Harrison, Benis & Spence was engaged to represent me in a lawsuit. I had previously worked with Chris Benis, but when I brought this case to his firm, he turned it over to partner Jim Harrison.
As part of preparation for defense against a motion for Summary Judgment, I provided Mr. Harrison with documents regarding the issues, including proof that the opposing side had committed perjury in their Declarations filed with the court to support their motion.
On the morning of the hearing, Mr. Harrison arrived in court appearing tired, disheveled, harried, agitated and disorganized. He immediately began complaining that Pierce County (where my case was filed) should change their procedures to be like King County which calls motions first, so attorneys can get on with their day. All the while, Harrison was anxiously fidgeting and incessantly checked cell phone text messages.
When the case was called, Harrison went before the judge but appeared unable to focus upon his presentation. He could not locate pertinent documents, failed to present the documentary evidence of the perjury and failed to mention, let alone articulate that the underlying Contract on which the opposing side had filed their case was in fact invalid, having been superseded by a later contract with another party.
During the proceeding, the judge asked a question related to one of the documents in her possession, but Harrison was unable to find it, even though it had been deliberately printed on bright yellow paper.
Following what seemed like a lifetime shuffling through papers, fumbling and fidgeting, Harrison turned around to the spectator seating area, looked at me, shrugging as if I was supposed to do something to save him.
The Hearing Transcript shows that the judge appeared to go out of her way, providing every conceivable opportunity for Harrison to get his act together, even going so far as attempting to lead him in the right direction, but she finally had to give up and make her ruling.
As she began pronouncing her decision, Harrison attempted to speak, at which point she abruptly cut him off, stating hed been given ample opportunity which he failed to utilize.
Needless to say, the judge granted the opponents motion, dismissed my monetary counterclaims and granted a judgment against me for the opponents attorneys fees.
Almost immediately, I sent an email to the firms partner Chris Benis detailing Harrisons court performance, but received no response.
At a later Mediation hearing for my one remaining claim, the opposing side released all claims, paid their own attorneys fees and released the former judgment but, because Harrisons performance resulted in my counterclaim for substantial damages being dismissed, paid me only a small sum unrelated to those damages.
I had expended almost $100,000 in attorneys fees, not only to Harrison, Benis & Spence, but to new legal counsel which I retained in a vain attempt to reinstate the previously dismissed counterclaims.
Jim Harrison appears well past his prime and in my opinion could have other issues which may impair his ability to perform.
This experience has left me emotionally and financially drained and damaged. I recommend you steer well clear of the law firm Harrison, Benis & Spence. If youve already had a negative experience with them, I suggest you consider filing a complaint with the Washington State Bar Association, the process for which can be found here: http://alturl.com/9rtgu.