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New Hampshire Attorneys Now Cost Nothing

Contact: Jon Moseley, 703-850-3733


MEDIA ADVISORY, Nov. 14 /Standard Newswire/ -- After many retaliation efforts against Attorney Caroline Douglas over her decade-long whistle blowing, the State Court fashioned a rule that permits disgruntled clients to avoid paying overdue bills. Attorneys may not take fees from trust for work performed without express permission or if a billing question is raised later.


Photo: Attorney Caroline Douglas


The new retroactive standards target Douglas specifically by finding that her taking partial bill payments from trust was wrong. The Court will sanction Douglas in November.


Applying this same new rule even-handedly to all attorneys means clients may raise questions just to avoid paying overdue bills.


Caroline Douglas, a divorce attorney and co-author of the NH treatise on Family Law, was first targeted for retaliation during a scorched-earth divorce from her husband, former US Congressman and State Supreme Court Justice Charles G. Douglas III. She complained publicly that she could not get a fair trial because of her husband's connections. She testified at legislative hearings about how the Ol' Boy's Club quietly affected many case outcomes over a decade.


Her outspokenness contributed to the 2000 Legislative vote for impeachment of the State Supreme Court. She founded the Ex-Wives of Judges Club -- spouses of high-ranking officials across the US unable to receive fair treatment because of the insider mentality of judges.


Douglas' two divorce clients each received multi-million dollar awards but failed to pay over $100,000 in legal fees. One case involved $77,000 - she removed $49,000. Another, the past-due was $20,000 - she received $17,000. Attorneys now need permission before taking funds from trust.


Attorney Douglas relied on prior advice of former top-tier judge-partner-husband that the transfer/payment was ethical.


During their divorce, the Court interpreted it differently. Douglas believes such complaints are a litigation tactic. One client was offered financial incentives; other clients said the former judge provided in-house counsel for them to file complaints against his ex-wife. Two dozen cases were dismissed but the State Bar vigorously pursued two cases that establish new standards for collection of earned fees. The Bar seeks disbarment.


The State's 10-year investigation floundered in year 8 when the Bar requested a mental exam claiming the ex-wife was mentally incompetent for the practice of law. While some argue that calling the Bar network corrupt might be labeled insanity, a Court-appointed Harvard psychiatrist reported the Attorney/ex wife was competent, highly intelligent and sane; that allegation was dropped.