Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Sevanski

  1. Hello All, 

    I'm an attorney in California and am looking for a little insight from you all. I am helping my uncle deal with a collections lawsuit and have a very specific question. We have filed an answer and served a bill of particulars on the plaintiff. Is it wise to send a follow-up letter asking inquiring about a settlement? If so, when? Anything that must be included/excluded from the letter? 

    All advice is greatly appreciated. @calawyer @sadinca




  2. Hi Shellieh... 

    Yeah, I had a case like that last year; however, because of other circumstances, the argument didn't work out in my favor.  Because of the split in opinions, I'm curious to see whether trial judges are following the Rodgers/Rocha decisions, or have gravitated the other direction. 

  3. Hi All, 

    Its been a long time since I've checked in. I did a little browsing on westlaw earlier today, and found a few federal decisions that viewed the Rocha and Rodgers cases unfavorably. As general matter, how are limited civil courts ruling based on this law when the affiant is found to be more than 150 miles away? 

    Perhaps this is a question for Calawyer and Sandinca? 

  4. Alrighty, gang... T-minus 18 hours. Not worried about all the prep I've done, but have some nagging concerns about my fear of the unknown. To anyone who reads this months or years down the line, if it's scary for an attorney, you shouldn't feel bad for having nerves. 


    If there is anything you guys want to tell me before I go Braveheart in court tomorrow, now is your chance! 


    Thanks for all the help... I promise to pay all this forward to the next person who needs the help. 

    • Like 3
  5. @calawyer I plan on throwing everything, including the kitchen sink at them. Hopefully something sticks. 

    1. Objection to CCP 98 + Declaration
    2. Objection to introduction of witnesses not named in CCP 96 responses + declaration
    3. Judicial notice of some of the pleadings where Cust of recs claimed she would be available for service and distance between Mass and CA. 
    4. P&A on Motion for Judgment (short)
    5. P&A on necessity of ex parte or noticed motion for trial extension (short)
    6. Trial Brief

    I think I've done a pretty decent job of giving my client a chance to succeed. I'm just going to hammer home that there was no good cause to drop new witnesses on me last minute, so the trial needs to proceed as is. 


    I'll let you guys know how this works out...

    • Like 2
  6. Again, I'm just going to throw this out here to memorialize it for everyone down the road who may read this. I get an envelope today (roughly 80 hours away from trial) from Plaintiff's office. Inside, I find the witness and exhibit lists they intend to present at trial. Here is the issue... They have named two different parties as prospective witnesses, neither of which were on the CCP 96 disclosures. To make matters worse, neither of these parties were the custodian of records who answered my discovery questions OR the person who submitted the CCP 98 declaration. In short, they expect me to cross examine two people who I have never heard of, who's addresses I don't have, and who I never had a chance to depose. 


    Am I going crazy, or should the judge laugh at this when I mention it? I've heard of home-court advantages where creditors get into certain judges that are anti-debtor, but I think in this case it would be laughable to allow either of these two "custodians of record" to present testimony that would lay foundation for the documents. 


    Still pushing forward and getting ready to fight like my life is on the line Friday! Thanks for all the help, gang!

  7. @calawyer On the notice page, it's phrased as follows" Pursuant to theCode of Civil Procedure 98, and for purposes of this action, service may be made as follows: 



    Custodian of Records for Plaintiff 

    c/o Zwicker & Associates 

    199 S Los Robles Ave,. suite 410

    Pasadena, CA 91101


    HOWEVER, on the final page of the declaration, the declaration states that in accordance with CCP 98, I am available for service of process at the following address:


    Zwicker & Associates 

    199 S Los Robles Ave,. suite 410

    Pasadena, CA 91101


    I agree that the first example leaves a little to be desired in terms of requesting sanctions, etc. However, the second one clearly references the code and makes no mention of "care of". 


    The closer I get to trial, the more I realize how little they can prove. Unless I get stuck with a terrible judge that completely disregards the law, I feel like it should be an easy morning... 

  8. So I'm thinking I will submit this request for judicial notice a few days before trial. Here is the logic... If they argue timeliness, I can turn that around on them based their CCP 96 responses and how they failed to provide me with the name of the witness they intend to present at trial. If they argue that the witness merely claimed I could leave the trial subpoena in "care of" her attorney, rather than her being physically there to take possession, then I think it gives me the perfect verbiage to press forward on how a trial subpoena can't be left in "care of". On #5, I want to press the fact that they had a 6 page declaration, yet para15 ends on the top of the 5th page, and the para 16, the penalty of perjury clause, is on the next page, indicating that the last page was just robosigned. 


    1.     That all parts of Andover, Massachusetts are more than 150 miles from 9425 Penfield Ave, Chatsworth, California, 91311;

    2.     That Zwicker & Associates is the law firm representing American Express in case XXXXXXX

    3.     That the Zwicker & Associates offices are located at 199 S. Los Robles Ave., Suite 410, Pasadena, CA 91101;

    4.     That Joe Blow is an employee of American Express; and

    5.     That Joe Blow submitted to this Court a sworn declaration under the penalty of perjury, signed in Andover Massachusetts, attesting to the fact that she would be available for service of process at 199 S. Los Robles Ave., Suite 410, Pasadena, CA 91101 for the twenty (20) days immediately preceding this trial.

