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Going to Trial against Cavalry-pay lawyer for trial time or go pro se?


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Advice needed...

I have been sued by Cavalry (JDB) on an MBNA account they bought that I could not pay due to business implosion around the time the economy crashed in '06. Debt is now for ~$20,000. I filed reply to summons then hired a decent inexpensive lawyer to do the legwork up to a trial. Of course our claim is that they have not shown adequate proof that they own the debt or have personal knowledge of the records of the OC, they did not fully answer some of our discovery requests and their affidavit is weak. Their lawyer is demanding that it goes to trial which is scheduled for 8/11, and claims that Cavalry will send someone to testify but has not indicated to the court or my attorney that any witnesses will be present.

My current lawyer has been good up to now, and inexpensive, but she does not feel comfortable going to trial because this trial is being held in Superior Court and her experience is in small claims. She has contacted me with an experienced/ respected litigator who is willing to take the case for the estimated 1/2 day trial. To go this route I would need to pay a $2,500 retainer that would cover $250/hr for him. I would also pay her ~$1000 to prep him. The hole thing could cost $4,000 or more. This $ would be painful but I could pull it off.

Is this worth it? Could I expect to have reasonable chances to get it thrown out if I should I go into this pro se and save the $$? My current attorney could prep me some and provide the complete bench memo and a voir dire if necessary (for a fee).

The next twist on this is that I already have a judgement on a Discover loss in the $20,000+ range. They have placed a lien on my property (owned with my wife). I was hoping to recover financially by now so I could settle these, but of course, it did not pan out that way. For ~$2,000 I can file BK, which I have been trying hard not to do but if I can fix both these problems at the same time?? I just checked my credit/score and somehow it is still 677 and the little credit I have now I use to run my business, so BK is not entirely attractive (of course).

I will slide one more question in while I am at it: the judgement lien on my property (from the Discover loss) which is owned jointly with my wife, only has my name stated in it. Another attorney told be that a lien on jointly held property that regards only one owner is not enforceable. Is this true? If so how would that be resolved/removed?

I need to give an answer to the lawyers who would be representing me in the next day or so, so any advice on this would be VERY helpful. Thank you in advance!!

With great respect - Jkap

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by this time you should have murdered them during discovery.

but im not going to talk about woulda, shoulda, coulda.

$1,000 for you to prep him? how good is this attorney that he needs you to pay him then prep him? he should be able to look at the documents filed, the pleadings, the evidence filed, then obtain some basic facts about the case from you before jumping into the fire. that situation makes me a bit uncomfortable :confused:

i had an attorney for my dad one day, he showed up an hour before court, looked at the documents on record, asked my dad a few questions, then got up there and destroyed the JDB.

id find another attorney, but that's just me.

time (and money) is of the essence

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You know that Cavalry will not have a witness from the OC and most likely will not have any account statements...the affidavit from a Cavalry employee will not hold up and the bill of sale does not have your name or acct number on it...It has happened before where the JDB did not have any evidence, but in one of the Defendant's Pleadings they admitted to the debt. So the court awarded judgment to the JDB.

If you did not admit to the debt and they have no evidence, then the only thing you need to be preped on is if they put you on the stand.

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