Former client: 'Moore should not be a judge'
Before the Republican primary I noticed a letter from the husband of a former client of Dan Moore. He reminded voters of Mr. Moore’s public reprimand from the Supreme Court for charging his wife an unreasonable fee in her prior divorce and demanding more as the case moved forward, despite having agreed to a flat fee. The writer noted the Supreme Court’s disciplinary action neglected to order Mr. Moore to issue a refund for the unethically gained excess charges. Likely the court assumed that any person of integrity would voluntarily refund those ill-gotten fees. Mr. Moore never did.
The letter caught my eye because of a similar experience. Mr. Moore agreed to represent me for a flat fee in seeking a continuation of child support for my son beyond the usual cut-off age. Indiana law permits this when a child has an incapacity delaying his ability to be fully self-supporting. I agreed to pay all I could on my Social Security disability income. I also agreed to gather supporting documentation and line up an expert witness. Mr. Moore knew I could not be squeezed for more money since I did not have it. Here is what he did instead.
He provided less service, so much less that his lack of diligence cost us the case. I provided reports from Greater Clark Schools covering years of testing and remediation. Instead of organizing and highlighting the most relevant findings in this material, Mr. Moore just dumped the 157 pages on the judge. He left it to Judge Granger to wade through years of test results and specialist terms without any expert witness to guide her or help evaluate the technical information. In quoting from the reports, he mixed up the terms “artistic” and “autistic,” which did not inspire confidence.
Mr. Moore was able to dump the schools’ reports on the judge because the opposing attorney craftily agreed to their admission without any supporting witness. I had recruited the Greater Clark Schools’ Autism Coordinator with a Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Services and a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from I.U. to testify for us. She agreed knowing my child and believing our cause was just. She was at court waiting to testify when Mr. Moore was granted a break and made a call to say he was running late. He then sent my expert home without presenting any testimony from her, saying she was not needed. Then, when I was called to testify, the opposing attorney demolished everything I said because I was just a mother and not a qualified expert. In her decision Judge Granger made clear the lack of expert testimony was fatal. But it was testimony that I lacked only because Mr. Moore was in a hurry to get somewhere else in pursuit of fatter fees.
Mr. Moore did aggressively attack my ex-husband when he took the stand. He forgot his job was to convince the judge our child had a legitimate incapacity, not that his father was a jerk. Mr. Moore did what comes naturally to him, not what the case required. I have more regard for my ex-husband than for my ex-lawyer.
I also learned too late that there were many Indiana higher court cases directly on point that would have supported my position if Mr. Moore had done his homework and cited them. There are two ways for a lawyer to cheat a client, charging too much, or charging all she has and doing too little. Mr. Moore has done both and should not be a judge.
Charlotte Davis, Jeffersonville