  9. By any chance do any of you know whether the judge in Department F43 of the Chatsworth has a standing order? I called his clerk, and she had no idea what I was talking about. I have a nagging suspicion I'm missing something... like something needs to be sent to the court. I feel like we should be submitting joint exhibits, witness lists, etc. to the judge, but Plaintiff's counsel has gone silent. 


    Trial brief has been faxed over and served. I have my objections to the witness and the CCP 98 ready to go, and won't spring them until the day of the trial. Brushing up on some evidence while watching this comedy show, I mean debate... 

  10. At this point, I'm posting updates just so the next person, perhaps 8 months or 8 years from now can have answers to all these questions... 


    I sent a meet and confer email to opposing counsel informing him that I planned on objecting to the introduction of any witnesses based on the fact that they no names or addresses were provided in the CCP 96 response. I received the following: 


    We will be providing you with a witness list which will provide you with the name of the custodian of records testifying at trial. 


    Well... ain't that something. How grateful I am that at some point within the next 7 days you will give me a list of the custodians of records... 


    Seems like not only do I need an objection for the CCP 96, but I will be turning the MIL @Sandinca posted into a second objection to stop them from introducing any witnesses. 


    As always, thank you all for staying with me through this... It really is an interesting adventure, and since its a low risk proposition for my uncle, I'm really starting to have a lot of fun with this!!

    • Like 2
  11. So you guys think I should meet and confer with the attorney or should I just spring the objection on them at trial... Also, and this might just be a small detail, they claim that they intend to call the "custodian of records" in the CCP 96 response, but in the CCP 98 declaration, she claims that she is the ASSISTANT custodian of records. 


    My concern is that if I were to meet and confer with the attorney, then he could just clear it up and the judge would find that I wasn't prejudiced by it. On the other hand, if I DON'T meet and confer, I feel like the judge may overrule my objection based on it being untimely. 


    Ahhhhh the struggles of a transactional guy trying to save family! lol

  12. Hey All, 


    So my westlawnext is down (get it for free from work  ::punk:: ), and I have a lingering question... I just realized that on their CCP 96 responses, they didn't list the name of their witness. They merely put "Plaintiff's Custodian of Records". I feel like this may necessitate a MIL? How could I possibly prepare for a witness if it could be any number of people out there?


    Any input is much appreciated. 

  13. One last question for you all, and I promise I will stop the badgering... Have any of you heard of a situation where the Plaintiff would actually fly a representative across the country over a limited civil collections matter? Like I mentioned, we really don't care whether we win or lose, but the idea of a company doing that seems so unlikely. 


    In any event, I really appreciate all of your help. I will keep you all updated on what happens.

  14. Oh wow... I was under the impression this thread couldn't possibly get any better, so I didn't log on for a few days. The @calawyer showed up and saved the day... 


    Uncle wasn't served with a notice to appear. Trial is on the 15th, so it may be too late at this point. Especially if they want him to produce any documents. 


    You guys think I should preemptively prepare written objections to both the new witness and request for continuance? I think it may show that we have put a certain level of preparation into the matter and are deserving of our day in court. 

  15. They did name this particular witness on the CCP 96 response. She is also the same witness on the CCP 98 declaration. I'm calling bluff on their part. even though it's a large case for limited civil, 24k+, I'm still not convinced that they will spend the thousands it will take to fly someone over from the east coast to prosecute a case against an insolvent defendant. And if they do, their loss. 


    With all the help I'm getting from you guys, I think I want to just try this case - for better or worse. Seems like an interesting area of the law where a lot of people need help.

    • Like 1
  16. ANOTHER UPDATE. Just received an email from opposing counsel telling me that they are requesting their client provide a live witness. It reads something like the following. This is an hour after we tried to serve their witness listed on the CCP 98 declaration. 


    We will be requesting that my client provide a live witness to testify at the trial scheduled on August 14, 2015.  Prior to my client making the appropriate travel arrangements and in an effort to minimize costs on both sides, I would like to resolve this matter   At your earliest convenience, please provide settlement offer and hardship and I will forward to my client for review and consideration. 


    What do you guys think? My uncle literally has zero cash, so they can throw good money after bad if they want. I don't want to be discourteous by being non-responsive, but I really don't have much to offer them other than a smile and a thumbs up. 

  17. Just as a follow up... My process server just called me and told me that when he tried to deliver the trial subpoena to Linda Salas at the law firm in Los Angeles, they tried to accept it on her behalf. I instructed him not to, because he needed to serve her personally. The guy also told her that "she does work here, she just won't come out". Hahaha. He was very insistent that the process server could leave it "in care of" Linda Salas, but like I mentioned, that was a no go. Seems like things are headed in the right direction thanks to all your help!

    • Like 1
  • Create New...