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I sued my bank in small claims for numerous things that have gone on for years. The other day, I received a call from their representative who had general counsel waiting to conference in. Of course I was not expecting it, so I arranged with them to have a conference call with them and their general counsel today. They are on the East Coast and I'm on the West Coast, so we set the appointment at 11am my time, which is 2pm for them. We confirmed the date and time before hanging up.

Forward to today and there was no call at 11am. I thought perhaps they got the time mixed up, so I waited for 2pm my time and still no call. I am not sure what's going on because this has never happened to me before. One thought is that they might try to bump it up to District.

Just to make it absolutely clear, I never spoke to general counsel because they never conferenced in so there was no meet and confer.

Thoughts? Am I going 0 to 100?

Thank you!

 

 

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First off, until the appeals period is finished, you should always figure that the other party is going to appeal and prepare to move forward as such. Sounds like they have no clue what they are doing though either.

If you have contact information of the person that called you, I would contact them and inform them that you do not like to have your time wasted like this and that actions such as this are what has lead to the current situation. You are still willing to have a discussion but your patience is wearing thin. Also, inform them that you cannot simply drop what you are doing at a call to go over the case and that they should afford you the same courtesy that they would another attorney.

So, what I would do is prepare for both an appeal and what my next action will be once the appeal period is done. If they call back for another meet and confer, again offer an appointment but let them know that if they miss the appointment again, you are going to note it should these proceedings continue.

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My apologies if there was miscommunication on my part.
 

This was their first communication after being served. I have checked the case summary and they haven't filed anything currently.

I will see if they do anything else before court which is less than a month away. But a call to reschedule isn't a meet and confer. I saved the recorded call to prove it.

I'll wait until Monday to call the person who called me back.

Thank you for the response.

 

 

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Wait, is this another suit? I thought it was the same one where you got a judgement already.

If this is another suit then look at the CA Rules of Procedure to see if they have to file an answer or simply show up at court. If they are required to file an answer and don't, then on the court date, move for a summary judgement. Otherwise, just show up at court ready to prove your case.

As far as talking to the other lawyers, you can call to reschedule the meeting if you wish but I would again let them know that I don't like my time being wasted for meetings that don't happen and it is stuff like this which has probably lead to the case being filed in the first place.

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2 hours ago, WhoCares1000 said:

Wait, is this another suit? I thought it was the same one where you got a judgement already.

If this is another suit then look at the CA Rules of Procedure to see if they have to file an answer or simply show up at court. If they are required to file an answer and don't, then on the court date, move for a summary judgement. Otherwise, just show up at court ready to prove your case.

As far as talking to the other lawyers, you can call to reschedule the meeting if you wish but I would again let them know that I don't like my time being wasted for meetings that don't happen and it is stuff like this which has probably lead to the case being filed in the first place.

Yes. This is #3.

 

#1 is at the Bank Levy stage.

 

#2 is at the waiting for the 30 days to be up before I send them the "F*ck you, pay me" letter stage.

 

#3 I just filed.

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  • 2 weeks later...
28 minutes ago, Ready To Fight said:

The meet and confer.

Well, I am not a lawyer. 
 

Was this meeting ordered by the judge?  If not, he won’t care.  If so, you could move for sanctions.  Just realize— judges are not as lenient towards pro se litigants.  If you missed a meeting the judge ordered, you would lose the case.  If they miss the meeting the judge will probably just give them a second chance. 

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1 minute ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

Well, I am not a lawyer. 
 

Was this meeting ordered by the judge?  If not, he won’t care.  If so, you could move for sanctions.  Just realize— judges are not as lenient towards pro se litigants.  If you missed a meeting the judge ordered, you would lose the case.  If they miss the meeting the judge will probably just give them a second chance. 

They are required to do it in our court. I have them 6 ways from Sunday, so I will just move forward with my plans. I just wanted to check to see if anyone had any outside view of it. Thank you for the response.

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Personally, I have questions, only because we are hearing one side of the story.

Based on this thread, the attorneys office of the defendant called you looking to do a meet and confer and being that you were busy, you scheduled an appointment with them noting the time difference as they were in New York and you are in California. On the day of the meeting, you waited for the call at both the expected CA time of the meeting and the actual time they gave you and no call either time. Did you contact them to ask about why the meeting was not held and was their response a disdain towards you?

