"First off, I'm really sorry you're reading this review because it means you're caught up in a bad situation just like I was. I feel for you. It REALLY sucks and it helped me a LOT to see it as a business deal gone bad rather than take personally the miserable behavior of the other party. And the cost of hiring an attorney when they get free representation from the city.
Nonetheless, when you need an attorney, definitely go find yourself an expert in the area of law specific to your case. Experience proves costsaving in the end and it actually does matter that opposing attorneys in town (and the judges!!) know and respect your attorney well. Mr. Hall proved this to be true in my unlawful detainer suit which almost went to trail.
Personally, I'm the last person you'd find wearing a $150 pair of jeans or a paying $12 for a martini, and as someone truly housepoor and faced with a deadbeat housemate who refused to leave (and the police wouldn't throw out) I was VERY conscious about how much time I spent on the phone and in the office with Michael Hall. Mr. Hall was good about having his paralegal do what was appropriate for the paralegal and having his associate attorney (at $250/hour instead of $350/hour) handle anything that didn't really require his direct expertise or attention.
It still felt unfair to pay good money to deal with a bad housemate, but you never get better than a 'just decent' attorney unless you really pay for it. And if you make the mistake of wishing you had spent more afterwards...well, it's a nasty, painful regret you have to live with for a while.
Not that Michael Hall's the most expensive attorney out there, but there's two reasons I chose him and ended up feeling lucky I did.
On a bunch of occasions, I found Mr. Hall smart, thoughtful and really insightful about how things go down. Many conversations started with, "You'd like us to do THING X and we can do that. Here's what I predict will happen and here's what I need to warn you might happen. And, finally, here's an approach that we can take that might accomplish something close to your intention with THING X and/or avoid bad outcome Y."
I really appreciated that he spoke in such instances with expertise and based on experience, rather than estimations and opinions.
Mr. Hall proved to be so knowledgeable and so practical that I - an admitted control freak--was actually able to "turn it over to his capable hands" and actually start sleeping at night during a very nervewracking period. What's that worth to you?! To me it was a LOT.
I'm totally frustrated how long it took to get the deadbeat housemate to leave, but bottomline, he's gone because Mr. Hall was great at shutting down his lies, false assertions, and stalling techniques. It could have been much, much worse.
Best part of it, was that the housemate's attorney became my best advocate. He was way in over his head and was so eager to settle quickly and avoid going to court, it ended up saving me thousands and thousands. In fact, the settlement included the deadbeat paying ME not the other way around. Woo-hoo!!
Obviously, the results of my case impact my opinion of Mr. Hall's services. But I was entirely prepared for a less satisfactory result and actually as okay as I could be with that because I really felt I was well represented."