Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

My previous question:

What is the process in California for getting reimbursed for court and attorney fees when your landlord dismisses an Unlawful Detainer action against you before it goes to trial?


And the answers I received:

"You can get your filing fees if you timely file a memorandum of costs. If the rental agreement provides for attorney's fees, you can include those in your memorandum of costs. "

Thank you, Mr. Cohen! You gave precisely the information I needed - all I had to do was Google "memorandum of costs", and I found the forms and further information.

The second answer offered.. not quite so helpful;

"If you have an attorney, ask him or her."

With all due respect, Mr. McCormick, an answer like this is just as much a waste of your time writing it as it was mine to read it. If I had an attorney, I wouldn't need to ask. I consulted an attorney, via the internet, who wrote a motion for me. But that was the extent of our relationship.

Unfortunately in the greater Sacramento area, finding an attorney that will represent the tenant is a fruitless exercise unless you have no income (legal aid), or are filthy rich (and probably wouldn't be renting anyway). Even the Bar referral service couldn't offer me a name.

I have already carried this through In Pro Per since mid-March, I have my affirmative defenses and proof lined up and ready to present, and am awaiting a reply to my form interrogatories, which I served on the opposing attorney today. I also filed my memorandum of costs (for the preceding complaint) and filed an amended answer (for the present complaint) which stipulates that I am requesting a jury trial. By coincidence, today I also received notice of the trial date for the current complaint, which is July 8.

So, my next question is: Is there an attorney among you 'Law Gurus' that I can hire just for representation in court? Most of the leg work is done, and we WILL win, I just don't want to have to be the one presenting my case in court! =)

And if that doesn't qualify as a good question, please answer this;

Is requesting a jury a good strategic move? And how will this play out now that the trial date had already been set - meaning, will the date have to be rescheduled, or will jury selection be on July 8?

Or, should I withdraw the request for jury? What about stipulating to the Commissioner/ Judge Pro Tem? Does it work in my favor to not stipulate, and ask to appear in front of a Judge?

Thank you in advance for your time and advice... including you, Mr. McCormick. ; )

Asked on 6/28/10, 11:13 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Schneider, Holtz & Hutchison

My apologies for my flippant answer. It is just that we get SO many questions from people asking us to second-guess their attorneys or avoid paying their attorneys for an answer to their question. The LawGuru free question service is first and foremost to provide a searchable database of information about legal issues of general interest, not to provide a back-up for people's regular lawyers. So when you said you were asking for attorneys fees, your question appeared to be yet another person trying "end run" their own attorney. And since, as you point out, Mr. Cohen had given you the information you needed already, that was all I had to comment on. Again, I apologize for the way I put it.

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Answered on 6/29/10, 8:41 am

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