Can You Change Your Law Firm?

//Can You Change Your Law Firm?

Can You Change Your Law Firm?

Scales of Justice, WikiCommons

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, March 5,  ~ This story was posted on September 26, 2017 but has been revised as time passes. Since so many people ask, “Can you change law firms if you are unhappy with your representation?” get your retainer agreement out and look at the fine print.

That’s a good place to start. 

 

This article is being reposted because so many of you call MND and complain about your law firm and the lackluster settlement dollars being offered to mesh injured plaintiffs.   

When you research whether you can leave your law firm, most references are for attorneys. At least once in a career, a lawyer may want to change firms.

But what if you, the client, are not happy with your representation and want to shop for another law firm to take your case?

Is that allowed?

Federal courthouse, Charleston, WV

A TEAM

In an ideal world, you and your law firm form a “team” based on mutual trust and respect. That means you must provide the law firm with the information it asks for and stay in touch if you move.

You need to be honest. If you already have signed with a law firm, you can’at expect to sign with another. If you’ve had a bankruptcy, tell the firm.  Also, you must always be reachable.

In turn, the law firm should be able to answer your questions and have someone appointed to be your liaison. This should be a paralegal, or someone familiar with the law. 

Check out the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct here.

Your law firm must provide you with your case number and where your case is filed so you can look it up and verify that it actually has been filed. In some cases, a law firm did NOT file your case. They save the $450 filing fee, but what does that get you?   In line for settlement only?  Please make sure it is filed and ask if it is NOT!

You editor is hearing lately of cases that were never filed with the court, instead, they were prepared for settlement. What sort of message does that send to the defense side?  A case worked for trial indicates resources were put into the merits of the case, one that counsel was prepared to present to a jury. As readers know, those  have resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts, with very few exceptions.

 

LEGAL REFERRAL SERVICES

Is your case with a trial lawyer?  Many 800 #’s led the unsuspecting injured plaintiff to a legal referral center that sells or “refers” your case to another firm for a set amount or percentage.

Since one has to be a lawyer to head a legal referral service, you may think you signed up with a law firm (and you did) but they may have had no intention of keeping the case.  Unless you know that, you may waste previous time asking the referral service for an update on your case.

Ask the person at the end of the #800 if they are a legal referral service and if not, who are the trial lawyers who will handle your case.  You should be able to tell if you are getting a truthful alswer.

Some plaintiffs were promised theirs was a “million dollar case” when they signed up. That is a red flag. No one knows the value of a case. Based on that premise, you were charged 40% legal fees.  Is that customary for a settlement phase only – not really.

You might want to structure an agreement that differentiates a percentage for settlement from trial preparation since they are very different skills, such as 33 and one-third % for the first $100,000 and 25% for the second, something like that.  The language in the retainer agreement will prevail so the agreement you sign is a contract and very important.  (This is not legal advice, just consumer advice.)

Mesh News Desk has heard from plaintiffs who only find out years later that the initial referral firm no longer has their case.

This is a formula for disaster. As a client you have not kept up your end of the deal either!

No communication can mean that cases fall by the wayside and the plaintiff forgets about it and goes on with their life. That’s what happened in the recent story Women Who Are Missing, who had their cases dismissed by the court when both sides failed to communicate with each other.

Is changing law firms even allowed?   Remember – Your case belongs to you.

WikiCommons, Scott Steiner

Read the fine print of your firm’s retainer agreement. That may contain language that will guide you if you are not happy with your current representation.

If the law firm wants to end the relationship, the replaced lawyer will file a notice of withdrawal with the court.  They must return your original files and papers and property and refund any unused retainer.

Make sure you do not get into a battle over paying them before your files are turned over to the next firm.

Jury in Huskey trial, Akre

The American Bar Association’s Model Rule 1.16(d) (here) says your firm must surrender papers and property as soon as the representation is terminated.  There may be a similar rule in your state bar association

If the firm is owed fees, it will file a lien on whatever award you eventually receive from either a jury award or a settlement.

Make sure the fees and costs are “reasonable” and not excessive. Ask for an invoice with details on the expenditure in your case.

If you never receive anything in a settlement, do you still owe that law firm something?   It’s in the fine print.

Give careful thought to firing your attorney.  Are you on the eve of trial?  Has the firm communicated with you but your real frustration is with the industry you are suing?

Understand that opting out with your law firm and trying to take a case forward with a new law firm will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, a risk many firms are not willing to take.

What are you expectations and are they realistic? That is the million dollar question when it comes to mesh litigation because the dollars being offered by the mesh industry do not consider a lifetime of pain and medical care, loss of consortium, lost wages, medical care mesh-related but that are not revisions, pain and suffering.

So what is realistic?

As yourself, is this firm acting in a professional manner and do they still have your trust?

A sit down meeting to air your grievances may answer your questions. ###

LEARN MORE:

From Martindale-Hubbell, How to fire your attorney here.

By | 2018-03-08T13:36:55+00:00 January 15th, 2018|Mesh Reading Room Resource|84 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.

84 Comments

  1. Annonymous K May 16, 2017 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Great article Jane! I was just recently fired by my law firm for not taking the settlement and yes my mistake was talking to a 1-800 number! Thanks for all that you do for us and being our voice!

  2. Mari May 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    My attorney has failed me on 3 counts and he knows it. 1) I was put in TIer 1 (never told until at a mandated settlement hearing) even the defense agreed I shouldn’t be there as my case was significant. (I’m now told in the highest tier). Also, he knows we overheard him telling the defense attorney that his clients (myself and one other were there) were “problem clients” and made rude comments about the clients son “not being smart enough to get anything”. Pretty sure he has never even read my surgical files. He made me fly out (at our expense) to that settlement hearing. Now he wants to dispose my doctor. I do t even want to settle ever so he keeps saying – maybe you should get another attorney.
    I feel this is another slice from my gut! I don’t have the energy or knowhow to find a better firm. I really want one based in CA that doesn’t just refer the case out. Any suggestions? What would you do Jane?

