Review: Law Offices Of Kenneth Hiller...

Review: Law Offices Of Kenneth Hiller Pllc

Posted in the Syracuse Forum

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Buffalo, NY

#1 Dec 11, 2011
The attorneys in his office never return any calls.
All I can ever talk to is the operator or the legal assistant.
Rob S

Buffalo, NY

#2 Dec 11, 2011
Good luck ever talking directly with Hiller.

If you can get past the receptionist and the paralegals, you may talk with an attorney at his office with no experience and who knows nothing about my case.

I also can't get a phone call returned from his office.
H and W

Buffalo, NY

#3 Dec 11, 2011
Rob S wrote:
Good luck ever talking directly with Hiller.
If you can get past the receptionist and the paralegals, you may talk with an attorney at his office with no experience and who knows nothing about my case.
I also can't get a phone call returned from his office.

'Frivolous' Claims in Debt Matter End in Sanctions for Law Firm
John Caher

New York Law Journal


A former debt collector who allegedly attempted to goad another collector into violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Buffalo-area law firm that represented her, have been sharply criticized by a federal judge, who sanctioned the firm.

Western District Judge John T. Curtin said Lyneisha Ford and the Law Offices of Kenneth R. Hiller in Amherst, Erie County, "egregiously manipulated" the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), "compelling the defense of frivolous claims and wasting the court's time and resources in an attempt to recover statutory damages."

He sanctioned the Hiller firm and directed the collection agency to document its costs and counsel fees.

Ford v. Principal Recovery Group, 09-cv-627-JTC, centers on a plaintiff who had worked for various collection agencies and received Fair Debt Collection Practices Act training, and a law firm that specializes in pursuing violations under the act.

Records show that after Ms. Ford failed to pay a $180 dental bill in 2007 the account was turned over to Principal Recovery Group. Ms. Ford ignored a collection letter from Principal and was then contacted twice by phone by the debt collector.

In the second conversation, which Ms. Ford partially taped, the debt collector suggested that if the debt was not cleared the debtor's wages could be garnished by the dentist. However, only the debt collector's portion of the conversation ónot Ms. Ford'sówas recorded.

The lawsuit was predicated on the allegation that the caller from Principal did not identify herself as a debt collector during the initial conversation, that she falsely represented that the account had recently come to Principal's attention when it had been in the office for a year, and that the threat of garnishment was improper.

After depositions, when Ms. Ford admitted she did not remember whether the debt collector had properly identified herself, Principal demanded that the plaintiff withdraw her suit and threatened to seek sanctions if she did not. Ms. Ford dropped the portion of her claim alleging that the collector had not identified herself, but pursued the remainder of the action.

Judge Curtin said it "appears that [Ms. Ford] attempted to bait defendant into violating the FDCPA" and found that she and her counsel pursued an action they knew was baseless.

"[T]he court concludes that plaintiff's counsel should be responsible for the attorney's fees and costs associated with the defense of this action," Judge Curtin wrote.

Seth Andrews of the Hiller firm represented Ms. Ford. He said the firm would appeal the decision.

Steven M. Cohen of HoganWillig in Buffalo appeared for Principal Recovery.

"There was no merit to Ms. Ford's claim," Mr. Cohen said. "She was trying to scam the system, and there was a lawyer willing not only to condone that, but assist her with this frivolous lawsuit, and the judge stopped them dead in their tracks."

Mr. Cohen said counsel fees amount to roughly $56,000.


Buffalo, NY

#4 Dec 11, 2011

Non-Debtors May Be Called Repeatedly, Court Concludes
John Caher

New York Law Journal


Agreeing with several federal courts and disagreeing with others, Western District Chief Judge William M. Skretny has held that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act does not bar debt collectors from contacting people who are not in debt.

The issue that has divided federal courts is whether the act, a privacy statute restricting unsolicited and automated phone calls and which does not apply to debt collectors contacting debtors, is applicable when a collection agency repeatedly contacts someone other than the debtor.

In this case, Franasiak v. Palisades Collection, 09-cv-835S, a collection agency made repeated automated calls to the plaintiff's residence over a seven-month period about a debt owed by his daughter.

Records show that John M. Franasiak of Erie County repeatedly told Palisades Collection that he was not the debtor and that the debtor did not live with him. Eventually, Mr. Franasiak sent Palisades a cease-and-desist letter, which was ignored, and he continued receiving several calls a week. Finally, he filed an action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Palisades moved for summary judgment before Judge Skretny, arguing, accurately, that debt collection calls are exempt from the act. But the question, which has been litigated in other courts with mixed results, was whether the exemption applies when the call made to collect a debt is directed to someone who is not the debtor.

In February, Western District Judge John T. Curtin addressed the question in Santino v. NCO Fin. Sys., 09-cv-982-JTC, which involved calls to individuals who did not even know the debtor.

While Judge Curtin said in Santino that "common sense" would favor the plaintiff, judicial deference to the Federal Communication Commission's authority dictated a finding for the debt collector.

Similarly, Judge Skretny held for the defendant collection agency, finding that the FCC has not distinguished between calls made to debtors and nondebtors in applying an exemption to the act. The FCC has specifically exempted from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act calls resulting from an "established business relationship," and held that "all" debt collection activities involve such a relationship.

"It is for the FCC, and not this Court, to determine whether a resident's privacy rights are adversely affected by seemingly intrusive phone calls by prerecorded messages," Judge Skretny said. "Although it is this Court's opinion that such calls, when they are made to nondebtors, do adversely affect the individual's privacy interests, the FCC has found otherwise. Were this Court to [hold for the plaintiff] it would usurp the decision-making power Congress has properly left to another body, in this case the FCC."

Several courts have addressed the same issue, with differing results.

