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M.i.d.l.a.n.d.s attorney sent me a settlement- Advice needed.


cwrose79
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This case is in JAMS Arbitration.  Back in Feb I sent in my Strike List and my Formal Complaint and have not heard back from JAMS since.  I have sent them 3-4 emails to my Jams Case Manager with no reply.  Jams never told me who the Arbitrator is. 

 

Today I get a letter from the Midlands attorney saying they will settle for $1500 dollars.  If they don't hear back from me by next week they say they will ask the court to schedule another pretrial conference. 

 

Can they do that while we have a pending JAMS case open?  We have both paid all the initial upfront JAMS fees.

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I have never been through arb, but I have a feeling that Midland has not yet paid their fees to JAMS. I would send a letter out to JAMS on Monday CMRRR telling them that Midland is trying to pull a fast one and ask for a quick reply on what's going on. I would also tell Midland that if they try this tactic you will fight them in court and that you have notified JAMS of their intentions. Others may have a better idea. Check with Linda7 on this.

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Thanks for the response!  I was under the impression that Midland has paid the fees since Arbitration has commenced.  JAMS sent me the Strike List and Commencement letter.  I will type up a letter to JAMS and send it out on Monday. 

 

What about the offer that Midland sent me?  Should I reply with a mutual walk away?

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I would do a little more research here in the arb forum, pay attention to linda7's postings.  I would be inclined to send a meet and confer letter to midland reminding them this case is in JAMS, a copy of your commencent letter as a reply. Someone with more arb. experience may have better advice.

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JAMS is generally pretty good in their record keeping and if you recieved a Strike List to choose an Arbitrator and submitted your Formal Complaint, the initial filing fee of $800 dollars has been paid. You don't mention if you paid your $250 or not.

If I were in your shoes I would send back a counter proposal for settlement for the 1/2 the amount of your claim in JAMS, as my first offer. If you offer Mutual Walkaway and they say no, then any future offer on your part would be need to be paying them money.

As far as them running back to court, what do you care. Seems straight forward, you have done your part to move the arbitration forward, and they have not. On what legal basis can you think of that a judge would entertain a motion for pre-trial? Based on the limited facts you have given I can think of no legal basis.

Best of Luck

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  • 3 weeks later...

UPDATE:  I sent the Attorney a counter offer letter for half of the damages I was claiming in JAMS and reminded them that this case was active in JAMS and any other threats of action in court would be another violation. 

 

3 weeks later they filed a Motion to make the case Active again and Pre trial. 

 

The motion states that I did not initiate properly and that this is grounds to re open the case. This case is currently in JAMS arbitration and the only reason it is being held up is becuase they are trying to get some added respondents removed.  Im working on the opposition now.   

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UPDATE:  I sent the Attorney a counter offer letter for half of the damages I was claiming in JAMS and reminded them that this case was active in JAMS and any other threats of action in court would be another violation. 

 

3 weeks later they filed a Motion to make the case Active again and Pre trial. 

 

The motion states that I did not initiate properly and that this is grounds to re open the case. This case is currently in JAMS arbitration and the only reason it is being held up is becuase they are trying to get some added respondents removed.  Im working on the opposition now.   

I've seen this happen before.  Get that opposition filed immediately along with your supporting documents.  They are feeling the heat and will try anything to get out of JAMS.

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Thanks for all the help Linda.  I'm puting a few finishing touches on it and will file it with the courts this week.  It looks like Codeman won his case with your help.  I think he was going through the same situation i was.   

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UPDATE:  I filed my Opposition last week.  Unfortunately the pre-trial has already been scheduled.  I spoke with the clerk and she told me that she didnt know why the Judge didnt give me time to respond to the Motion to put the case back on active status. 

 

She let me know she would take my oppostion to the judge to see if it will make a difference or if we will continue with the pre trial date. 

 

As far as JAMS goes.  The case has been recommenced and JAMS allowed me to add all the respondents. They sent me out a new strike list with more Arb choices.  I have to send that back next week and update my formal complaint with the additional FDCPA violation for trying to bring this back to court.   

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Update:  Called the courts today and the clerk told me that the Judge granted the Plaintiffs motion to place the case back on Active status and Pretrial.  He saw my opposition that clearly shows my JAMS fees were paid and Arb commenced.  He saw the letter where the M/F atorney asked for more time to respond to my JAMS complaint.  I explained in my opposition that JAMS had to make decisions about the added respondents and that added to the delay in ARB.  The opposition also showed that the JAMS session was Recommenced to give the added respondents a chance at the strike list.

 

The Judge decided to continue with the pretrial anyways.  So is this the end of the ARB road for me?  Can the judge just take me out of ARB just becuase the Plaintiff writes a motion in the middle of JAMS arb because its taking too long?       

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Hi... the dates in Aug.  This is AZ.

 

CW,

 

I concour with Shellieh, having a different state in your profile makes any direction given suspect.  For me I try to only commnet on California posts, because I know the most about my states Civil Procedure.  In any event I will continue to offer thoughts.

 

You stated that the motion was granted on the basis that "you failed to initiate properly".  This type of motion would have to be supported by numerous arguments as to "properly".  They could be based on timing, not payiing fees, not participating, etc.