    • Jane Akre May 19, 2017 at 9:28 am - Reply

      It’s difficult to say. There are so many factors. The money will never be enough, even millions are not worth your health. Part of the equation is how much you need the funds? Your lawyer sounds like a very rude individual. If you are in a higher tier and have multiple revisions, perhaps you should get another attorney. Sounds like he may be bluffing.

      • Dian May 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm - Reply

        Jane ,I received my mesh offer and I do not want to accept it. Amount unbelievable! Do you know if I can find another lawyer?

  3. CJ September 27, 2017 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I was told my law suit is a Tolling Agreement. My attorney explained this means it will not be filed in court which will save us $400 but I will receive settlement. I was told I will not have a Case Number. I have not received or signed a Tolling Agreement. Does Tolling Agreements exist and has others been told they have a Tolling Agreement. Will I still receive a settlement? If so where can I check on my case progress?

    • Jane Akre September 27, 2017 at 11:35 am - Reply

      I’m not a lawyer Cris but you didn’t say if you have pelvic or hernia mesh? If it is not filed, that sends a message to the other side ( in my opinion) that it is lined up for settlement only. That the law firm is not working the case up for trial. It also saves the firm any time in attempting to work the case for trial…. in other words they collect their percentage. Again, in my opinion only, I hope you did NOT agree to a 40% take for the firm if they are only negotiating a settlement. It would seem 30% is a good plenty. Please negotiate going in…. it is much easier.

      • CJ September 28, 2017 at 3:14 pm - Reply

        Unfortunately Jane, I did agree to 40%. I have two different pelvic mesh implants and two revision surgeries, a total of four surgeries, multiple tests and numerous UTI’s. I have been told the first implant is a biologic product and the courts are now not settling and will be dismissed in the near future. (Do you have any information on this situation, Jane?) This is a huge disappointment after being told for three years my case was in a high tier settlement category. I am in pain daily, restricted activity and have not been intimate with my husband for years due to pain. Oh yeah and at my last pelvic exam I was told my bladder has dropped dramatically. Suggested I have another surgery to somehow tie my bladder to my spine. No thank you! I was also told my husband would receive settlement monies for loss of consortium, that probably will never happen. I am now told my Atty is waiting for the mesh company to place settlement valves on my 2nd mesh claim. Hopefully good things will come to those who wait. Just want to thank you Jane for all you do and God Bless you and all who are going through this craziness like myself.

        • Jane Akre September 28, 2017 at 11:43 pm - Reply

          Sounds like your lawyer told you one story to sign you up and it’s changed. You can write me privately. janeakre@meshnewsdesk.com

  4. Monica September 29, 2017 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    I’ve been told by my attorney that there is a settlement from Boston Scientific but he doesn’t know what the settlement is. That doesn’t make sense to me. How does an attorney agree to a settlement that they don’t know how much they are agreeing to? They also said it would take a year to even get the papers saying what the settlement is. Why so long? It really doesn’t matter how long it takes though because we may not receive anything after the attorney take their 40% and the loan we’ve had to take to survive because I can no longer work and they didn’t tell us that the bankruptcy we filed for before the surgery they could take what was left. We have another suit filed, (I think) with Johnson & Johnson because like the other women that I’ve read, I also have 2 different meshes and 4 surgeries, lots of medications and lots of urinary tract infections. The mesh could be in my small intestine. We won’t know for another couple of weeks. Everything seems to take so long. I have 2 small kids at home and my grandchildren live with us as well. My husband works 7 days a week, 12 hour shifts and we live 2 hours from his work because we can’t afford rent closer to his work. We’re getting ready to lose everything. We have no food and can’t get help. I feel like a total failure because I can’t work and help my family. My husband and I would file for divorce if we could afford to. Depression is a real thing at my house.

    • Jane Akre September 29, 2017 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      Monica-

      I’m so sorry. Yours is an example of how life can tumble out of control after a simple “minimally invasive” procedure. It sounds like you need a mesh expert to do an assessment on your condition… Let us know where you are locate? janeakre@meshnewsdesk.com

      • Monica September 30, 2017 at 10:33 pm - Reply

        Jane,
        I am in Ohio between Cincinnati and Columbus. I live in a small town and the medical resources are slim to say the least. I’ve never even heard of a “mesh expert” or doing an assessment but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to have something better than what I have. The pain in overwhelming most days. Please let me know where I can find one of these experts.

        • Jane Akre October 1, 2017 at 12:07 am - Reply

          You don’t say if you have insurance. Still here is a partial list based on recommendations from the mesh community:

