After spending around $100,000 on his divorce case in the last two years – including lawyer and court fees – Anthony Davino could no longer afford legal representation. With six more court dates left and a November 4 deadline for finding a new lawyer (after he couldn’t pay his last one), he decided to try to barter his electrical services for a divorce lawyer.
Davino, 42, began advertising the old-school way by plastering hundreds of flyers around Staten Island and Brooklyn courthouses. “Divorce Attorney Wanted,” he wrote on his flyer. “Licensed Electrical Contractor…seeks to barter electrical services for divorce attorney representation.”
According to the New York Post, the electrician’s wife filed for divorce after cheating on him. After he couldn’t pay $30,000 to his last lawyer, Davino realized all he had left were his skills and the hope that there was a divorce lawyer out there who required electrical work.
Luckily for Davino, a Long Island lawyer answered his prayers after his flyer showed up on her Facebook news feed.
“My first reaction was wow, this guy is pretty creative,” said Dalia Zaza, who brings 10 years of experience as a divorce lawyer to the table. “From the flyer, it really sounded like [he was] somebody who needed a lot of help and was going through these measures to get this help.”
Davino received several calls from lawyers who were willing to work on his case, but he chose Zaza after she gave him a call last week Thursday because he felt she had a sincere interest in helping him. Zaza explained that she wondered whether Davino had created a “joke flyer.” She decided to first give him a call to verify he was an electrician in search of a divorce lawyer; after confirmation, Zaza set up an appointment with him.
On Monday, Zaza met with Davino to discuss his case. According to the divorce lawyer, Davino is currently in the middle of his trial and is seeking primary custody of his two children.
“He gave me a lot of background on what happened thus far, and explained how he came to this place where he’s smack in the middle of a trial and completely out of money,” Zaza said.
After meeting with Davino, Zaza decided to take his case. “The reason I took him on as a client under these circumstances – which are kind of strange – is that he seemed really genuine to me and I felt like I really wanted to help him out,” Zaza explained.
“We have to talk a little more about the work, but basically, in the next couple of weeks he’ll be getting started and I will too on his case,” said Zaza.
The next court hearing is set to take place in mid-November.