 

For a Judge to rescinde his own stay order and set a pre-trial there would have needed to be some pretty compelling argument.  Further, what ever you had in your opposition papers wasn't enough.  Given that  what were the plaintiff's reasoning or arguments?

 

I believe that AZ courts are stacked with fairly conservative judges in comparison to California.  Which would mean they don't like some pro se defendant coming into their courts and upsetting the apple cart with Arbitration requests, when they could just clear your case with limited hearsay evidence and motion for summary judgement for plaintiff.

 

I believe the other thing you are going to need to find about your courts civil procedure is can you file a Motion to Reconsider.  If so you will need to load up on some case law to show the judge that his ruling is in error, regarding rescinding the stay order.

 

Thinking you will show up to pre-trial and be able to argue this without a new motion filed, will lead to you going to trial....

 

Midland in Californai is very easy to beat, based on Civil Procedures that they typically don't or can't follow through to trial.  I just don't know enough about you your states Civil Procedure to point you in a direction on how to win in court should you be forced to go to trial....

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CW,

 

I concour with Shellieh, having a different state in your profile makes any direction given suspect.  For me I try to only commnet on California posts, because I know the most about my states Civil Procedure.  In any event I will continue to offer thoughts.

 

You stated that the motion was granted on the basis that "you failed to initiate properly".  This type of motion would have to be supported by numerous arguments as to "properly".  They could be based on timing, not payiing fees, not participating, etc.

 

For a Judge to rescinde his own stay order and set a pre-trial there would have needed to be some pretty compelling argument.  Further, what ever you had in your opposition papers wasn't enough.  Given that  what were the plaintiff's reasoning or arguments?

 

I believe that AZ courts are stacked with fairly conservative judges in comparison to California.  Which would mean they don't like some pro se defendant coming into their courts and upsetting the apple cart with Arbitration requests, when they could just clear your case with limited hearsay evidence and motion for summary judgement for plaintiff.

 

I believe the other thing you are going to need to find about your courts civil procedure is can you file a Motion to Reconsider.  If so you will need to load up on some case law to show the judge that his ruling is in error, regarding rescinding the stay order.

 

Thinking you will show up to pre-trial and be able to argue this without a new motion filed, will lead to you going to trial....

 

Midland in Californai is very easy to beat, based on Civil Procedures that they typically don't or can't follow through to trial.  I just don't know enough about you your states Civil Procedure to point you in a direction on how to win in court should you be forced to go to trial....

 

Thanks for the reply. 

 

From what i understand the Judge granted the pretrial motion and set a date before i was even given the 10 days to respond to it. 

 

The Plaintiffs motion for pre trial was very basic. No exhibits at all.  Just the lawyer saying that i had not filed JAMS correctly and that this is a simple debt collection case.  It wasnt even a full page in length. 

 

In my opposition i included the jams letter stating that i had aid my portion upfront in full, Jams commencement papers showing jams had commenced, a letter from the plaintiffs attorney asking for more time(showing they were a cause for the delay) , email correspondence between the JAMS cm and myself(showing i was participating), and JAMS Recommencement Papers showing that the cause for delay had been worked out and the case is progressing through arb. 

 

I spoke to the clerk and she said that she personally spoke the the judge about this case when she showed him my opposition.  She said he told her that we will just figure it all out at the pretrial. 

 

 

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The thing to remember is this - he "only" granted their motion for a pre-trial.  He did "not" grant their motion to bring it back to court.

 

I think he wants to see both parties and sort it all out.

 

I still would go ahead and file a response to their latest motion so that the judge will see both sides "if" he looks at the file before the pre-trial.

 

You've got the proof to stand up to their allegations.  The judge will be able to see what they're up to.

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  • 1 month later...

UPDATE:  M/F sent me another settlement offer but it came 1 day before my 2nd pretrial.  Is this some kind of trick?  The settlement offer says that it is no longer economical to continue arbitration/litigation.  The letter says they will pay me $XXXX.XX to drop my claims in JAMS with a mutual walk away. 

 

The problem is that we have a pretrial scheduled a day from now and that doesn't allow me enough time to agree to the settlement.  Im afraid that if we go to court, the judge will pull me out of Arbitration and back into court and then the company wont want to honor the settlement offer. 

 

Is this some kind of trick?  Should I accept this offer and mail back the forms 1st thing tomorrow?  Has anyone had this happen so close to the pretrial?

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Looks like this case is on the brink of being settled.  M/F is going to pay me a good sum of money and dismiss with pred to agree to a mutual walk away.  Its not over yet but its looking good so far.  We are just finalizing the agreement.

 

The Arbitration road was long and stressful at times but extremly effective!    It didnt go as smoothly as some others experienced but in the end it worked out better than i thought it would.

 

Thank you to every single person who helped out!! Linda7, Mat, S F just to name a few.  I couldnt have done this without you!  All the  late night emails and working on this through holidays.  I must of drove you guys nuts with my paranoid emails anytime something didnt go as planned.  Some of the CIC members even helped me get my court motions completed through the Thanksgiving holiday while they had family and friends over.  All this for someone they didnt even know! I had a lot of people helping me out with this asking nothing in return for themselves.  This is something that I will never forget. 

 

Thank you!!

 

I will continue to keep everyone updated until this is over. 

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