Oct 10, 2013 12:12 AM by Matthew Schwartz
Deborah Hansen was so outraged over a News 4 Tucson Investigators report she's decided to do something about it. The Tucson attorney has come forward to represent Polly Page, a divorced, single mother of two, for free.
Hansen told us, "Her treatment by her prior lawyer was shameful and offensive."
Regarding Hansen taking her case for free, Page says, "I think it's incredible, I am so grateful. And I appreciate you reading my story and putting it out there."
We first reported Polly Page's story two weeks ago, after she emailed us. Her previous lawyer, Grady Wade, had vanished in the middle of her divorce and custody cases. Page represented herself and lost both cases. She had sold her Jeep to Wade for $5200 in exchange for his representation. She then asked the state's Client Protection Fund to reimburse her. Last month, the fund denied her claim.
Hansen, Page's new attorney, said, "The Client Protection Fund is a great thing, but in this case it seemed to let down somebody who really needed it and really deserves it."
Incredibly to Hansen, the Client Protection Fund's trustees said they were "Unable to conclude that Mr. Wade engaged in dishonest conduct."
The fund's decision to deny Page's claim was made even after something that happened last October: Grady Wade was disbarred.
Chas Wirken, the chair of the Client Protection Fund's Board of Trustees, told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, "Yes, he abandoned his practice. That isn't what we would call dishonest conduct."
It gets worse. In December of 2011, after Grady Wade left Polly Page and other clients in the lurch, he was arrested following a hit and run crash in Blythe, Ca. He was charged with DUI, possession of a loaded gun and resisting arrest. Wade reportedly said he was on his way to Oxnard to kill his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend.
No one answered the door both times to went to Wade's last-known address in Tucson.
We asked Page, "If you could talk to Grady Wade now, what would you say?" She answered, "I wouldn't even know what to say. I have two years of pent-up anger, just kind of disgust and disrepect for him.
Page has the utmost respect for her new attorney. Deborah Hansen will spend a lot of time appealing Page's case, trying to get her back her $5200. Helping a stranger she saw on News 4 Tucson, without getting paid a cent.
Hansen said, "I worked really hard to help those who are disadvantaged, and marginalized. It's one of the reasons I became a lawyer. But on a personal note, I understand what divorce is like, I understand what it is to try to raise a child through a divorce."
Page told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, "I feel like I have a second chance, or at least a fighting chance."
We will keep you posted about what happens regarding Polly Page's appeal, her attempt to get back the $5200 she lost to a lawyer who vanished.
Remember, if you have a story you'd like us to investigate, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.