New Reviewer

Resolved: Phillips Law Pllc - Attorney Michael Phillips Minneapolis Our experience of him was terrible - Here is the horrible way in which he “handled” our case:

Attorney Michael Phillips in Minneapolis represented us in a civil court case. Our experience of him was terrible. Here is the horrible way in which he "handled" our case: • Assured us at the outset that he had the experience and knowledge to handle our case, even if it went to trial. He later brought in another attorney with "trial experience," so we ended up paying even more for two lawyers.• Did not realize that the key to our case was challenging a power of attorney signed by a woman of unsound mind. If the power of attorney had been challenged, all illegal changes made under it would be disallowed and we would have gotten our money.• Failed to charge defendants for fraud, for taking more than $400,000 through illegal beneficiary changes.• Failed to file for putative damages, which would have greatly increased the amount that we could have recovered. • Failed to sue the insurance companies involved and the financial advisor involved (in fact, he said this was not possible when it was); this would have hastened the likelihood of recovering our money and of getting more. • Lost or did not know he had the key piece of evidence in our case. While we begged him for months to obtain it, he already had it. We traveled thousands of miles to meet then he said he would not meet with us about what this evidence contained, and left the room. This was after we had paid him more than $100,000; he would not give us the time of day. This key evidence was not used in an important summary judgment hearing, because he didn’t even know he’d gotten it.• Failed to notice a fraudulent insurance claim filed by one of the defendants; we found it ourselves in the case paperwork, right before our trial date.• Failed to notice that one of the perpetrators – a so-called "financial advisor" – was on probation for felony possession of drugs, had declared bankruptcy, and had been forced by regulatory authorities to pay large sums back to clients for wrongdoing. These facts would have seriously damaged if not destroyed, this individual’s credibility. • Delayed for months in getting key depositions and information, including medical evidence that was requested for five months and he never obtained. This evidence would have been in our favor and would have greatly facilitated our case.• Made us spend an extraordinary amount of time nagging him to act on our behalf; we were then billed for this time. Our total bill was three times what he estimated it would be, at the highest, if we went to trial. And we did not go to trial.• Gave us bad advice on numerous occasions that caused us to miss opportunities to get important evidence and take actions that would have settled our case and gotten the money much faster, without his high legal bills. We requested a reduction in our bill because of all the mistakes he made and how he hurt our case, and he absolutely refused. We then complained to the Bar Association. They did nothing, even though all these incidents and more were documented, even by recordings of our discussions with Phillips. Apparently you have to prove that the outcome would have been different if he had not made all these mistakes. How can anyone prove an outcome would be different? It’s impossible. It is lawyers protecting lawyers. If you get a bad lawyer in Minnesota, you truly have no recourse. Other attorneys - in other states – have told us that Phillips’ actions clearly constitute malpractice, and that the amounts we paid to him and his associates were obscene. After all the agony of the lawsuit and the incredible frustration of dealing with him, we recovered only enough to pay his exorbitant legal bills. This man, and who knows how many other incompetent attorneys, are still being referred to unsuspecting people through the Hennepin County Bar Association referral center. Don’t trust these referrals. Don’t use this service. If you are forced to consider a lawyer who is not personally referred to you by someone who can vouch for their competence, demand to speak to three former clients who had cases similar to yours, who can vouch for their work. If the attorney can’t provide you with these references, move on. Our recommendation is to stay away from Attorney Michael Phillips. He drove us crazy with his lack of communication and procrastination. He doesn’t know what he claims to know, he hurt our case, he failed to provide strategy or leadership and to proactively advocate for us, and he wasted our money.
View full review
Resolved
ID
#640767 Review #640767 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Reason of review
Poor customer service
New Reviewer

