Greedy Attorney Forgot What His Contract Said

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The Nolan Law Firm was hired to represent me in a criminal case that listed me as a defendant but I was also a victim. It was an unusual case. Todd Nolan went over the client agreement and we both signed it. As the case slowly maneuvered its way through the court system, and we prepared for trial, circumstances changed. The prosecutor threatened that if we went to trial, he would add one additional felony. The process would start over (after already spending one year fighting this) and if I was found guilty, he would "stack" the charges, meaning each charge would be a separate crime. I was looking at 20 years in prison. My crime? Failing to obtain a signature. I asked the attorney to work towards a plea agreement.

During our time going to monthly court hearings, the FBI arrested the man in which who's case I am listed as a victim. Because of my on-going criminal case, my attorney instructed me not to speak to the prosecutor in that case. That was sound advice. Because there was an opportunity for me to receive restitution, my attorney asked that I email them my documentation and that they would forward it to the prosecutor. I did that immediately. When the defendant pleaded guilty, the judge left the door open for six months for any documentation to be provided in regards to restitution.

Because I was wanting a trial before the prosecutors threat, I had paid the $9,000 to the Nolan Law Firm to be represented at trial. But once we were accepting the plea agreement, the funds paid for trial did not belong to the firm. The firm did earn one days worth of trial fee ($1,500) per their contract, they owed me $7,500. When I contacted the firm by email, nobody would reply. When I left messages, nobody would return my calls. When Todd Nolan finally called me, he stated that his firm had spent a lot of time on my case and that I wasn't getting any of the money back! He claimed because I received a discount on the retainer, his firm was keeping the money clearly marked for trial as compensation for the work that they performed, even though I pointed out to him what HIS contract stated.

I plead guilty and was sentenced. After sending another email to Todd asking for the $7,500 to be returned and quoting the terms in his agreement in the email, he eventually had a check in his office for me. But it wasn't after this that I realized that they never forwarded the documentation to the prosecutor as they said they would. The six month window was closed and I missed out on any restitution that I may have been owed.

I called the Arizona State Bar to file a complaint. The attorney I spoke with said she would call the Nolan Law Firm to seek their side of the story. This is when I realized the process to contact an attorney to "investigate" another attorney is a scam.

Several days later I received a phone call from the attorney. She said that she spoke with Todd Nolan and he stated that his firm did nothing wrong. She took his word, ended the call and contacted me. He was correct in saying that our agreement did not contain any language about representing me in regards to the restitution. That was because there had not been any arrest made yet when we signed our agreement. And even though the attorney with the bar agreed that a reputable attorney would not want his client speaking with the prosecutor, that she spoke with Todd and because he claimed they did nothing wrong, that the case would be closed. I told her that she is incompetent at what she does. Although Todd stated he had documentation, she did nothing to have that documentation provided. She believed the attorney over the complainant.

I called and left a voicemail for the supervisor at the bar. While speaking with him on the phone, it was as if I had done something wrong. He scolded me for telling his employee that she was incompetent. He tried to talk over me then scolded me for interrupting him. I knew nothing would be done, and I was right. I asked for the documentation the Nolan Law Firm claimed to have because I knew it did not exist. And I haven't heard back from the bar. Todd, in his conversation with the bar lied. But they didn't want to hear that.

In the end, I signed a plea deal, although I couldn't be any more innocent. I signed a plea deal even after Todd Nolan, sitting in his conference room stated that he would never advise me to plead guilty when he knows I am innocent. Although I am a victim in a crime that caused me financial damages, the Nolan Law firm failed to follow through and we have lost out on any opportunity to recover what we have lost.

The Nolan Law Firm had a large marketing blitz towards the end of 2015. They were on television and all over social media. After hiring them, I have realized two things. First, the only winners are the attorneys. But second, if an attorney needs to utilize social media to gain clients, that isn't the attorney that needs to be hired. An attorney worthy of representing you should come on the merits of their work. A good attorney shouldn't have to advertise their services. They should come by word of mouth.