          Dr. Charles Butrick in Overland Park, KS.
          Dr. Michael Hibner in Phoenix. (602) 406-6017. Dignity Health
          Dr. Raz, Urology Department, UCLA. 310-794-7700
          Dr. Lennox Hoyt, Tampa, 2 Tampa General Circle, 4th Floor Tampa, FL 33606 (813) 259 – 8500
          Dr. Christopher Walker in Orlando, private practice, UroGyn Specialists 407-648-9400
          Dr. Una Lee, 206-341-0560. Seattle, WA, Virginia Mason
          Miklos and Moore in Atlanta, 770-475-4499,
          Dr. Veronikis in St. Louis – 314-251-6753. (He works with Sara Wood MD, also doing pelvic mesh surgeries)
          Dr. Phillippe Zimmern in Dallas. U Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Professor Urology, 214-645-8765, 214-648-4765
          Dr. Michael Hibner in Phoenix. (602) 406-6017. Dignity Health
          Dr. Shlomo Raz, Urology Department, UCLA. 310-794-7700
          Dr. Daniel Elliott, Urology at Mayo Clinic, MN 800-446-2279, referring a pt 800-533-1564
          Dr. Ali Azadi in Louisville, Norton Healthcare, U of Louisville School of Medicine, Ob-Gyn, 502-409-5600
          Dr. M. Tom Margolis in SF Bay area, private practice, Bay Area Pelvic Surgery, 650-228-4052
          Dr. Bruce Rosenzweig, Rush University, Chicago, Ob-gyn, 888-352-RUSH (7874)
          Dr. Jerry Blaivas, New York City Urology, 212-772-3900
          Dr C. Y. Liu, gynecologic endoscopic surgery, private practice, NYC 212-988-1444
          Dr. Robert Furr, Women’s Surgery Center, Chattanooga, TN866-899-0679.

          Docs I’ve heard reports on:
          Dr. Robert L. Summit, urogyn, Memphis
          Dr. Val Vogt, Memphis
          Dr. Bob Shull, a urogyn from Temple, Texas.
          Antonio Pizarro. Shreveport, LA 318-221-0021. http://www.pizarromd.com/
          Dr. Speights of Jackson Mississippi.
          Tammy Jackson and Sheryl Teague like Dr. Sara Diaz of Richmond, Indiana
          http://health.usnews.com/doctors/sara-diaz-valentin-641082
          Nazema Siddiqui md
          https://www.dukehealth.org/find-doctors-physicians/nazema-y-siddiqui-md-mhs

          • Jojo C October 1, 2017 at 10:52 pm

            Dr Gregory Bales Advanced Urology In Chicago, IL. is amazing. He is the Professor of Surgery at University of Chicago and performs removals and reconstruction with your own tissues. I just had my Ethicon finally completely removed by him and then he did the reconstruction by using my own tissues..No more foreign mesh products.. 8 years of horrible suffering pain has gone away. I know the Ethicon mesh left me with some serious perm. scar tissue and holes in my vaginal area, but Dr Bales was able to repair the vaginal canal as well. I just thought I would share this brilliant Dr with everyone. I was lucky enough to see someone on FB one day talk about him.

            Jojo

          • Jane Akre October 2, 2017 at 10:53 am

            Thank you Jojo…. always like to get new updates on docs!!!

        • lisa April 16, 2018 at 10:18 am - Reply

          Dr. Micky Karam is a mesh specialist in Cincinnati out of Christ Hospital. I travel there from Indiana have had 2 surgeries with him.

          • Jane Akre April 16, 2018 at 11:48 am

            Thank you Lisa….. did you have a good outcome with Dr Karam?

      • Gw February 22, 2018 at 3:06 am - Reply

        I had Boston scientific. I in the 1 tier. I didn’t received pennies . My law firm is behold crooked . I later found out about all their lies, after I settled. But, there will come a day when we all have to pay for our actions. Thank God. I live in chronic pain every day, there’s nothing they can do. I done. My life has been destroyed by mesh.

    • SRankin October 9, 2017 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Monica, I am so sorry for all you are going thru with this mesh and trying to keep your head and your families heads above water. I read in your post that the bankrupcies in your past and that the settlement would go to that instead of to you, I have a bankruptcy and haven’t heard of anything about this.

  5. Monica October 1, 2017 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    What do “Mesh Specialist” do? I do have insurance through my husband’s work and I hope one of these doctors takes my insurance. I don’t know how I will get to any of these doctors but the one in Indiana is the closest. We have United Health.

    • Jane Akre October 1, 2017 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      I’m using that term to describe a doc who deals with mesh complications, a lot of them. Many docs say “you’re the only one” and attempt removals. Go to someone who sees many complications and has experience…

  6. Tammy October 2, 2017 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    I need help I have no health ins can’t work anymore how do I find what is going with my case please help if u can Been going on since 2009 case filed in 2013

    • Jane Akre October 2, 2017 at 10:19 pm - Reply

      Do you have a case number? Look in your letters and determine the number. If it’s not there call your law firm. Also- what court is it filed in? We need to start with the case number okay…. get back…janeakre@meshnewsdesk.com

  7. Monica October 3, 2017 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    I’ve been told by a representative of the law firm that both my cases have been settled but they don’t have an amount that they have settled for and that it can take up to 2 years before they will have that. Does this make sense? If the attorney agreed to a settlement why would he/she agree to an amount they don’t have a clue on what it is?

    • Jane Akre October 3, 2017 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Sorry, I’m not a lawyer but no that doesn’t make sense. Two things are missing- an amount and your approval! Did you sign any agreement to settle? At all?

      • Monica October 4, 2017 at 11:48 pm - Reply

        I wouldn’t buy a house or car sight unseen and I definitely wouldn’t sign a settlement without knowing what the amount was. I don’t have a case number and even though I’ve heard other people having the same attorney as what I do and they’ve been successful in court cases, none of the settlement without knowing the amount makes sense to me.

