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URGENT HELP NEEDED I SCREWED UP ON HEARING FOR TODAY

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Oh I hope someone is up to give me advice. I screwed up big time, I have another thread but don't know how to post a link, it is "Please Help Me On How To Present Myself at "Discussion" So I Don't Look Like A Fool".

So I have this Settlement and Discussion meeting tomorrow at 2:30 pm and I assumed it was where they have the attorney intimidate me into settling. I with much embarrassment neglected to look at the ARCP to see if there was such a meeting. So here is what it says:

16 A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 16.1

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated Currentness

Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona (Refs & Annos)

III. Pleadings and Motions; Pretrial Procedures (Refs & Annos)

Rule 16.1. Settlement Conferences: Objectives

Rule 16.1. Settlement Conferences: Objectives

(a) Mandatory Settlement Conferences. Except as to lower court appeals, medical malpractice cases, and cases subject to compulsory arbitration under A.R.S. § 12-133, in any action in which a motion to set and certificate of readiness is filed, the court, at the request of any party, shall, except for good cause shown, direct the parties, the attorneys for the parties and, if appropriate, representatives of the parties having authority to settle, to participate either in person or, with leave of court, by telephone, in a conference or conferences before trial for the purpose of facilitating settlement. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, all requests for settlement conferences shall be made not later than 60 days prior to trial. The court may also schedule a settlement conference upon its own motion.

In medical malpractice cases, the court shall conduct a mandatory settlement conference no earlier than four (4) months after the conduct of the comprehensive pretrial conference and no later than thirty (30) days before trial.

(B) Scheduling and Planning. The court shall enter an order that sets the date for the settlement conference, a deadline for furnishing settlement conference memoranda, and other matters appropriate in the circumstances of the case. An order setting a settlement conference shall not be modified except by leave of court upon a showing of good cause.

© Settlement Conference Memoranda. At least five (5) days prior to the settlement conference, each party shall furnish the court with a separate memorandum. In non-medical malpractice cases, the memorandum shall not be filed with the clerk of the court, and the parties shall furnish the memoranda sealed to the division assigned to the case. In medical malpractice cases, the settlement conference memoranda shall be filed and exchanged. Each memorandum shall address the following:

(1) a general description of the issues in the lawsuit, and the positions of each party with respect to each issue;

(2) a general description of the evidence that will be presented by each side with respect to each issue;

(3) a summary of the settlement negotiations that have previously occurred;

(4) an assessment by each party of the anticipated result if the matter did proceed to trial; and

(5) any other information each party believes will be helpful to the settlement process.

No part of any settlement conference memorandum shall be admissible at trial.

(d) Attendance. Settlement conferences shall be attended by all of the parties to the litigation and their counsel unless specifically excused for good cause by the court. In addition, the defendants shall have a representative present with actual authority to enter into a binding settlement agreement. All participants shall appear in person except pursuant to stipulation of the parties or order of the court.

(e) Confidentiality. The court shall order that discussions in settlement conferences shall be confidential among the parties, their counsel and the court.

(f) Discretion to Transfer. The court, upon its own motion, or upon the motion of a party, may transfer the settlement conference to another division of the court, willing to conduct the settlement conference.

(g) Ex Parte Communications. At any settlement conference conducted pursuant to this Rule, the court, with the consent of all those participating in the conference, may engage in ex parte communications if the court determines that will facilitate the settlement of the case.

(h) Sanctions. The provisions of Rule 16(f) of these Rules concerning sanctions shall apply to a conference provided for by this rule.

You notice © and the fact I was suppose to submit memorandum. Well I didn't and now how do I handle this. I must go to court Do I just admit my ignorance and say I did not look this up and therefore did not file this memorandum? There must be something someone can help me with, surely if the Plaintiff has never answered my Discovery and it has been 10 months then the Judge cannot possibly make an exception to my stupidity can he?

Please advise me how to handle this?

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You probably do not need to worry to much. This appears to be just a settlement conference that nothing adverse to your case will occur. I am not familar with your state court process, but this type of hearing is common and is meant to try and get the sides to settle. You could probably type something out and give it to the other party at the hearing. Even if you do not, the Judge will not find in their favor. Good luck.

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Oh.....debtfighter I was hoping you would find my post if it wasn't for you I would not have made it this far your advice has been invaluable thus far! I have since calmed down and have been working on the Memorandum with it's 5 points. And I am just going to make it very brief!

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Oh.....debtfighter I was hoping you would find my post if it wasn't for you I would not have made it this far your advice has been invaluable thus far! I have since calmed down and have been working on the Memorandum with it's 5 points. And I am just going to make it very brief!

Thank you for the kind words. Good luck at the hearing. The attorney will try to play hardball and act like you have no choice but to accept their proposal, but do not be intimidated. This isn't the hearing you need to win or prove your case. Their weakness is their ability to prove they can prevail in court. Do not lose sight of their need to have a contract, statements, bills of sale with your name/account and any possible chain of custody for all JDB's. Regardless of what they may have at the hearing, a loss of memory is suitable and expected, you are not under oath to admit or deny anything. Do not give them anything they may use later.

I have no doubt you will do a great job. Good Luck! ::rockon::

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One more question, I prepared a Motion to Compel Discovery is there a proper time to present this to the Judge? Also should the Attorney not show would I ask for a motion to dismiss based on the fact that it has been 10 months and they haven't answered the Discovery? Do I have to go prepared with my own Motion to Dismiss?

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It is not likely to be the best time to deliver it to the court. However I would get to court early and file it, then you can serve the lawyer while you are there. If they try to push anything I would just keep saying that due to their not responding to discovery your only settlement position is dismissal WITH predjudice. Had they responded to discovery, you may have had a different position at this meeting.

If the judge is running this meeting for some reason, I would make a HUGE deal about the plaintiff is causing delay and a waste of the courts time by not responding to discovery before this meeting.

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They do the same thing here in my neck of the woods. When ya go there they will either go to a conference room or meet in the hall way to discuss a settlement.

If you feel that they are trying to railroad you in to paying more than you can afford, or you feel the amount is incorrect, or ant thing else you may feel is wrong, you do not have to agree to what they offer.

The good thing is you also get to see the proof they have against you. Just like discovery look at the evidence they have and challenge it if it is not good evidence.

Do not let them bully you. Any thing they show you at the conference can not be entered as evidence if you decide to challenge them.

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Oh.....debtfighter I was hoping you would find my post if it wasn't for you I would not have made it this far your advice has been invaluable thus far! I have since calmed down and have been working on the Memorandum with it's 5 points. And I am just going to make it very brief!

You are doing the right thing. Just prepare the memo and hand it to the mediator when you first meet with him/her.

Not sure how much you have to say but if you are being stiffed on discovery, I would explain what you asked for, and how the plaintiff objected.

For example: Defendant has asked for such basic documents as the agreement referred to in the complaint and the assignment agreement that allegedly provides plaintiff with standing to assert the claims of [OC]. Plaintiff has objected, among other grounds, that such documents are "irrelevant". It appears that a motion to compel will be necessary.

Good luck.

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The attorney will try to play hardball and act like you have no choice but to accept their proposal, but do not be intimidated. Just smile real big and look directly at him and say "I appreciate your proposal and I'll consider it" :-)

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