.  The court is blocks from Mr. Fallgatter's sumptuous office, Mr. Fallgatter is well-known to the judge, the procedure of law in civil cases is second nature to Mr. Fallgatter:  everyone knows it's easier to win a game on your own turf.  
     Mr. Fallgatter's office is one of which he is very proud.  Almost immediately upon speaking with him, that first time in August 2011, he urged me to visit his office to see how capacious and beautiful it is, with its gleaming floors and rich decor.  It's located in a part of town where real estate is most valuable, and why not?  "Clothes make the man," and this building is Mr. Fallgatter's clothing.  Clearly, he's not suffering privation, he can pay his bills, and he has no need to sue clients whom he deems wealthy enough to exploit.. 
     One of the first things Mr. Fallgatter admitted, when we had a hearing before a judge two months ago,  in a telephone conversation with the prosecutor (the person Mr. Fallgatter was supposed to defend me against) was "Dr. Colasante has plenty of assets."  It is my belief that Mr. Fallgatter's sole intention in representing me was to take as many of those assets as he could, and to claim that he deserved them.  He planned to attack and pillage me in the same way the government did in its raid on my medical clinic, only he was going to do it with a smile on his face, and smooth-talking avowals of "caring" about me, and "respecting" me, and "thinking the world" of the way I practice medicine.  Which makes him more dishonorable than the government's agents who, unlike Mr. Fallgatter, didn't cajole and flatter me when they did their damage, but were following orders from the justice department:  take back money for fraud.
     "Plenty of assets" is what motivated Mr. Fallgatter, and that's what the court, moved by his claims to have helped me in those three weeks, awarded him. "Plenty of assets" was the subtext that inspired Mr. Fallgatter to insist I needed his services, and was likely to be indicted any day.  Then he billed $87,000 for 3 weeks of service, and sued me when I questioned the bill, and ignored me when I presented him with the opinions of three colleagues in the field of law, each of whom said his charges shouldn't have exceeded $8,000, or $10,000, and certainly not the $20,000 Mr. Fallgatter had already been paid as a retainer.
     How do people defend themselves against lawyers who charge exorbitant fees by exaggerating the time it took to prepare a simple motion, and by double and triple-billing for the same services detectives whose  and then sue the very client they are supposed to be helping?  I hired a first lawyer, a second lawyer and a third lawyer, paying $35,000  with more charges in the offing, before deciding to represent myself.   When the case was heard in the jurisdiction where Mr. Fallgatter has been practicing for decades and is friendly with the people who man the courts, where he knows the playing field, knows the judge, knows how to present his case to advantage, saying, the judge ruled in his favor.
     Everywhere I turn, I hear the same thing.
     "I hate lawyers," my brother said.
     "I hate lawyers," my best friend said.
     "I hate lawyers," my neighbor said.  "Get as far away from them as possible."
     No, some lawyers are good, I say.  They are.
     "Wrong," is the quick comeback.  "They're all bloodsuckers." 
     "You never should have hired him."

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