Regardless of your answer, I would not bring anything up and if the judge asks you about the meet and confer, just state that the parties could not come to an agreement. Let them bring up anything else and when they do, you then bring up the story since they opened the door. I would bet that they are not willing to open that door.

Also, realize that even if you have 2 wins already, your reputation has not preceded you yet. They may think that you are a litigant that has no experience in doing a court case. If that is the reason for the disdain, let them continue to think that and you can then wipe the floor with them during trial. Don't give them any reason to think otherwise.

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1 hour ago, WhoCares1000 said:

Personally, I have questions, only because we are hearing one side of the story.

Based on this thread, the attorneys office of the defendant called you looking to do a meet and confer and being that you were busy, you scheduled an appointment with them noting the time difference as they were in New York and you are in California. On the day of the meeting, you waited for the call at both the expected CA time of the meeting and the actual time they gave you and no call either time. Did you contact them to ask about why the meeting was not held and was their response a disdain towards you? No I didn't contact them; I just waited for them to possibly bump it (after today I still am). We are supposed to use TurboCourt, so I signed in and sent them a message. Earlier today they sent me an offer on there, but I didn't see it until after the call (I was literally signing in to TurboCourt when my phone rang). 

Regardless of your answer, I would not bring anything up and if the judge asks you about the meet and confer, just state that the parties could not come to an agreement. Let them bring up anything else and when they do, you then bring up the story since they opened the door. I would bet that they are not willing to open that door.

Also, realize that even if you have 2 wins already, your reputation has not preceded you yet. They may think that you are a litigant that has no experience in doing a court case. If that is the reason for the disdain, let them continue to think that and you can then wipe the floor with them during trial. Don't give them any reason to think otherwise.

I didn't know until today that both were attorneys. The one I did got out of line with me because the other one called me again with him on the line this time trying to ambush me into a talk. I very nicely said that I was busy and offered to make another set day and time to talk, but he got nasty enough that I ended the call. 

This is literally like 2 weeks later after the meet and confer was supposed to happen. They are acting like I missed the meet and confer and didn't reach out instead of them.

I'm effing p*ssed right now. I have them on so much. But their offer (that they are not budging from) isn't going to make me whole. They have until Friday to bump it up or I'm not available to talk settlement anymore.

After that, I'm filing complaints and letting the CFPB know what they have done.

Thank you for the response.

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Ok, so this is where I am:

They told me they were hiring outside counsel in my state and told me not to contact them directly (it was on turboCourt, I have proof). I received this message on Friday. I had already told them not to contact me again before that due to misconduct by one of them. 

 

So just now a messenger delivered their defense. I have not been contacted by their supposed outside counsel and the envelope open with no sticker or anything denoting where or who it came from. I have 3 different kinds of proof that it was delivered this way and that it was done today, if it matters.

 

I have never dealt with such unprofessional people in my life. Is that all it is? Unprofessional and immature?

 

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9 hours ago, Ready To Fight said:

I have never dealt with such unprofessional people in my life. Is that all it is? Unprofessional and immature?

 

Perhaps.  

 

Debt collection attorneys are usually not the top graduates. 

My maternal grandfather was a successful BK attorney, but his early days as a lawyer were in Oklahoma during the Depression and the Dust Bowl.  He did foreclosure and repo work for many years because that was all he could get money for.  The poor BK clients would often pay in chickens, which may be tasty, but didn't pay the rent.  When times were better, he went for more lucrative work, and left debt collection behind.  

In better economic times, debt collection attorneys are often the bottom of the barrel.  They are often young attorneys who graduated at the bottom of the class or from third rate law schools, and barely passed the bar on their fourth try.  Some have no ambition and just pick up the low lying fruit for a living.  Others have a little more ambition, and will cut whatever corners they can to get ahead, often doing completely unethical stuff.  

So, they evil or just incompetent?  More likely the latter, but quite possibly both.  

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10 hours ago, Ready To Fight said:

I had already told them not to contact me again before that due to misconduct by one of them. 

If they were the attorneys of record, they have a right to contact you on behalf of their client.  In fact, they are supposed to do so.  A cease and desist letter does not stop that process.  If you can prove misconduct, file a complaint with the bar association.

