A very important issue that just does not get talked about - IT IS UNCOMFORTABLE. How does a litigant address the issue of dealing with an opposition attorney who demonstrates clear examples of questionable competence due to age ailments. There is no mechanism in place to broach the subject.
Phoenix Attorney Joe M Romley Practicing Law 53 Years: When is old too old.
Long time Phoenix attorney Joe M Romley has been practicing law in Arizona since 1965 – fifty-three years. That is a very long time. When does the value of “experience” start to give way to the cruelty of Mother Nature with the realities of old age? It is always an uncomfortable discussion to bring up the subject of a person who is showing signs of aging and how it may be directly affecting performing their professional duties. What are the potential ramifications when the issues are complex legal matters for a number of involved litigants all paying the excessive cost associated with legal representation? These are considerations that become highly relevant, yet never receive the attention they demand – it’s an uncomfortable subject.
According to their website, the State Bar of Arizona (SBA) “exists to serve and protect the public with respect to the provision of legal services and access to justice.” What are the protections in place to assure parties involved in litigation are not being affected to their detriment in legal matters due to a licensed attorney showing signs of potential dementia or other conditions related to physical ailments like senility associated with aging? Simply put there are absolutely none.
An attorney such as Joe M Romley is allowed to continue practicing law despite demonstrating clear signs of diminished cognitive agility. There is no process in place for an adversary litigant to challenge Joe M Romley’s competence. The client can of course simply fire their attorney, the opposition has no recourse. The SBA will not even accept a formal complaint on the issue of competence associated with diminished mental fitness, so much for protecting the public.
The only real recourse for an adversary litigant is to document the incidents in real-time as a means to memorialize the facts associated with Romley’s legal representation deficiencies. In this way during future court matters, which are destined to take place, the evidenced occurrences of these signs of dementia, senility and/or mental lapses due to age can be retrieved for the Judge’s attention that may garner the proper attention that the SBA conveniently chooses to ignore.
A number of recent court filings by Joe M Romley have provided the necessary evidence that irrefutably establishes the issue of competency. Just to highlight a few examples of a deterioration of the legal acumen of Joe M Romley are the following:
- Repeatedly filing legal motions in the same case despite the courts having made previous rulings against the very same Romely arguments. Despite clear res judicata issues, the fact is it appeared Joe M Romley was completely unaware that he had already presented the same failed legal arguments.
- In a divorce filing, Joe M Romley claimed that there were missing child and spousal support payments despite previously signing off with a court filing that ALL payments were complete. He appeared unaware of his previous official acknowledgment contrary to his false allegation of nonpayment.
- After filing motions to sanction the opposing litigant in association with “missing” U.S. Treasury Bonds, after the government was officially involved with a “lost or stolen report,”Joe M Romley had to acknowledge that it was his own client who in fact had been in possession of the bonds in question the entire SIX YEARS of accusations. It would further be revealed that 18 of 43 of the bonds in question had been attempted to be redeemed by “some unknown person” by forging the required signature of the opposition litigant.
- After several incidences of filing a Supplemental Response, the Court had to make it part of the official court record that “nothing in the rules allows a ‘supplemental response.’” Somehow after 53 years of practicing law, Joe M Romley had to be admonished by a Judge that he had repeatedly been making filings that had absolutely no legal basis or authority within the rules by just making up a nonexistent “supplemental response.”
- A recent and clearly outrageous example of unhinged legal filings in the family court involved frivolous accusations with no legal or factual basis to support the DEMAND the opposition litigant be JAILED. Despite the Courts multiple warnings that it was “not going to incarcerate,” Joe M Romley continued his harassment.
- The inability to learn simple technology such as reading and responding to emails seems to be a challenge for Joe Romley not to mention his admitted ability to get up and around.
- Joe has on multiple occasions forgotten that matters had already been settled and files pleadings as if they never happened only to be reminded later the matters had already been resolved.
The potential problem with the many incidences of Joe M Romley’s condition, whether it be early stage dementia or just signs of senility associated with old age, the consequences of having to deal with these conditions in the context of the judicial system is the stress, effort of work required and the very significant financial cost of legal representation. These are all very real circumstances for the opposition litigants to Romley’s physical ailments. Again, there is no basic recourse to seek legal relief through the courts or the SBA. The only option is to publicly document the occurrences to memorialize for future court filings.
You have choices when hiring an attorney do your homework and consider the consequences when hiring an attorney that may have age related challenges as things can go bad real fast.
UPDATE: CONCERN FILED WITH THE ARIZONA STATE BAR