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Thread: Guzman Ariza

  1. #1
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    Default Guzman Ariza

    I'm an American and have been having issues around my daughter for some time. I have contacted Guzman Ariza several times and spoken at length with at least 2 lawyers. One in SD and one closer to where I live in Sosua... without going into too much detail, I would say my experience was horrendous.

    As I said I spoke to more than one lawyer, and for several hours in total. I have had so many different responses on the possible outcomes of each situation, which are specifically about 2 things: visitation and child support. And I mean by that... that one lawyer would say one thing, another lawyer would say another, and then the same lawyer would later say something altogether different... all about the exact same subject. In cases, almost completely contradicting each other or themselves.

    These responses at various times, ie what they have said would occur given my situation, gave me hope, ammunition vs the mother, and various talking points on many fronts. But they are so disparate that I have no idea even what the law is. The last conversation was pointless because they said I had no rights, and could do nothing to see my daughter save supervised visitation, which would occur so infrequently that it becomes pointless (and I live in this country). This is vastly different than the responses I received before, from the same lawyer and from another at the same firm.

    On top of that, for their service, ie to handle child support and visitation, at first was $5000 USD, now for some reason it is $6000 USD. Both of which are outrageous sums.

    I have heard many times on this board and other Dominicans and expats alike to avoid lawyers in this country. I get that now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by chas123 View Post
    I'm an American and have been having issues around my daughter for some time. I have contacted Guzman Ariza several times and spoken at length with at least 2 lawyers. One in SD and one closer to where I live in Sosua... without going into too much detail, I would say my experience was horrendous.

    As I said I spoke to more than one lawyer, and for several hours in total. I have had so many different responses on the possible outcomes of each situation, which are specifically about 2 things: visitation and child support. And I mean by that... that one lawyer would say one thing, another lawyer would say another, and then the same lawyer would later say something altogether different... all about the exact same subject. In cases, almost completely contradicting each other or themselves.

    These responses at various times, ie what they have said would occur given my situation, gave me hope, ammunition vs the mother, and various talking points on many fronts. But they are so disparate that I have no idea even what the law is. The last conversation was pointless because they said I had no rights, and could do nothing to see my daughter save supervised visitation, which would occur so infrequently that it becomes pointless (and I live in this country). This is vastly different than the responses I received before, from the same lawyer and from another at the same firm.

    On top of that, for their service, ie to handle child support and visitation, at first was $5000 USD, now for some reason it is $6000 USD. Both of which are outrageous sums.

    I have heard many times on this board and other Dominicans and expats alike to avoid lawyers in this country. I get that now...
    Short of being in the room with you and counsel and knowing exactly what you told counsel and what counsel told you, no one could possibly know what happened. All I can say is this: As a lawyer and former academic instructor and administrator, I used and continue to use the firm. All my interactions and assistance requests have been outstanding and 100% accurate. The firm is better than many U.S. firms with whom I dealt and with whom I consulted. With respect to the fee, I do not know what it covered; however, I would not complain about a USD$5,000 fee for a family law matter involving custody or visitation. Last, if a court is only considering supervised visitation for a parent, then there are some issues there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Taylor View Post
    Short of being in the room with you and counsel and knowing exactly what you told counsel and what counsel told you, no one could possibly know what happened. All I can say is this: As a lawyer and former academic instructor and administrator, I used and continue to use the firm. All my interactions and assistance requests have been outstanding and 100% accurate. The firm is better than many U.S. firms with whom I dealt and with whom I consulted. With respect to the fee, I do not know what it covered; however, I would not complain about a USD$5,000 fee for a family law matter involving custody or visitation. Last, if a court is only considering supervised visitation for a parent, then there are some issues there.
    I concur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Taylor View Post
    Short of being in the room with you and counsel and knowing exactly what you told counsel and what counsel told you, no one could possibly know what happened. All I can say is this: As a lawyer and former academic instructor and administrator, I used and continue to use the firm. All my interactions and assistance requests have been outstanding and 100% accurate. The firm is better than many U.S. firms with whom I dealt and with whom I consulted. With respect to the fee, I do not know what it covered; however, I would not complain about a USD$5,000 fee for a family law matter involving custody or visitation. Last, if a court is only considering supervised visitation for a parent, then there are some issues there.
    I understand you may have had good service from this firm. As long as you're giving background, I am a high level finance professional who sat 2 tiers down from the CFO of the largest bank in the world (no embellishment). I have dealt with the highest level of professionals at many multi national banks, government agencies, and others about issues that are at the highest level of corporate activity... I retired at 44. All of the irrelevancy aside...