Resolved: SIP Wealth Management - Anthony Bauer

Anthony Bauer, “financial advisor,” SIP Wealth Management in Minneapolis and of Berthel Fisher, violated his ethical and legal responsibilities as the “financial advisor” to our deceased father, Dale Sheets, for whom he set up various financial instruments. As soon as Dale died, he collaborated with Dale’s daughter to make beneficiary changes to what Dale set up; diverting more than $400,000 he’d left his other children, to her. Our father knew he was dying of cancer. The income of his estate – which included one million dollars just awarded by the court for our mother’s care - was to be used for our seriously brain damaged mother during her lifetime, and to pass according to what Dale set up through beneficiary designations, to his four children after our mother died. As soon as our father passed away, Anthony Bauer collaborated with one of our sisters, Catherine Sheets Rice Tisdall, to begin making secret changes in the beneficiaries our father had set up – impacting $400,000 or more. One brother’s entire inheritance was taken, cheating him and his two children of the entire portion his father left him. A second son had a substantial portion of his inheritance taken as well. Since our sister was now his client, Bauer made money managing her money. The more he assisted her in transferring to herself, the more he made. During this time, Bauer was on probation for possession of drugs. He declared bankruptcy. He has already been made to pay restitution to other clients for his actions in other situations, as per the records of FINRA, the organization regulating securities. Anthony Bauer, agent, disregarded the laws governing a power of attorney in Minnesota by assisting Catherine Sheets Rice Tisdall in these transfers. After Barbara died, when David Sheets asked if his bequest was in line with what his father had set up, Bauer said lied to him and said yes even though Bauer knew Catherine had directed a substantial portion of it to herself. The mother in this case was paralyzed and unable to speak or write. As per medical experts, she was mentally incompetent. Bauer claimed he followed Catherine's directions according to the wishes of the mother. It was impossible for the mother to have or communicate any wishes. The judge found there was no evidence of any direction by either parent, under any circumstances, to make beneficiary changes. We believe Bauer had a fiduciary responsibility to our father to respect his legal directives, and to know, honor and observe the laws governing a POA after our father died, especially when making the changes that robbed us of our inheritance and benefited him financially. When our sister asked him to make these changes, he should have said no, it’s illegal and unethical. Bauer’s employers, SIP Wealth Management and Berthel, Fisher and Company, are also culpable in this matter. They are responsible for ensuring that the “financial advisors” who represent them, adhere to the law and to the ethical guidelines of this profession. Dearborn, Integrity and Jackson National financial companies are also culpable. They made these beneficiary changes without checking to see that they complied with Minnesota law. Anyone claiming to hold a power of attorney and making beneficiary changes that benefited them personally, should have triggered all kinds of alarms. All companies, and Bauer, have denied any responsibility for what they did. We have filed complaints with all relevant regulatory bodies. Please consider our experience with Anthony Bauer and with these companies before trusting him or them, with your money, especially if a vulnerable elderly person is involved.
View full review
Resolved
ID
#640765 Review #640765 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Reason of review
Poor customer service
New Reviewer

Resolved: If you have or are considering putting money into Dearborn National, please consider our experience.

If you have or are considering putting money into the above insurance company, please consider our experience. This insurance company enabled an illegal, fraudulent scam to rob us of the inheritance our father left us. Unfortunately the scam was done by our own sisters. It involved the use of a “power of attorney” (invalid because it was signed by a woman who was mentally incompetent from a stroke) to change beneficiary designations our father had set up, from us to our sisters, in secret and behind our backs. Financial services companies are required to make sure their procedures conform to the law. The law forbids this type of activity. With proper procedures in place, alarms should have gone off all over the place when this paperwork came into these companies. That did not happen. They just made the change, allowing our sisters to steal from us. When we found out about the theft and complained they claim they have no responsibility for what they did. Well, we don’t think so. Here are the laws concerning a power of attorney that they violated or enabled. • A person holding a power of attorney can only take actions that benefit the principal, in this case our mother. Making beneficiary changes does not benefit the principal, who by the time they take effect will be deceased. • The holder of a power of attorney cannot use it to enrich themselves. Making beneficiary changes giving themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars, is clearly enriching themselves. • The holder of a power of attorney cannot change beneficiaries of certain insurance instruments; according to the law only the principal can do this. The principal in this case was completely handicapped, mentally and physically. She played no part in this. The insurance companies made these changes based on the directions of our sister, not our mother. Anyone who saw this beneficiary change request come in should have realized that all these provisions were violated. They should have investigated. If they had even attempted to speak with the principal to verify the transaction, they would instantly know that this person was mentally incompetent – she could not even speak except to vocalize some syllables. Instead they just let it go through. As a result, two very deserving children were robbed of the entire amount of the inheritance that could have paid for their college educations. That’s a crime. Again, Dearborn National Life Insurance Company, Integrity Insurance Company and Jackson National Life Insurance Company will not take any responsibility for their actions. They won’t compensate us for their mistakes in any way. They won’t even admit their mistakes. Financial companies OWE IT TO THEIR CUSTOMERS to observe the law. Especially, they have a responsibility to protect vulnerable adults like our mother from being a pawn in a scam. Stay away from these companies and find ones that are more ethical, responsible and competent.
View full review
Resolved
ID
#640760 Review #640760 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Service
Dearborn National Claim
Reason of review
Not as described/ advertised