In 2006, a judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Watson v. NCO Group, 462 F. Supp 2d 641, concluded that a "non-debtor's rights are in fact violated when he is subjected to repeated annoying and abusive collection calls that he remains powerless to stop."

But recent opinions in the Northern District of Alabama, the Eastern District of Michigan and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit have come to the opposite conclusion, generally because the FCC determined that "all" debt collection matters are exempt without drawing a distinction between debtors and nondebtors.

Kenneth R. Hiller and Kimberly T. Irving of Amherst, Erie County, represented the plaintiff.

The collection agency was represented by Brian C. Shartle of Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel of Metairie, La., and Michael Del Valle of the Sessions' firm's office in Amherst.

Buffalo, NY

#5 Dec 12, 2011
My wife calls to ask about my case because I cant talk good. We can never talk with Attorney Hiller or any Lawyer there. The receptionist just keeps asking us questions rather than transfering me to a lawyer.
Peeking inside courts

Buffalo, NY

#6 Dec 15, 2011
You can file a complaint with your local bar assoc.

Buffalo, NY

#7 Dec 15, 2011
My wife calls to ask about my gayness because I can't talk good.

Buffalo, NY

#8 Dec 22, 2011
Peeking inside courts wrote:
You can file a complaint with your local bar assoc.
Never returns phone calls.

Buffalo, NY

#9 Jan 25, 2012
Can't talk to a lawyer there, only a paralegal that can't answer my questions.

Buffalo, NY

#10 Mar 1, 2012
There's always a different attorney assisgned to my case every couple months. They never have any idea what's going on with my case.
k buffalo

Tonawanda, NY

#11 Mar 5, 2012
the only time u can talk to any one is by calling in private number because they dont answer when ur phone number come up becuse they never answered till i blocked it

Buffalo, NY

#12 Mar 11, 2012
k buffalo wrote:
the only time u can talk to any one is by calling in private number because they dont answer when ur phone number come up becuse they never answered till i blocked it
I had 2 different lawyers assigned to my case there and niether is there anymore. No one knows whats up with my Social security case.
None of ur business

New York, NY

#13 Nov 15, 2012
I see that steven dolson failed in his business on his own and i cant stop laughing about it!!!! Alot of ppl who wrote reviews here and some i know who dealt with him--ALL said he was a nightmare to deal with and they were SICK AND TIRED of talking to his SECRETARY and NEVER got calls returned. Would u HONESTLY go with this attorney???? I wouldnt. Always you should check reviews and talk to ppl who dealt with him.

New York, NY

#14 Nov 24, 2012
Thanks all for the reviews. I'm definitely going with another law firm. No, I don't want these lawyers handling my case. I am not going to go thru a secretary/receptionist/switchb oard operator/ "legal assistant" for my case!! Absurd! Thanks everyone!
actual client

Geneva, NY

#15 Nov 23, 2013
I had the best experience with Kenneth Hiller's office. All of the staff is really helpful, and the attorney assigned to my case was very knowledgeable and professional. I didn't think my social security case had a chance, and I ended up winning.
One Pissed Off Client

Lockport, NY

#16 Mar 11, 2014
Kenneth Hiller's office is a joke! The attorney I had NEVER did anything to even try and help me win my case. The office didn't obtain all medical records that were pertinent to the case and because of this my decision was found unfavorable. Then I called to appeal the case and I receive a letter in the mail the next day stating that SHE WILL NOT BE APPEALING. I would never recommend this office to anyone especially if they would have the same attorney I did!!!!

Buffalo, NY

#17 Apr 22, 2014
Wow! I have never seen so many bad reviews on one person/business. I definitely will now be calling HIller now.
E Schroeder

Rochester, NY

#18 Aug 17, 2014
I was represented by the Hiller firm, and was able to have my disability case settled with a favorable result.(I had excellent medical evidence), but a few months later, I received an overpayment notice. It has literally ruined my life. There was no way to speak to any lawyer from Hiller's, after they heard about the so-called "overpayment." This whole situation could have been avoided, if the my lawyer had taken done the most basic, mininal level of work. I'm sure there is cause for a complaint to the NYS Bar Association, but I'm so burnt out, from endlessly dealing with Social Security, why even bother?
To anyone who considers hiring this law firm, document EVERYTHING! And don't take a penny from the government, without making a 100% certain that it is exactly what you are owed.
Your lose my gain

East Hartford, CT

#19 Aug 24, 2014
I had the worse experience of my life there. I suffer from a number of mental disorders, so it was difficult to read papers. My mom helped me. The lawyer I had seemed so nice at first. We spoke on the phone right before my hearing and advised me to POST-PONE my case due to she felt there was not enough evidence. So i said ok, next thing i got in the mail was a letter for me to sign saying to withdrawl my case. Never did she say the word WITHDRAWL. After a rude message she left me, she sent me a certified letter saying she is no longer going to represent me. I wrote the judge he gave me a couple mths to find a new rep. I did, and she was the best (paralegal ) ever. I had same judge and not only did i get sad but i got ssi as well. Plus my back pay from 2012. So it just goes to show you that big names don't mean poop. A non-profit women with compassion is better then the big names. Ha Hiller you screwed your self!!!!
Seekingadviceint he716

Toledo, OH

#21 Feb 8, 2015
Are there any good Ssd lawyers out there? Just because u spend 6 figures on a commercial doesn't make u a great lawyer. I haven't had any dealings with Mr. Hiller and although I tend to take reviews with a grain of salt, there are entirely too many bad reviews to "just ignore" with that being said, I would really like to hear from some of you who went with the smaller firm or another lawyer that actually did the job did it right and in a timely fashion. One more thing, a lawyer who you can get to speak with on the phone or will return your call. Is that possible to get in one lawyer? Please advise

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