"Phone calls were ALWAYS returned, emails were ALWAYS answered (and usually within an hour) and my questions were always answered."
Attorney Pingel first represented me in a case here in Buchanan County, Missouri beginning March 23, 2011, which was successfully resolved by settlement on July 24, 2013. They also represented me/us in a relocation case in the same case in March 23, 2016, which was also successfully resolved by settlement on November 9, 2017. I am employed by the City of St. Joseph, Missouri and have worked in my current job for 20+ years as a police officer.
Previously, following the conclusion of my first case, I provided the following review of the firm:
5 stars do not do this law firm justice! I went through a messy divorce a few years prior to meeting Ms. Pingel. I eventually decided it was time to go back to court after some issues with the original divorce decree. I interviewed 5 lawyers in a 75-mile range (one famous Kansas City lawyer too). 3 firms did not think I had enough “evidence” to modify my current paperwork. 1 firm told me I took too long in my original meeting and charged me $200 more. So the last firm to meet with, was Pingel Family Law. I hired them on the spot. They spent 1.5 years on my case…1.5 years! The length of time might seem long, but I feel my case came with a high degree of difficulty. The firm kept me updated on what they were working on in my case, my bill, court proceedings and EVERYTHING else that involved my case. Phone calls were ALWAYS returned, emails were ALWAYS answered (and usually within an hour) and my questions were always answered. Nobody wins in court but I feel victory was certainly accomplished in my case. During the course of the battle I felt like I actually had family members working my case instead of an “attorney.” They genuinely cared about the results and even asked on several occasions if the results were what I was looking for. To close this out I will say something silly…I might have hired an attorney, but I can everyone at the firm is part of my family now 😊
The above message was something I felt was necessary to post. I was not asked, instructed or arm-twisted into writing it by anybody. Just me. Just my idea. I needed to find a way for other families seeking help to read the review of a stranger they did not know. A stranger typing a review on a website holds far more weight in my book than a post on social media.
I could have chosen from hundreds of lawyers when I needed my original divorce decree amended. Obviously, my first choice in lawyers wasn’t fantastic, but it was my first rodeo in the legal world and I was stepping into waters that weren’t well known to me. I had no idea what was going on and my original lawyer was almost impossible to get ahold of but I stuck with said attorney and finished off a messy divorce, battered, beaten, broken and bewildered. I was lost, didn’t understand how I ended up where I landed and was angry because I didn’t feel I was represented well.
Fast forward a few years. I needed an attorney. With us not being able to see my children and them starting to fall through the cracks at school and possibly heading in the wrong direction, we decided we needed to seek help in regaining some time with them before it was too late and they were older. We decided we were in the right spot to modify the original child custody and divorce paperwork. So we began to scour the internet and spent several nights searching until the sun literally rose.
Now we had our pick from hundreds of attorneys…hundreds. WE did some research and decided we wanted to interview 5 attorneys. 3 locally and 2 who were over an hour away. We knew the risk and costs involved with an out-of-town attorney and to be honest, I couldn’t put a price on both of my children’s heads. Three of the attorney’s, when I went into my interview straight up told me I could never modify the custody agreement based on what evidence I had brought to them. Evidence which had a mother hiding the children from me, hiding hospital visits, hiding where they were and then lying about it all. Right there, three times in a row my world crumbled into a heap on an attorney’s floor. The one thing I was told over and over was “dad’s don’t get custody in the Buchanan County and Andrew County (the fifth circuit).
In all of my years in Law Enforcement, I was helping people with family turmoil, child problems, sex crimes and even theft of something smaller than a few pieces of candy. And there I stood, helping them, but I felt helpless to seek or get any kind of relief when I felt that our custody agreement was being violated. I would get blown off. I was told I can’t do something. A few days went by and I decided to try an out-of-town attorney (a Kansas City area attorney for my case in St. Joseph, Missouri). Here I am, seeking help from an attorney who has no idea who I am or what I am about. Here I am, driving to Kansas City with thousands of papers and audio files hoping for one last glimmer of hope that I might actually get to spend a real holiday with my children, with zero drama.
The first law firm I arrived at (not the Pingel Family Law firm) was just about as scary as my experiences in testifying in Federal Court. Sweaty palms, upset stomach, but they are HUGE, they are on the radio, TV, they help people. NOPE. I paid $200 for a consultation where all they did was talk about how good they were. Wait…what about my case? Do you want to hear and see what she has done to our children? I missed out on a Christmas because of her? Did you hear me?! A Christmas! A monumental event in the life of my children that I will never get back. Can you help? This is what they told me, “I’m sorry but we reviewed your case and you waited too long.” There I went crumbling again in my chair. This left me with zero hope and there is no worse feeling in the world than the belief that your children’s childhood will slip away from you and that you are powerless to do anything about it.
