We retained Mryna Silver and her Advocate (Melony Watkins) in October 2008. The agreement says you agree to retain them both. We didn??t meet with Mryna initailly, only Melanie. We were told Mryna was on a case so we just had to talk to Melanie at first. We told Melanie that we wanted to hire Myrna to go to due process ASAP. She had won a couple of cases similar to ours and Mryna??s reputation for winning was so good that that we didn??t?? even demand to meet her. We gave Melanie a check for $3,000 that day and signed the retainer agreement.
We were actually ready to go ahead and file due process but Melanie said we had to go to the next ARD and the one after that. She represented us at 2 ARDs. She said she would help us get particular services for our son and if the district didn't give them to my son they were in violation of IDEA laws and we'd have an even stronger case. District didn't give my son the services and in fact changed his IEP to an even worse position at those two meetings that Melanie represented us at.
Melanie disappeared after the ARDs, never called, never stategized on how to get better services for our son, never helped us write required "disagreement" letter, and didn't perform any case turn-over to Mryna Silver.
After it was apparent that Melanie had just disappeared with no strategy, it took us 5 weeks to get an appointment to talk to Mryna Silver (even though she was supposedly on retainer). We met her in Mid December.
She was pleasant, very smart, seemed knowledable of the law and knowledable about lawsuit straties. As I said, she's won several big special ed cases. She told us we had a great, almost textbook case. She told us what we needed to do/research etc to make it ready to file. . We went off and did what she said over the next 2 weeks. It was hard to get a hold of her again (the email on her business card she doesn't check and office messages are spotty) It took about 3 weeks more to talk to her and we had to remind her who we were and what our case was.
She again said we had a good case but needed a bit more info. We went off and gathered more info. At this point 3 1/2 months after we paid her, the district made some defensive moves and we didn't have and excellent case anymore. So we decided that between not having a great case anymore and having a lawyer/advocate who took money and then could remember who we were, we decided we'd sunk enough money into the project.
Between Melanie Watson and Mryna Silver we paid them $1,450 and Mryna never filed a paper on our behalf and Melanie Watson disappeared after the last ARD with open outstanding issues still unresolved. I doubt they even remember us or our son.