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My Dad Died; And I Was Bullied By A Lawyer

Apparently the Florida State Bar has no problem with Lawyers being liars and cheaters – in my opinion. I mean, there are likely a number of good people out there, in fact I’ve met a few that were helpful. But ultimately the message from Florida is that unless I’m willing to go into more than a lifetime (or 2) of debt, I cannot protect anyone else from the problems within the Justice System, or protect anyone from the problems I had with my father’s lawyer. And clearly there’s no one to stand up to the Bullies – even the truth can’t do it.

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When it happened, it was no surprise. The dying part I mean. My dad, Larry Davis, out lived most people’s ideas on the life expectancy of a patient with Mesothelioma. It was bad. The 1st year was a mess, then he had years of looking (& mostly feeling) better and one really long, awful year at the end. It started w/ a huge surgery, then a realization he would never eat normally again, then the deterioration. I admit, I did not see the day to day. It must’ve been terrible.

What I did do, despite feeling always unwelcome in the home dad lived in w/ his wife (he’d only been married a few months before his diagnosis), was visit him in Florida. Especially in the last few months, and holidays. Every weekend I went back and forth to Florida from North Carolina. In those last 6 or 8 months he’d asked me to get the papers for our timeshare in Rhode Island. He’d be signing them over to me as it was where we’d vacationed every summer since I was very young. He’d told the resort, his friends, his family, his wife and his attorney.

And then it happened.

I’d gone to Rhode Island for that particular weekend to see my mom, my 91 year old grandmother and my brother. They hadn’t seen me in forever since I’d only been traveling back and forth to Florida. It was my grandmother’s birthday. A woman who’d been there for me as much as my father. But on Monday I left to see dad. Half way there I got a voicemail that my dad was dead. There was nothing I could do and I should go home. I called his wife, Carol, and offered my condolences and, as always, my help, support, presence, whatever I could. I was told not to come. She was finally able to say what I’d always felt in my heart, I was not welcome.

The next few days, weeks and months all blend together from there. I spent hours and hours in the airport unable to go home, though by car it was only 3 hours away. My things were with my family up north, including the car I needed to get me home. I was unwelcome to go to the house my father stayed with his wife and there were no planes to take me back to where I came from.

Eventually I got back to Providence collected my things, but not my thoughts, and my mom made the trip back with me to NC. It took forever. And it was quiet. I couldn’t listen to music or think of anything but my dad. When I got home I called Carol. I got a rude call from one of her daughters and a nice call from the other. I tried to send organized messages, bills and such that I’d been handling for him, cable, emails,whatever. But I never got a response. I called about funeral plans, but saw the announcement online before ever getting the generic, everyone included, mass email about the plans.

I didn’t really have any options, warning or consideration. I wasn’t allowed to do anything, I was barely informed on when to show up. A few days after the funeral, I contacted the person my father had been trying to connect with, the man I thought was his attorney, Patrick J Murphy. He was nice enough. I thought he had my dad’s interests in mind.

A week or so later I got his 1st “statement”:

murphyslaw1murphyslaw2

I knew some of these claims were not true. And he was saying that I was the liar – which I knew not to be true. I also did not understand why he was now representing my dad’s widow. It seemed like a conflict of interest when according to the Florida laws we were equally eligible for his possessions, she as his wife, I as his daughter – not her daughter. I had to find the proof to disprove Murphy’s claims.

 

 

 

Patrick J Murphy, 1st of 272 W Hillsboro Blvd Deerfield now 650 E Hillsboro (I’m not sure, does he keep moving), has an F according to the Better Business Bureau site I just looked at. Wish I’d looked before dad’s death. Actually there are SO MANY THINGS I wish I’d done. Clearly.

Instead on honoring my father’s wishes Carol Leavitt and her attorney Patrick Murphy moved ahead with the lies they concocted. Based on the emails (provided) they both had been aware of my dad’s decision.

Patrick "we never talked about the time shares" Murphy

Patrick “we never talked about the time shares” Murphy

 

Carol "And Yet She Continued To Take Even This From Me" Leavitt Davis(?)

Carol “And Yet She Continued To Take Even This From Me” Leavitt Davis(?)

 

Anyway, this Patrick Murphy character, never responded to my own attorney’s inquiries. NEVER RESPONDED. I should not have been surprised because he never responded to the calls my father made to his office either, while my dad sat or laid in front of me dying.

Dad’s sister called Carol wondering why she was keeping the time share from me. We all sat around as dad told everyone the timeshare weeks would stay together and that they would go to me and I would allow for family use, if folks were willing to pay for the week themselves.

There were whispers from other Floridians that there was a new man in Carol’s life shortly after the death of my dad. It reminded me of the man I met in a hospital room, months ago, who appeared at his grave side. Or was it an attorney who had something to lose or to gain by helping? I never looked into it further. Just left it to wonder … and now air out here.

Finally, the following FEBRUARY (dad died in July) while I was accepting an award for him and our work with the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, sitting w/ my boyfriend, my dad’s sister and his brother in-law, I got a response from Carol and her attorney, Patrick J. Murphy:

If by "misinformed" you mean you 'forgot' to look through your email:

If by “misinformed” you mean you ‘forgot’ to look through your email:

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If by “your dad did not act”, you mean he died, well, I see your point … after a month of leaving messages at your office.

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How shocked we all were. Something seemed fishy, right from the start. I’m not a legal mind so I didn’t know what it was. Apparently what I should’ve done was sign it. According to my attorney, if I wasn’t as smart as I was – Patrick Murphy could’ve gotten in to a lot of trouble.

Apparently it’s all about money. For all these people.

Flash 2 years down the road, I have the timeshare that was ‘in dispute’ and a portion of my father’s asbestos settlement. Carol, having changed attorneys, wanted to continue to fight this out even after seeing all the proof that she was not entitled to the timeshare via my father’s wishes, no matter how hard she fought him on that. And not quite the “nothing” Patrick Murphy was suggesting in his documents, bullying me to sign his paperwork and go away, just like Carol had told me to do. All this while trying to come to terms with my father’s death and his secrets, as I was forced to learn of them, trying to protect myself from a system that doesn’t seem fair or just.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to simply protect myself from all the lies. That’s what this country’s judicial system is about.

In fact, I was warned that if I made a complaint to the Bar about Patrick Murphy, the Bar would look out for their own. In my opinion, that seems exactly right. I got this note, from Bar Counsel person Theodore P. Littlewood Jr., a little more than a week later:

What “careful consideration” means against another attorney from the Florida State Bar, I guess I will never understand. I’m certainly disappointment in Teddy’s statements and personally feel like Patrick Murphy should have some sort of punishment for lying (and bullying), I have come to the conclusion it’s every woman for herself. Damn morals, ethics and proof. If you have money to pay the lawyers, judges, & the system, you are fine. If not, too bad. You have to be willing to lose your life’s savings in court (or heck, in my case, before court) and compromise yourself (only if your moral and ethics are strong as I believe mine are) and then, maybe someone will prove wrong-doing. Got it Theodore Littlewood Jr. I hear you loud and clear. You are not required to think about ethics unless I pay your salary? I’ll let everyone here decide for themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

National Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Early in September I offered to donate to something in regards to Meso Research if anyone wanted to join my husband and I and our dog on a run through our neighborhood. I only got 1 taker and his doggie, and I’m going to donate an additional $10 ($5 per) to the sum already used to join the Alton IL race.

Anyway, I put together this little video in honor of our run, the men & women affected by this terrible disease and offer a little humor to go w/ a deadly subject:

 

Categories: Uncategorized
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