    One, just one, example would be that a lawyer at the firm told me, with thorough questioning, what my visitation schedule may look like given my precise situation. He said it's based on time spent in country and gave me two examples. 1) If I lived in another country, which I don't, and came here twice a year for a week at a time, the judge would give me those two weeks with my daughter unsupervised (I took copious notes and asked several follow ups to every issue discussed). He went on to say that if I lived here full time, ie 12 months a year, again, given my precise situation (I am not a resident here), that the judge would most likely grant 2 days a month and about 2 weeks in the summer (again unsupervised)

    Now he says I would never be given unsupervised visits (my situation has not changed in any way) and they would be limited.

    That is but one example of something that changes the dynamic of living here for my daughter 100%.

    With that said, I am not saying this firm is derelict in duty, or has some systemic problem, or is ripping people off. I am simply relating my experience.

    The point on cost is precisely due to understanding the law and what I can expect for payment rendered. If conflicting information is offered, then the price is extremely suspect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chas123 View Post
    I understand you may have had good service from this firm. As long as you're giving background, I am a high level finance professional who sat 2 tiers down from the CFO of the largest bank in the world (no embellishment). I have dealt with the highest level of professionals at many multi national banks, government agencies, and others about issues that are at the highest level of corporate activity... I retired at 44. All of the irrelevancy aside...

    One, just one, example would be that a lawyer at the firm told me, with thorough questioning, what my visitation schedule may look like given my precise situation. He said it's based on time spent in country and gave me two examples. 1) If I lived in another country, which I don't, and came here twice a year for a week at a time, the judge would give me those two weeks with my daughter unsupervised (I took copious notes and asked several follow ups to every issue discussed). He went on to say that if I lived here full time, ie 12 months a year, again, given my precise situation (I am not a resident here), that the judge would most likely grant 2 days a month and about 2 weeks in the summer (again unsupervised)

    Now he says I would never be given unsupervised visits (my situation has not changed in any way) and they would be limited.

    That is but one example of something that changes the dynamic of living here for my daughter 100%.

    With that said, I am not saying this firm is derelict in duty, or has some systemic problem, or is ripping people off. I am simply relating my experience.

    The point on cost is precisely due to understanding the law and what I can expect for payment rendered. If conflicting information is offered, then the price is extremely suspect.
    Welcome to my world.....I've talked with maybe two dozen attorneys over the last several years in this country...numerous issues from civil to criminal.....The highest quote was USD$10,000 for a criminal case and that's just to get to the preliminary. At least you were not charged for a consultation that can run from RD$15-$RD25K.....LOL.

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    I have to say I have had ATROCIOUS service from Guzman Ariza. All of the staff in the Santo Domingo office also have this horrible attitude, like they are way more important than you are - even the secretaries. Even getting them to answer the phone is a nightmare, very often it just rings until the line cuts out. And when you do call, all you ever get is to speak to a secretary who takes a message and says that someone will call you back, and they never do. They actually have a dedicated email address for complaints - so they must get quite a few - ([email protected]) but nobody actually bothers to reply to messages you send to that address. And yes I have tried sending a PM to Fabio Guzman which was also ignored.

    Honestly I would strongly recommend going to another lawyer. There are some very good firms in Santo Domingo. Speak to Dr Gustavo Mejia-Ricart at BMR, he is one of the top Dominican lawyers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TropicalPaul View Post
    I have to say I have had ATROCIOUS service from Guzman Ariza. All of the staff in the Santo Domingo office also have this horrible attitude, like they are way more important than you are - even the secretaries. Even getting them to answer the phone is a nightmare, very often it just rings until the line cuts out. And when you do call, all you ever get is to speak to a secretary who takes a message and says that someone will call you back, and they never do. They actually have a dedicated email address for complaints - so they must get quite a few - ([email protected]) but nobody actually bothers to reply to messages you send to that address. And yes I have tried sending a PM to Fabio Guzman which was also ignored.

    Honestly I would strongly recommend going to another lawyer. There are some very good firms in Santo Domingo. Speak to Dr Gustavo Mejia-Ricart at BMR, he is one of the top Dominican lawyers.
    Heck I would like to know what are the good law firms in SD-I've searched high and low and nothing seems to pan out, but maybe that is just me.

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    Chas, you might want to call Squire Patton Boggs. https://www.squirepattonboggs.com/en...o?explore=team

    They might not have anyone who does family law, but they can probably point you in the right direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmythegreek View Post
    Heck I would like to know what are the good law firms in SD-I've searched high and low and nothing seems to pan out, but maybe that is just me.
    https://www.squirepattonboggs.com/en...o?explore=team

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    Mediating child custody disputes is an absolute no win situation. Both parties swear they are better parents, always! No money or attorney will solve the problem. I would rather have a child custody dispute with a jackal than a Dominican chica

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