  8. jan October 5, 2017 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    All our attorneys have let us down regarding the Mesh lawsuits
    They have lied to us on many counts they and our Judges have very much treated us unfairly. . Our attorneys have went behind our backs placed us in tiers and they are nit individual cases I do not care what they say we have been victims again to the justice system. . The attorneys have settled cases for there office on group settlements basically putting a loaded gun to us making us sign for what they fill is a great outcome yes maybe for them and of course there 40% per client. They will not be up front on the amount they settled for so they can devide how they want. .
    These judges are applauding these attorneys for putting more injures on us . We know longer live in a free country when judges. Attorneys can say and do what they want when it victimizes
    US even more.. over half of us will no longer be able to even be half the woman we were before our mesh.. alot of us will no longer be able to work again because of the mesh so we are now living below living standards making less than 1000 monthly because of the mesh
    And these manufacturers, judges,attorneys get to ho home to there 400 thousand plus homes. They get to drive there 100thousand dollar vehicles. . And most of us have had to sell everything we have owned to just make it through to a promise they have not kept for us.. how I pray everyday that God will see fit to take something away from each of these greedy , lying people if even half of them would lose there jobs and could not find another for 4/5yrs and maybe live on welfare they would see a little of what we have been a victim to..
    Sad

  9. Monica Atkins October 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Jan,
    I totally understand what you are saying. We don’t know what is even going on with the case most of the time. The attorneys don’t give us regular updates because it’s easier to keep us all in the dark.
    I’m one of those women that can no longer work because of the mesh. I have a severe UTI again and can no longer see a doctor or go to the hospital because I’m running a fever of 102. The hospital is suing me for the 1500 that I owe them. Once my husband pays the rent, utilities and buys a little food which we still have to go to food banks because we are still raising children, there’s nothing left to pay them. It’s not that we don’t want to pay them, there’s just nothing left to pay them.

    • Jane Akre October 7, 2017 at 11:20 pm - Reply

      I’m so sorry Monica…. I understand d-Mannose might help with your UTIs…. Superior labs is a good one. It prevents the bacteria from sticking…

    • Kitty October 8, 2017 at 10:26 am - Reply

      Just looking over your post Monica…it is heartbreaking. You Don’t say if u are self cathing. If u are…u will always have bacteria and infection. I had a horrible time when I was doing that. I don’t have cath anymore..but other problems. I know some ladies speak of this d mannose. and they say it works…so scrape up some cash and try it. The general approach to treatment does not work well because of the foreign body…but give it a shot…Heinz Sour Dills…pure cranberries and juice…H20. H20 Hit the infection hard with Cipro first. Go to another town hospital and suggest it to the ER MD.

  10. Kitty October 7, 2017 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    It is not fair. It reminds me of a biblical parable where some workers that only worked an hour were paid as much as workers that labored many hours. We have to accept that some of us will not be receiving the same amount of compensation…even though we may have suffered much more than some ladies that received much more than us. Our reward will be in heaven.

  11. Never the Same October 10, 2017 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    I am wondering if others that have agreed to settle are dealing with yet another form of run around. I only settled because they way Judge Goodwin is running the MDL I will most likely be dead before ever getting to court. That being said, I agreed to settled and signed the necessary documents with my attorney and am now being told. That we wait on the Special Master, I contact my law firm every month (Signed in June) only to hear more blah, blah, blah. Is anyone else experiencing this. I begin to doubt that I will ever see a dime. Who knows what they (attorneys, J&J, Special Masters) are doing. It is bad enough you can’t get a straight answer from the law firm about final amounts, now the delay, deny, and dispute. I think this is the master plan to just wear us down and out to where we just die. SO DISGUSTED.

    • Jane Akre October 11, 2017 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      This is a constant story – you sign in good faith and the settlement is in limbo. How many are experiencing this? In some cases I’ve heard of people waiting a year and still no word on the dollars coming forward. This does not seem to be in good faith, which is the basis of a legal agreement. Lawyers chime in here if you will……..

      • Caroline October 18, 2017 at 9:17 am - Reply

        I am represented by Motley Rice and have a Coloplast claim. After months of leaving messages for an update I finally got a call back from a paralegal. She indicated to me that no funds have been released because they still have not met the 95% required threshold that is required for acceptance and that they are following up with clients who have not returned/accepted their settlement offers. It sounded like a big smoke screen to me. I agree with “never the same” that it seems as if the plan is to just wear us down so we give up. I was just referred by my Dr for a second posterior prolapse but it’s not as bad as my original prolapse which I had surgery for in 2009. At this point I am not sure that I even want to do anything about it because if the only option is more mesh – I think I’ll pass.

        • Stavey November 9, 2017 at 10:33 pm - Reply

          Hey I would love to chat with you. I have a
          Coloplast mesh also. I haven’t ever meet anyone with the same product. Please reply to my email if you would like to chat.

          • Caroline November 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

            Hey Stavey,

            I’d be more than happy to chat. Send me your email address please.

  12. Squeaky Wheel October 20, 2017 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    QUESTION for ALL: lawyers communication – or LACK THEREOF. I have had zero communication with my attorney in the past 11 months. I have asked for email and phone updates from the paralegal and she continuously says she has nothing new to report. In addition, they seem annoyed that I asked for an update.

    They are taking a huge percentage of whatever is awarded – customer service and professionalism is IN ORDER! Is anyone else being treated like dirt?

  13. Tami October 21, 2017 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Jane;
    My case has been going on since 2012. I have loss of consortium; loss of job, loss of relationships with my children and husband. My right sides hurts unbearably, the drs here are not worth having. My main concern with writing tho is I just found out the 800 number I called 5 yrs ago was not even a law firm and I too; have agreed to the 40% thinking I was talking to an attorney. I literally just found out. Plz give me any recommendations you may have. I also have Boston Scientific mesh sling that could not be completely removed and there has apparently been a settlement but I too was told they don’t know how much. Thank you, I’m so worried that we won’t be rewarded the way we would have have I know I wasn’t even calling a lawyer in 2012.

