Jewish World Review April 27, 2012

Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams
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Consumer Reports

Is attorney sloppy, unethical, both or neither?; more | DEAR BRUCE: My daughter has been in the process of getting a divorce for two years. It's not because of her soon-to-be ex-husband, but her attorney. His office has been ill-prepared and asks for continuances. Because this has been strung along and she was spending more and more money, she fired the attorney. Now he is suing her for $6,500.

Is there anyone to whom she can report this negligence? She also believes that he has been giving information to her husband's lawyer, because they have information that could have come only from her attorney. Is there anything she can do? -- T.P., via email

DEAR T.P.: It seems to me there is more to this story than meets the eye.

Your daughter should confront her former attorney about the information she thinks he has provided to the opposing attorney. She also should contact the ethics committee of the local bar association, tell them her side and get their opinion on whether her attorney has acted unethically in divulging possibly confidential information and in dragging out the proceedings.

DEAR BRUCE: Our children are having a tough time in public school. We have no debt, including no mortgage, and we make about $100,000 a year. We have looked into sending our two kids to private school. It's going to cost a substantial amount of money. We thought about getting a mortgage on our home to help cover the costs but at the same time investing that money, using only what we need at the time and hoping to come out with a little extra in the end. What do you think? -- Reader, via email

DEAR READER: Is it really that necessary to send your kids to a private school that requires you to get an additional mortgage? As desirable as the private school may be, in my view, it would be imprudent to borrow money to pay for it.

I would not go out and put my house in hock the way you have described. I'd think about this long and hard before I made the commitment.

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Send your questions to JWR contributor Bruce Williams by clicking here. (Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.) Interested in buying or selling a house? Let Bruce Williams' "House Smart" be your guide. (Sales of the book help fund JWR).


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