Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

I am In Pro per defendant in a legal case. The plaintiff has an attorney. I filed a cross-complaint.The attorney contacted me via email to meet and confer on a Demurrer two days before their response to my cross-claim was due. I was not able to meet with them on that short of notice. The attorney bickered back and forth with me via email to say that I was refusing to cooperate with opposing counsel and not making a good faith effort to meet and confer. That evening at 10:00pm I received an email with the Demurrer and Motion to Strike attached and a Proof of Electronic Service. I never consented to electronic service. Also the the attorney filed the Demurrer and Motion to Strike with the court four days later, which is not the date on her improper proof of service and is four days late. I asked the attorney to withdraw the Demurrer etc due to the above mentioned issues and her reply is that "thats not how it works in the courts" and that I will probably be admonished by the court if I go to the court for help on these issues. My question is - Does the court reallly disregard the rules and codes and will they actually get mad at me for bringing the issues to their attention? If so I dont know how an unrepresented party has a fighting chance.

Asked on 1/21/22, 11:29 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

Your problem is that you do not actually understand the rules and codes and how they are applied. So the attorney is correct that if you complain to the court about what you believe are violations, because you don't actually understand the rules and codes, the court will admonish you that when you represent yourself you are held to the same knowledge of the rules and codes as an attorney representing a party. You are right about one thing, an unrepresented party doesn't really have a fighting chance, but it's not because the courts disregard the rules and codes but rather understanding the rules and codes takes legal training and experience that you don't have.

I have been a litigation attorney for nearly 35 years, and in all the cases I have handled, that have been handled by attorneys in my firm, and observations of other cases in court, never once have I seen a person representing themselves beat a party who had an attorney. You need to retain counsel.

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Answered on 1/22/22, 3:11 pm

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