I had one attorney left. The one attorney that I planned to speak with was given to me by a fellow officer. Many officers in our police department and in the Buchanan County sheriff’s department have used the Pingel Family Law firm with great satisfaction. I was aware that they are well-respected herein Buchanan County both, by fellow officers, other lawyers and the judges that they appear in front of. So, I drove across Kansas City with my mounds of evidence in tow. I literally said a prayer in my car (and I am not religious) as I sat in their parking lot. A few deep breaths and off I go.
I walked into their firm, I probably looked like I had been beat up, spit out and chewed back up. After my consultation, I was told they could definitely help me. I hired the firm on the spot after they told me to go home and think about it. I didn’t need to spend time thinking about it, I knew. If the firm would have been first on my list, I could have saved myself a lot of time, heartache and worrying because I knew the firm could help from the time of our first consultation. The relief that a parent feels when they search for help from a professional and finally have the hope and belief that there is relief available is indescribable. That is a gift that the Pingel Family Law firm immediately provided for me.
The first modification was a very difficult situation. Not because of anything but my poor decision making for marrying a woman who was so mad and clearly spent the entire case focusing on exacting revenge against me. She drug everything out as long as she could. Every time my attorneys tried to schedule a hearing or take other action to conclude the case, she and/or her lawyers would find ways to prolong the process. The case ended up taking one and a half years (1.5 years).
Along the way during the first modification, I was blown away with their documentation, ability and willingness to communicate and provide and share information. During a stressful family law case, having communication and a sense of confidence that your legal team is responding and on top of things is priceless. I received an email every time steps/actions regarding my case were taken, received, etc. Again, knowing that my case was being given the time and attention to detail that it needed meant the world to me during the difficult process. My experience with Mandee was a far cry from my original lawyer, who actually went to court without me one time (and did not inform me of the court date). Invoices were bi-weekly, emails were almost daily when my case was active. I always felt informed and consulted about the action taken on my case and I had the opportunity to determine and approve the work and steps the firm did on my case. Their paperwork is so impressive I truly believe you would not find another attorney that is more organized or effective than Pingel Family Law.
The second modification was a huge win in my book. My time was increased to 50/50 and as the result of the carefully worded and prepared paperwork prepared by the firm, my ex-wife was no longer allowed to play games with our children. .My goal was to obtain a parenting plan that did not allow for any further game playing or “wiggle room” and Attorney Pingel overwhelmingly accomplished that goal.
Move forward a few more years. My ex-wife was continuing to make bad choices and decided that she then wanted to relocate to Florida to be with her “new” family. I called Attorney Pingel who we (my wife and my parents) now consider family, because I needed to be represented in another modification where mom was trying to take and relocate both of my daughters to Florida, suddenly and without my consent or agreement.
My wife and I decided that if my ex-wife was moving out of state, we needed to gear up to have the girls for full custody. Again, we were kept informed every step of the way. We knew when court was, we knew when her attorney contacted the firm and we again experienced many similar difficulties with a lack of timeliness and cooperation by my ex-wife. This time, Attorney Pingel saw this coming and knew it might happen and they were prepared. They cut it off at the pass and were able to negotiate a quick resolution by immediately proposing and preparing a settlement offer, saving my wife and I thousands of dollars. They negotiated when they could have just sat back and collected money from us by “going through the process”, going to case management conferences, etc. but they didn’t. They are honest and above-board and care more about doing a great job for us, knowing that continued respect of the community and referrals will be earned by their honest and diligent efforts.
Attorney Pingel, along with everybody on their staff, were incredible. They kept us informed about our case. They called, they emailed, they communicated. They were available all day and every day. If Attorney Pingel wasn’t available, someone from the office would let us know within minutes.
Without Pingel Family Law it is hard telling how things would have turned out. I appreciate them, everything they do, their work ethic and morals. I do know one important thing though..
THEY SAVED TWO GIRLS.
The entire team is honest, ethical, above board, well respected by colleagues and the judges involved, as well as the community. During the several cases that I have been through, my ex-wife has had different lawyers and there was a guardian ad litem involved. I have had the opportunity to witness Attorney Pingel interact with her colleagues and I am always impressed by her level of professional and the clear level of respect she has earned from other lawyers. Over the years, since my first initial case, I have referred more friends, colleagues and other people to Attorney Pingel than I can count. On each and every occasion, they have taken great care of the person I referred. I have received nothing but the highest positive accolades for passing on their names. I am also aware of situations where acquaintances have consulted with Attorney Pingel and they have provided them a consultation, only to tell them about a different or more efficient way that they could resolve their matter without ever paying them a penny. That is true ethics!
Attorney Pingel provides and serves an invaluable need for the community and I am sincerely hopeful that the firm is always available as a resource.