Sunday, October 18, 2009

Marching Orders part #1

A couple of months ago Legal Eagle and Mine Host discussed briefly the matter of clients not feeling their lawyer is entirely on their side.

The matter of dismissing one's lawyer cropped up. Mine Host has form in this area.

It was suggested that Mine Host may have been blaming the lawyer for Mine Host's failure to not disclose all details of his case. Hmmm.... read the next few posts & see if the lawyer or the client who was out of order.

One of the messier partings was from a Brisbane law firm with a double-barrelled name, quartered in a high rise office tower.... Messy because it took a while.

This firm had been Mine Host's "law firm", giving advice & acting for him in various matters, one such matter being an asset purchase.

This asset came with a few clapped out but registered, vehicles. It was the lawyer's duty to ensure the transfer of Motor Vehicle Registrations.

The asset transferred smoothly, as did the ancillaries, including motor vehicles.

However registrations of these motor vehicles did not transfer to Mine Host. The (annual) registrations subsequently expired without renewal notices having arrived.

Mine Host telephoned to the Department of Transport & enquired as to when he could expect the renewal notices (and new registration sticker to affix to the window).

The Department, upon learning the registration number (on the "Number Plate" affixed to the front and rear of the vehicle) refused to continue discussions, stating the motor vehicles were registered to another party, and the Dept. was not at liberty to discuss the registrations with an "outside party".

Furnishing the Department of Transport with proof of ownership made no difference. The Dept. could discuss the registrations only with the holder of those registrations.

Mine Host contacted the lawer at the firm with the double-barrelled name, explained what had happened & asked for him to sort the matter out.

Nothing changed.

Some time later Mine Host contacted this lawyer to find out why he was not getting satisfaction, and asked to see a copy of the transfer form that had been lodged with the Department of Transport.

Nothing was forthcoming, and whenever Mine Host phoned, the lawyer was not available.

Emails to the lawyer likewise went unanswered.

Two Years later Mine Host gave up emailing the lawyer.

Eventually a sympathetic clerk at the Motor Vehicle Registry informed Mine Host that at time of transfer a submission had been recieved from the seller, but not from the buyer (that would be Mine Host).

Not revealing who held the registrations, the clerk asked Mine Host if he knew a certain person. Mine Host did, the person was a former employee of the vendor. There was no fathomable explanation for why this person held the registrations.

Mine Host made contact with this fellow, who was by now most confused, being stuck with vehicle registrations he knew nothing about.

The renewals had not been delivered in a timely fashion, and the registrations were now in default.

Of course a simple transfer from the current holder to Mine Host, now possible, would have resolved the matter, however the matter should never have arisen in the first place, and the other fellow was in all the trouble that comes with "defaulting" on a government debt.

Mine Host, by now well & truly tired of a lawyer who did not return phone calls or emails, made a most robust phone call to the big name law firm, explaining in a very matter of fact voice the situation he was in, with particular emphasis on the fact that Two Years had now passed, and the situation that an innocent party was in, possibly all due to inaction by the lawyer at the time of transfer.

Another partner took the call and discussed the matter with Mine Host, undertaking to find out what had happened. Some time later this other partner provided Mine Host with the original of the motor vehicle registration transfer form. It clearly showed that the registrations should have been transferred to Mine Host...... It had never been lodged.

Mine Host expressed to this other partner his disappointment with the law firm.

The law firm sent a bill for $660 for forwarding the (unlodged) transfer form.

The Department's debt collection lawyer had been sooled onto the bunny who had been lumbered with the regos. This lawyer, now armed with the original of the transfer form, instructed the Queensland Government to transfer the registrations to Mine Host, expunge the other fellow from the registration records, to expunge all mention of any "default", to cease all action against the other fellow, and to reverse any action that had been taken. Furthermore the department was to immediately notify the hapless fellow of this.

What had happened at time of transfer?
Someone, with only one of two matching forms, had read the back of the vendor's transfer form, and taken his "agent or servant" to be the person to whom the registrations were to be transferred.

Mine Host no longer uses that hyphenated-named law firm.


Dataceptionist said...

(having read backward from the other marching orders posts) How OLD are you that you have had SO MANY bad leagl experiences? Or have you simply had lots of complicated business dealings?

And here I always thought you a humble publican? (Are you actually the mogul who owns Castle Hill Tavern???)

Mine Host said...

Dataceptionist, I am young & vigorous! (snort, snort)

Never heard of Castle Hill though.
Perhaps it is not in Qld?
Is it a town or a hill?