    • Jane Akre October 21, 2017 at 10:53 pm - Reply

      Tami- Have you signed the settlement offer? Wait until you know the exact amount. That’s only fair. Try and renegotiate the 40%. That was the amount when law firms signed you up, they had no idea if they would litigate. Ultimately they lined you up to settle, which is way less work. I’m not a lawyer of course, but since things have changed since you signed up, and the law firm needs you to agree to the dollar amount before they receive any money, it might be time to seriously have a discussion with them. Five percent common benefit fund- have the law firm pay it… not you.

  14. "Orchid" October 28, 2017 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Jane,
    I am so thankful for your website! You not only educate, but empower victims, with understanding and compassion.
    To those unhappy with your attorneys, you do have rights.
    Ask your attorney, if your case has been prepared for trial. If they say yes-ask for copies of all documents and records. If not, ask for documents explaining, WhyNot?
    Call or email them daily. Emails are better-because they don’t rely on spoken words that can be misinterpreted.
    You have the right to ask attorney to withdraw (fire you), if there is no intention of making your case “trial-ready”. This puts some power back to you.
    With no intent, and no evidence that your case is ready for trial- be clear that you will not accept an unfair settlement. This 1st step, will get their attention.
    If they aren’t agreeable to meet your requests, ask them to withdraw-immediately. If they fire you, for not doing THEIR JOB-, you may not owe them anything, and still have the right to all your information, and time to find proper representation.
    You do have rights on your representation, despite their 40% contracts. I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not very smart, but I can read, and understand. I know how to look things up that I don’t understand. I know how to write.
    Avoid phone calls when possible, if you can’t record it, or have a reliable witness to listen in, its best to use email. Ask specific clear questions, and number them. Be persistent in receiving direct answers-to ALL questions.
    If you’re being charged 40%-they should have to work for it.
    Make it clear, that you insist on knowing about your case.
    If they aren’t interested in earning their wages, ask them to fire you. This will release you from their stinkin contract, and you can keep all information compiled to that point, and find another attorney.
    I am saddened to hear so many being treated unfairly, on top of the hell on earth you have suffered. If you aren’t physically or mentally able to be in charge of your case, ask a trusted family member or friend to help you. Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Remember you are not alone!
    May God Bless JaneAkre, and each and every person who lives the nightmare of this horrid torture, every day of their lives…as well as those who love you!
    Ask God to Guide You to what is His Will for your life. He is the most Powerful and the only Truth in this World!

    • Jane Akre October 29, 2017 at 3:01 pm - Reply

      Thank you Orchid. I think certified letter is good too…. it tells them you are serious. Again 40% may be renegotiable even after the contract….And for some women, they have not even had a case filed by their law firm.. If you find that is the case, your lawyer has saved $400 but that in my opinion, may not be sending a message your are serious about litigation. Many many lawyers are doing an excellent job for their clients, but some are not. Become the squeaky wheel!!!

      • Still Standing October 31, 2017 at 2:07 pm - Reply

        I said I would not post again, but the advice to contact your attorney every day will be very costly to you and I want to warn you against doing that. Attorneys charge for every single phone call and every single email, even paralegals time is billed out. This is not part of the 40% they get. Generally, they bill in increments that can be 1/6 of their billable or 1/4 of their billable time. So, if you attorney bills out at $300/hour normally, a 15 phone call or long email will cost you $75. A ten minute email or phone call would be $50. If you send one email or call in once a day, it could cost you $375/week or $1500 a month for longer contacts or a minimum of $1000 a MONTH. This will come off the top if your awarded settlement. These can add up quickly. If you contact once a day, in one year, you could spend $12,000 for short calls, or $18,000 if you demand more time. It makes no sense to build up that much case costs. How many of you just drop $1000 a month? Really, it is important to share advice here, but it is also important to talk with your attorney about these things before you just start sending these email blasts. Not an advisable thing to do.

        • Jane Akre October 31, 2017 at 4:29 pm - Reply

          Thank you SS- Good advice! It would be preferable if law firms would send monthly updates to clients.. Just a reminder- your firm can send out a sponsored release through MND and your clients will be sure to see it!

        • Orchid November 4, 2017 at 9:30 pm - Reply

          Thank you, Still Standing…that is a reality, for sure. In my experience, my emails, became extremely important, not only as a timeline, but also revealing of how important questions would continuously be ignored, and records and facts were gathered by ME! Through my emails and important links I researched and sent my attorneys, I laid the foundation for the case, and have proof that I was responsible for at least 75% of the work-because of written communication. When I hired an attorney, I was told, my input and information was always welcome, and needed, because the firm had never represented anyone with mesh issues.
          After my Mother died-the whole Attorney-Client relationship was not only evasive, but I also got a “New Contract” force-fed to me.
          As a client, looking to HIRE, an attorney, I made clear, in the beginning, that 40% of the reward would be the Complete Charge-to represent her, and that was to include all fees, with exception of travel, and any duties, or obstacles, the firm required, and informed me of-not associated with normal trial preparation. There was never any intention of a trial. That is a dirty trick, that is used to lure clients in this MDL, much more than Mesh Injured, and Victims realize, and not an insult, but an assault-on vulnerable, and tortured human beings. If attorneys agree to take a case with a Contingency Agreement-based on a “possibility of reward” and then charge you to communicate?? Read the Contract, before you sign it. I would never hire anyone for anything, that I had to pay “fees” to ask questions. I’m not 1 bit surprised that there are people who are treated as you stated, and charged by the pages and calls…and much more, because of automatic trust, a Client feels. Doctors do the same thing. People WANT to trust and feel secure. My Mom trusted.
          I read. I look up facts. I ask questions. I ask for the truth.
          As a client, why would you not expect those things, without having to have it in writing?
          We must address this issue-not as a victim, but as The Boss. It is the attorneys job, to answer legal questions and address concerns of their Clients.
          I am so Thankful for all I have learned from this website, and our Editor!! I am also Thankful for all the important information from her readers!! Information provides Knowledge. Knowledge provides Wisdom. It is wise to ask questions, and expect answers, from anyone paid to serve/and especially to represent.

