I found attorney Peter Goatz through the Nevada state bar lawyer referral program. I met with him regarding a clear cut breach of contract matter. He seemed knowledgeable about the various business court judges and I agreed to consult with him. He demanded a $10,000 retainer just to discuss the case. I thought it was a little excessive for such a simple matter but time was of the essence and I didn’t have time to shop around for representation. This ended up turning out very badly for me and great for this firmu2019s bank account. I scheduled a meeting with Goatz and I was billed $ 112.50 for it. “Calendaring meeting with Mr. Goatz” this was the first item description on my outrageously EXPENSIVE invoice. Advertisement: Replay Ad Ads by ZINC This was just the beginning of this firms UNETHICAL billing practices of PADDING and creating FRIVOLOUS charges to increase their revenue. It took the secretary all of 45 seconds to ask me if a time would work for a meeting. 45 seconds worth of work for over a hundred dollars!!! They claimed that it was a 90 minute task to schedule a meeting with me. RIP OFF!!!!!!!!When I showed up to my meeting there was another man there and I had no idea who he was. Goatz introduced this man as another attorney by the name of Anthony Zmaila which apparently was going to join our meeting. I thought it was a little strange that Goatz did not disclose to me prior to the meeting that somebody else would be joining us. I don’t like surprises especially not when I’m dealing with a matter I’m about to expensively litigate. I wondered why a Senior Partner needed to sit in on an initial consultation just to discuss my legal options. I started to worry that I had just given $10,000 to an attorney who needed to have a senior partner sit in and supervise a simple discussion over a breach of contract matter. I began to wonder if Goatz was competent enough to handle my legal matter on his own and unfortunately I soon came to find out that he was not. The duration of my consultation I felt completely uncomfortable as Zmaila was making rude and absurd comments that were irrelevant to my case. Zmaila insinuated that I might have a weak case because the individual that breached my contract may have some political clout in this town because he was a very small real estate developer of ONE shopping center in Nevada. This was his opening statement of the meeting and it took everything out of me not to tell him off and ask for my retainer back right at that moment. Zmaila was dressed shabbily in jeans and a heavy tobacco smoker he disgustingly reeked like an ashtray full of cigarette butts. His breath was horrible and I could hardly breathe around him. I normally would not criticize someone for their lack of hygiene or unprofessional appearance but when I just handed someone $10,000 I expect a little more professional courtesy. I certainly would never hire someone with that type of appearance to represent me in a legal matter. I left the meeting feeling annoyed and nauseous. Shortly after this meeting, Goatz went on vacation and during his time away opposing counsel emailed me and asking why I had not responded to the last correspondence that I received. I wondered the same thing and immediately called Mr. Goatz’s office. His secretary seemed to be annoyed and acted as if she didn’t want to be bothered with my phone call. She had no idea whether my correspondence was sent certified mail nor did she even really behave like she knew what a certified mail was. I had to actually spend time going into my email and finding the correspondence and sending it to the opposing council myself. Not sure why I was charged $37.50 for this correspondence to be mailed via regular mail and not ($7) certified. This firm likes to take shortcuts to save money. Isn’t that Lawyer 101? Send all pertinent correspondence via certified mail? At these prices I would have expected this firm to hand deliver my correspondence on a silver platter. Goatz failed to disclose to me that the firm he works for would be double billing me on every phone call, meeting and email that we engaged in. Anthony Zmaila the owner of the firm and Goatz boss “reviewed” and billed me for every interaction that I had with Mr. Goatz. Zmaila his boss even googled me and did an Internet search on me before the meeting and billed me for it. I wonder if Zmaila does a “review” every time Goatz sneezes or takes a whizz. Let me clarify that this firm DID NOT file any complaints in court for me nor did they do any litigation. I was being double billed at preliminary stages of my legal matter on simple discussions of a breach of contract matter. A few email communications, one conference call and one letter of correspondence was sent to opposing counsel by this firm. I voiced my concerns and needs and wants on this legal matter very clearly. I was seeking punitive damages etc. The strategy that this firm recommended was for me to walk away and sue later in hopes for damages. This strategy was basically to protect the other party that I had the legal matter with. I decided that I would terminate the relationship with Goatz based on his poor and inefficient strategy. I went to his office and requested my bill. The secretary said that it was not ready and I told her that I would wait. The secretary became really uncomfortable and insisted that she could not produce the bill for me. I sat down and told her I was not leaving without my final bill. She became anxious and kept disappearing in the back. When she finally came out I almost fell over when I saw the total on the bill. She kept saying that it was a pre bill and that it could be less etc. I was speechless and I walked out. I could tell by her behavior and demeanor that this was not the first time that a client wa shocked by their billing practices. I then went home and emailed Goatz and asked him to seize all activity. I then complained about his unethical billing practices. I ended up receiving another final bill with some more charges on it and I have copied them for you below: 7/24/2018 $25: Reading my email to cease and desist all activity on matter. Who charges a client to read an email that basically says stop working on this matter. 7/27/2018 $50: Billing me to read my email complaint about their excessive invoice and their unethical billing practices. IRONIC! OFCOURSE ONLY THIS FIRM WOULD BILL A CLIENT TO READ A COMPLAINT ABOUT UNETHICAL BILLING PRACTICES. For example, Goatz asked me to purchase a program for $50 to download all of the emails pertinent to my legal matter. After doing this his secretary bills me for $225 to u201cupload emailsu201d. Why would I be charged for something that I already completed myself? Zmaila charged me $97 to do an internet search of me or my company I am still unsure to this day why this firm completes internet searches on their own clients and bils them. Not sure why I have to pay this firm $97 to google my name. It’s absolutely absurd that an attorney I hired to handle my legal matter would have his boss do an Internet search on me and then bill me for it. Zmaila also charged me $900 to review my lease agreement. I suppose that Goatz was not competent enough to review a simple contract. The correspondence that was supposedly sent to opposing council that never was received was also reviewed by Zmaila for $80. This firm doubled billed me so that Mr. Goatz, Age 32 could get experience and lawyering training at my companiesu2019 expense. I ended up paying this firm almost $5,000 to discuss a completely useless and inefficient strategy and to send one correspondence via regular mail that never even arrived. No motions were filed, nothing was litigated and NO documents were submitted to any court. STAY AWAY FROM THIS FIRM AND STAY AWAY FROM PETER GOATZ AND ANTHONY ZMAILA. I HAVE DEALT WITH NUMEROUS ATTORNEYS AND NEVER HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF THIS BADLY.
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