Attorney begins paying client back for unfulfilled services

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A call from CBS4 Problem Solvers prompted an attorney to start paying a client back after nearly a year of back-and-forth.

The client, Jeff Sultzer, said he needed someone to file some paperwork in his child support case, and he saw an attorney doing some work outside a courtroom in the city-county building last year.

"I actually saw him sitting out there, so I just asked him could I have a card?" Sultzer said.

Sultzer ended up hiring the attorney, David Bacon, in May. He paid him $500 up front to get things started. Sultzer said Bacon was supposed to file some paperwork and get him a court date.

"Probably every five to six weeks, I would send him a text saying, 'Hey, have you heard anything yet? Do you have a court date set?'" Sultzer said.

Sultzer said he tried to be patient, since he knows the court system does not always move quickly. By August, though, he was starting to get concerned.

In texts Sultzer forwarded to CBS4 Problem Solvers, he told Bacon in part, "Nothing has really been done in my case. I was under the impression this would be a very simple thing to do..."

Bacon answered, saying he was drafting paperwork. Two months later, he told Sultzer via text, "You're going to have the court dates you want to settle the case by the end of the week. They will be at the end of January. All cases will be closed at that time."

"Early January came (around), nothing came about. Then it became April that things were being taken care of," Sultzer said.

At that point, Sultzer said he went down to the court to see what was going on, and he was told that no court date had been set and no paperwork had been filed in his case.

In February, he started trying to recoup his money from Bacon. When he called CBS4 Problem Solvers he was still in contact with the attorney, but had yet to get anything back.

"We were supposed to meet up. He was supposed to bring me 350 of my dollars, (but) he never showed up," Sultzer said.

CBS4 Problem Solvers reached out to Bacon to get his side of the story. He said that he had been gravely ill and unable to represent his clients for a number of months, as he struggled to get back on track.

Bacon confirmed that he had discussed paying Sultzer back, and said that he agreed that he should be paid back but needed time to come up with the money.

"In order for me to pay him back, I just have to collect the money that people already owe me," Bacon said over the phone.

According to Indiana records, Bacon is in good standing with the state and has no disciplinary history on his license to practice law. A spokesperson for the Indiana State Bar Association, which is a voluntary organization, said he is not a current member.

After CBS4 Problem Solvers spoke with Bacon, he contacted Sultzer and the two arranged a payment plan. Bacon paid Sultzer the first $100 Friday and said he planned to pay the rest back in installments.

Sultzer said that he didn't know where else to turn and is happy to be resolving a situation that dragged on for a year.

"I just felt like a little man in a big pond, you know what I mean?" Sultzer said.

If you have a problem you'd like CBS4 Problem Solvers to consider, you can contact us at 317-677-1544 or ProblemSolvers@cbs4indy.com.

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