          • Jane Akre November 4, 2017 at 10:51 pm

            Orchid- I really admire your strength. Many readers are intimidated by their lawyers and paralegals. Some are not even paralegals but hourly employees with little experience. You have quite the backbone… i’m impressed. So glad to hear that MND could help a bit with your education. Thank you for speaking to SS too…

  15. Disgusted November 7, 2017 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Also, ask for an itemized bill for every charge they give. Numbers are thrown around, but be sure to ask exactly what is behind each one. It does make a difference.

    • Jane Akre November 8, 2017 at 10:57 am - Reply

      Thank you… good advice. Also get a final number.

      • Caroline November 8, 2017 at 12:52 pm - Reply

        I’m so tired of this case and wish they would just settle so women such as myself can get on with their lives. Is anyone able to shed some light on what this order means? Also how do I go about finding out which “wave” I’m included in and what does that mean as well. Any help or clarification would help me.

        http://www.wvsd.uscourts.gov/MDL/2387/pdfs/PTO_136.pdf

        • Jane Akre November 8, 2017 at 2:50 pm - Reply

          Caroline- are you represented? You deserve a conversation with your law firm so they can explain what wave you are in. While you’re at it. Ask to see your complaint that they filed. Become the squeaky wheel, ask and demand to see the paperwork in your case. If they didn’t file a complaint on your behalf, why not?

  16. Diva64 November 13, 2017 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Jane, I received a letter after 4pm today the 13th due to be signed and back in my attorneys office the 15th.
    Stating I do not accept xyz offer. And that my law firm feels it is a reasonable offer under $15k to not accept the offer I would be dropped as a client. They have had my case since 2011 always said I have a good case, they know I am scheduled to see Dr Raz in LA next month ,,have my airline tickets,. My implant was performed 2002 I would think I am past the deadline for any other law firm to take this on. Also A.M.S. is a secondary and I was told that was settled that letters will go out at the end of the year and be paid in 3 installments. How was it settled without the clients ever getting letters about a settlement . So many questions and very few answers.

  17. Sharon B November 17, 2017 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    I’ve had a spinal implant and cannot have mesh removed. Have been offered 4000.00 dollars????

    • Jane Akre November 17, 2017 at 2:04 pm - Reply

      Wow… thats before legal expenses are subtracted. Will you take it? What mesh and what law firm if you care to say…all….

    • Kitty January 16, 2018 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      At this point I think u should take it. They will blame your spinal problems on something. The Docs are getting quesy…with all the mesh law suits. Even if you have pain and prior surgery and erosion ….they say it is not the mesh All I can think is Karma…What goes around..comes around.. I am suffering now for past deeds.

    • Kitty January 16, 2018 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Did u say 40K or 4K ? Act on principle.

  18. MLA February 2, 2018 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Jane,
    I was told my case with Ethicon was settled and today I received a “Notice To Take Or Amend Deposition]”, which I don’t understand. I haven’t received the final settlement offer letter but was told that the settlement had been sent over to a settlement officer. I’m even more confused than ever.

    • Jane Akre February 3, 2018 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      As you I know I’m not a lawyer, but until you cash the check you are still in settlement “mode” and that means depositions may continue. Are you set for a depo? Good! In a good deposition, you don’t offer any info that is not asked for. Allow for silent moments, don’t feel the need to fill them. Anything can be used against you. Pls advise….

  19. Leo February 4, 2018 at 11:56 am - Reply

    bLIZZARD & nABORS
    iS THAT A LEGITIMATE FIRM REPRESENTING THE PELVIC MESH CUSTOMERS?

  20. leo February 4, 2018 at 11:58 am - Reply

    sUPPOSEDLY, THEY WERE HAVING GREAT PROGRESS TOWARD THE END OF 2017; HOWEVER, THEN, THE NEXT TIME I CALLED, THEY HAD HIT A SNAG….ANY NEWS ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT?

    • Jane Akre February 4, 2018 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      Prefer you not use all caps okay? Thank you. Online that is known as yelling.

  21. jan February 4, 2018 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    I find this amazing we need to stay available
    Well what about these attorneys not once has my attorneys office tried to phone me I have to do all the work.. I never receive news letters they say they send hummm well I receive all my other mail..
    I call ask questions it’s like we are bothering them but yet they want there 40% It’s so said to believe we have a justice system that works for the attorneys and the other side and not who really counts
    The injured the person that is living life the best they can because of the life change
    What about the ones that lifes have been truly altered by the mesh that now has the Bio Film
    It has taken a toll on my kidneys my heart over beats 70% of the time
    Because of the bio film
    So I wonder every day when will it be my last
    I have phoned my attorneys office every week because of them not staying in contact with me.. I have asked to Spk with an attorney that could actually tell me the truth..if they could
    Never have received a phone call.. this is very sad it makes me wonder who is my attorneys working for because it has not been me..
    I also advised the girl on the phone about 3/4 yrs ago I demanded a phone call from an attorney. . I needed to know what to expect
    About time and settlement offers. .
    She said when they start negotiations remember to start LOW I said excuse me I have never heard of doing such a thing.. I really believe she thought I fell out of a crayon box and was not the brightest color
    It’s sad to think these attorneys are taking advantage of the American women

    • Jane Akre February 4, 2018 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      I’m sorry Jan. Since that is not your real name ( please do not use your real names) would you please name the law offices who have NEVER called you. Others should know.

