Legal Question in Business Law in California

Help Re: Lawsuit

I am currently involved in a lawsuit with a commercial property landlord (LLC) as both defendant,cross-complainant. Case was transferred from my small claims action to civil court without following court rules of procedure, but was allowed to progress as I answered complaint and filed cross. Opposing party has refused to answer any of interoggs or RFP of doc's, and I have filed a motion to compel which currently has been taken off calendar because required to attend mandatory settlement conference. P's atty refuses to deal w/me, my case has merit theirs has none, their case is frivilious and meritless. Judge made them give me general ledgers but they have not given me all, ledgers prove (prima facie)parts of my complaint re: breach of contract, fraud, re: prop mgmnt fees etc. They (LLC) have deep pockets and are purposely stalling and being un-cooperative to run up my fees. The LLC's prop mgmnt co has continued to over-charge and mis-manage my lease and ignore all my correspondence disputing their calculations and interpretation of my lease. I have spent $20K on attorney fees already. Stuck at this point on how to move forward, don't have much money left. I do have a pre-paid legal plan through AMEX. Any help appreciated.

Asked on 2/06/06, 7:31 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Carl Starrett Law Offices of Carl H. Starrett II

Re: Help Re: Lawsuit

You have described a pretty tangled mess that really should be sorted out after a consultation with an attorney. If you are currently represented by an attorney, these questions should be directed to him or her because that is part of what you are paying for. And it would be improper for the opposing attorney to deal with if you are represented by counsel.

My office is fairly close to you, so feel free to contact me for a free, 30-minute consultation.

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Answered on 2/06/06, 7:40 pm
Robert F. Cohen Law Office of Robert F. Cohen

Re: Help Re: Lawsuit

Typically prepaid legal plans do not cover business disputes. I'm not sure I understand why the motion to compel was taken off-calendar, unless your attorney failed to "meet and confer" with opposing counsel regarding what's needed in discovery responses, unless your attorney has agreed in writing to bring the motion again if the case doesn't settle. Obviously, those documents are important to your case and you are entitled to get them. Good luck to you.

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Answered on 2/06/06, 7:57 pm
Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: Help Re: Lawsuit

One thing you didn't mention is whether there is any provision in the underlying contract or lease for recovery of attorney fees by the prevailing party. Such clauses are fairly common. If you indeed have a good chance of prevailing and can recover attorney fees, your case is a lot more attractive both to you and to any attorney representing you. On the other hand, these clauses permit recovery only of "reasonable" fees, and relentless running of the fee meter may result in a bill that the court won't order reimbursed in full.

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Answered on 2/06/06, 9:42 pm

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