  22. Susan February 13, 2018 at 3:05 am - Reply

    Jan is this law firm in San Antonio? Watts ….You have a case but you don’t have a case.They pretend stupid but not stupid or really stupid. Have you
    been intimidated? Lost your medical records. Don’t sign on anything. Intentions to represent you are not real.

  23. squeekywheel March 6, 2018 at 9:15 am - Reply

    HI Jane, My lawyer and paralegal never get back to me. I call them 1x a year, and get chastized for being impatient. In fact, they are downright rude. I asked them to send out periodic group updates and I get no reponse. It’s absolutely ridiculas. Sounds like we are all being treated unfairly?

    • Jane Akre March 6, 2018 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      I’m so sorry, that is inexcusable…..do you want to tell us who they are?

  24. C March 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    @squeekywheel, I feel your pain. I am beyond frustrated. I am represented by Motley Rice (which is actually one of the best firms involved in the mesh cases) and was told that settlement checks would be going out mid January. It is now March and I have yet to receive a dime. My case is against Coloplast and there has been delay after delay after delay. Even the attorneys at Motley Rice take forever to give me an update. I call, email, etc and it’s still all just hurry up and wait. I missed so much work due to complications from the mesh and I am literally in financial despair. If I lived close I’d actually drive to NJ and demand some answers on why things are held up like this because I feel like the wool is being pulled over my eyes. Being treated unfairly is an understatement.

  25. Still Standing March 8, 2018 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    C, your problem is with your law firm, not Coloplast. Order #111 on the Coloplast MDL link on the western district court shows that the judge approved of the settlement of Motley Rice Coloplast clients in Aug 2016. Wells Fargo National Bank is the Escrow agent. That is what is generally done. Firms reach settlement for all of their clients with one manufacturer. As a comparison, I had two different mesh manufacturers, one was Coloplast. My firm reached agreement three months before yours. I received my first payment before Christmas of 2016.i just recently received the second payment, which was what was left from 25% required holdback for insurance leins. My Coloplastcase is officially closed out as well as my other one. This amount of time you are waiting does not make sense at all.

  26. C March 17, 2018 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Still Standing, I saw all of that information online as well. I’m represented by Motley Rice and the attorney told me that I’m not in a wave and that is supposedly better for me. I was told back in 2016 when I signed the settlement offer that they would still have to wait until they reached the 95% acceptance threshold, the next delay was that they had to basically fire some clients that wouldn’t accept the offer in order to meet it. Next hold up is supposedly a few clients being represented by other attorneys as well for different manufacturers (same as your situation). Now they are trying to clear that up and then have to wait for Coloplast to transfer the money into the escrow account. It sounds as if the wool is being pulled over my eyes by my own attorney and I am far beyond frustrated, annoyed and just want this to be over with. Outside of calling the Coloplast attorneys myself and NJ courts I don’t know how else to find out what is really going on.

    • Still Standing March 18, 2018 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      You are not allowed to make contact with Coloplast. Inquiries must be directed to your attorney. Contacting the company personally while yiu are in litigation against them could jeopardize your case.

      • C March 19, 2018 at 2:46 pm - Reply

        @Still standing – thanks for letting me know that. I definitely will not call them in that case. If my case is filed in NJ do I just go through the normal channel to get copies of transcripts or proceedings on my case.

        • Still standing March 20, 2018 at 11:37 pm - Reply

          If there is a web site in new jersey for the MDL there, you can view all f the orders that have been filed for your manufacturer. There really arent transcripts of your particular case since most of the orders cover all,the plaintiffs or portions of plaintiffs grouped in waves. I dont know what you would find put by requesting the contents of your litigation file from your attorney. If you do request, you will probably be charged for the copies. Be sure to ask if there is a charge and how much it will cost you.

          • Jane Akre March 21, 2018 at 10:00 am

            New Jersey is not particularly easy to obtain your files unless you are an attorney. I may be wrong but here is the Litigation site for Bard and Ethicon.

            https://www.njcourts.gov/attorneys/mcl/bergen/pelvicmesh.html

            Go to http://www.njcourtsonline.com, select civil case public access, enter security information (eliminate popup blocker to work)…. Wil give you docket option, Bergen co cases are listed as L-13702-14 for example. Docket type = Law. Getting access to the actual file??? No. you have to request it sccomailbox@judiciary.state.nj.us. Make a request. No charge unless it is many pages. Will be sent electronically as a pdf. New jersey questions, 609-421-6100. Add docket # and county!

  27. C March 22, 2018 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Still Standing – I just wanted to give an update to you and Jane since you’ve been so helpful. After contacting the attorney with a barrage of questions I was informed that the $$ is now in the QSF. Hmm makes me wonder why the big smoke screen. I’m not sure how long it will be before I actually get the check but hopefully within the next couple of weeks I assume. Does that sound accurate?
    Anyway I wanted to be sure to thank you both for being so informative and so helpful. Without a little direction and info from you both I’d be still sitting and waiting with no answers.

    • Jane Akre March 22, 2018 at 4:19 pm - Reply

      W should be charging the law firms…. oh wait! Good idea.!!! LOL

    • Still Standing March 24, 2018 at 12:06 am - Reply

      I’m so glad you finally got some answers..did your attorney tell you a few weeks or is that just what you are hoping for? Once in the QSF, it is an accounting process. It isn’t just your money but the settlement dollars for all the law firms cases. They have to pay the attorneys fee plus case costs have gone figured for each plaintiff, so I it isn’t just get the money and write the check. I’m sure there are multiple people who have to sign off on each process. It can be months instead of weeks. Hopefully, you will get it soon.

      • C March 24, 2018 at 5:52 pm - Reply

        Thanks for that information Still Standing. He said that he has to request it from the defense attorney and that it would take about a week or so to hit their account so I was assuming just a couple of weeks from there. I already have a sheet detailing the breakdown of my fees but sounds like it may be more than the few weeks I was hoping for.

  28. Elle April 1, 2018 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Hello all,
    I am just wanting to get something off my chest that has been really up seting me regarding our so called “ATTORNEYS”, my so called attorney threatened to drop me as a client and still attach a lien on any future settlement, if I didn’t settle my case,
    I was very pressured into accepting it even though I felt unsettled with it, and after all that I get the billing records and I realized they billed for fees that I paid out, and for time that I took out of my time to send the information I was getting billed for, and not to mention calls I never received because the majority of the time I was the one updating them and following up with the litigation and settlement alliance documents or any new updates I was doing all the paralegal work that I had to pay for. I feel that it’s not enough that we will all be in chronic pain for who knows how long, but now we are having to feel as though we have no choice but to do what the Attorney feels I deserve because he doesn’t feel it is going to change for the better but only going to drop as the time goes on. Left feeling like I was paying to get abused and go and have my attorney pretty much tell me off because he misunderstood and or got wrong information by his assistant, not giving me an opportunity to defend myself. Finally forcing me to write him a letter with evidence of any statements I was being accused of falsely making, and wrongly accusing his assistant for not being truthful.
    Getting an apology? No! I guess I was not worth one.
    The fact that they feel they are doing us a favor for free and they are not gaining anything out of this is to say the least. Wish there was Attorneys who can actually know what exactly they are fighting against, someone who had the unfortunate sentence we were given, someone that wouldn’t treat us like another docket number, and treat us like the victims we were forced to be.
    My being 34 years of age a mother of 3 and a wife of 20+ years didn’t matter to them, not even my losing all of that after that horrible nightmare of a surgery. What will make them see that we are humans? And that we will lose everyday of the rest of our lives? How can someone, Anyone feel confident enough to put a dollar amount on our pain? How can they sleep at night knowing that they are telling us that we are worth less than the actual time our Attorneys took on our case? It seems that they end up with more than the injured party, even the litigation services get there cut, and I don’t even think they were involved because I went around them and did everything myself! SMH! When will someone be on our side???

  29. Ellen p April 1, 2018 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    http://www.settlement-alliance.com
    or
    the number to the Claim Center is: 800-994-1239
    this is the attorneys litigation
    who I dealt with it took 1wk to receive payment

  30. Never the same April 2, 2018 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Congratulations to the women winning in court. Sympathies to the rest of us stuck in the legal quagmier where the only one benefiting are the lawyers and Big Pharma. Judge Goodwin and our legal system is a joke. The ME TOO! movement needs to take a look at how victims of medical mesh are being raped and mentally accosted over and over and over again.Your attorney threatens to fire you if you don’t sign so you do thinking it’s already been 10 years since implantation and I could be dead before getting to see the inside of a court room. I was suppose to receive my settlement in Dec, then by the 2nd quarter of 2018 now they still don’t know. That is if you can get an answer from the attorney’s office. Thanks for letting me vent and Thank you Jane for providing information and a forum for all hear. If and when I receive any funds. I will be contributing to the cause. God bless you all!

    • Jane Akre April 2, 2018 at 5:08 pm - Reply

      How about a #MeshToo movement! Seems appropriate and timely and so needed! Thank you. I’m sorry. did you attorney threaten to fire you too? Write me privately and thanks janeakre@meshnewsdesk.com

  31. lisa April 16, 2018 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Hello Jane I am in a situation right now thaat is stressing me out.I signed with my attorney in October of 2008 I did not call an 1-800 number I called several law frims until I found someone I thought was right He is out of New York. But boy was. I wrong about him being the right fit. He did not tell me he was going to co sign my case out but he did. I maintained constant communication with both him and the other attorney. I was not happy with said other attorney I was not getting answers I was being given a run around and even to the point I would speak with his paralegal that was supposed to return my call the next and I never received the only to cind out she is no longer with the firm when I call that same day. Then the attorney I signed with informs me my case is now going to a different firm mind you this is almost 2 years later.Tgen I am in communication with them and seem like things might be better until one day when I talk to them and the state there may be a problem filing my case due to the staute of limitations.Which I was told my case had been filed previous by the other attorney but I guess not. Then they said they figured it out and was able to file that was in 2010 fast forward to current and I have been offered settlements the first one I said no shortly later I was offered a little bit more and still said no and now I got this group settlement offer that is less than half of my last offer so if course I said no deal….. Then all of a sunden when I am saying I am not willing to take this crappy offer They bring up a problem of my case nof being filed within the statue of limitations funny that they did not bring this up when I refused the previous 2 offers that was not a group offer. I signed with my attorney as soon as these cases started being accepted I actually tried getting attornies that would take my case earlier and until the FDA put something out I could not find anyone to take it. I feel like I am one who helped get things rolling I wrote the FDA several times letting them know of the problems this product has caused now I am not getting what I should due to someone elses negligence. I am not sure if my attorney is just using this statue of limitations to try to get me to settle because I know they have to get so much to settle in order for the group settlement to stick and when you consider a group of settlements they are getting a good amount of money on that or if this is really an issue. I feel if this is an issue then the attorney’s sould be responsible for what I could receive in court.

    • Jane Akre April 16, 2018 at 11:51 am - Reply

      Sounds as if you have been tossed about Lisa, with no firm resolution. Do you even know who to call for an update? Firms that took cases knowing they couldn’t handle it on their own, should never have taken your case in my opinion! I will write you privately but please feel free to name names here. Where are you filed?

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