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3 hours ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

Perhaps.  

 

Debt collection attorneys are usually not the top graduates. 

My maternal grandfather was a successful BK attorney, but his early days as a lawyer were in Oklahoma during the Depression and the Dust Bowl.  He did foreclosure and repo work for many years because that was all he could get money for.  The poor BK clients would often pay in chickens, which may be tasty, but didn't pay the rent.  When times were better, he went for more lucrative work, and left debt collection behind.  

In better economic times, debt collection attorneys are often the bottom of the barrel.  They are often young attorneys who graduated at the bottom of the class or from third rate law schools, and barely passed the bar on their fourth try.  Some have no ambition and just pick up the low lying fruit for a living.  Others have a little more ambition, and will cut whatever corners they can to get ahead, often doing completely unethical stuff.  

So, they evil or just incompetent?  More likely the latter, but quite possibly both.  

This is not a debt collection case. The OP sued a bank, not the other way around. I think the attorney's in question are the bank's in house counsel and they are treating the OP with disdain because the OP is Pro Se so the bank attorney's think this is an easy win. They first blew off an appointment the OP made with them and tried to bully the OP to talk to them at the time they wanted. Now that the OP has not done them, they have apparently hired counsel in the location of the OP but refuse to tell the OP who that counsel is.

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11 minutes ago, WhoCares1000 said:

This is not a debt collection case. The OP sued a bank, not the other way around. I think the attorney's in question are the bank's in house counsel and they are treating the OP with disdain because the OP is Pro Se so the bank attorney's think this is an easy win. They first blew off an appointment the OP made with them and tried to bully the OP to talk to them at the time they wanted. Now that the OP has not done them, they have apparently hired counsel in the location of the OP but refuse to tell the OP who that counsel is.

Usually, when an attorney is replaced with another attorney, a change of attorney notice is filed with the court.

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18 minutes ago, BV80 said:

Usually, when an attorney is replaced with another attorney, a change of attorney notice is filed with the court.

This sounds like an issue where the bank wants to be lead counsel but has hired a local attorney (the rent a attorney scenario) to deal with the local work. They therefore don't want the OP to contact the local attorney but instead want the OP to talk to them. However, due to the treatment of the OP at the hands of the lead counsel, the OP really wants to deal with them only in court.

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13 hours ago, Ready To Fight said:

Ok, so this is where I am:

They told me they were hiring outside counsel in my state and told me not to contact them directly (it was on turboCourt, I have proof). I received this message on Friday. I had already told them not to contact me again before that due to misconduct by one of them. 

 

So just now a messenger delivered their defense. I have not been contacted by their supposed outside counsel and the envelope open with no sticker or anything denoting where or who it came from. I have 3 different kinds of proof that it was delivered this way and that it was done today, if it matters.

 

I have never dealt with such unprofessional people in my life. Is that all it is? Unprofessional and immature?

 

It sounds like the bank attorneys have disdain for you as a Pro Se litigant and might even by trying to bully you. Unfortunately you cannot refuse to speak to them because you have a case going and there are court expectations to be met, whether you like them or not.

As for the local attorney, just leave them alone. Send your filings to the bank's attorneys as you always have and it will be up to them to send to the local attorney. If the local attorney is not prepared for court and you made a timely filing, that is their problem, not yours. You just need to continue the case follow the rules of civil procedure. Review their answer and evidence and see where it weakens your case and where you can poke holes in their defense. Contact the bank attorneys only when you have to.

As for the disdain, certainly record their actions but don't bring them up to the court until they try to open the door as to your actions. Let them act as they are and then if you have a successful case, at that point will you see them eat some humble pie. You continue to act professional, regardless of how they act AND don't let them try to bully you either. It is common to expect opposing attorneys to make appointments rather than talk right then and there (and I doubt the courts would allow an attorney to stop another case just to talk to the opposing party in this case right then and there) so you should expect the same courtesy extended to a regular attorney.

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The reality is a lawsuit is expected to be adversarial.  What you interpret as bullying the court will see simply as posturing which is the norm in contested cases.  Whether you like it or agree with it you have to put up with it the same as a hired attorney would.  The other side knows that as a pro-se it is easier to get under your skin and they clearly did.  What you cannot do is refuse to speak to them or the firm they hire to go in to court.  You are bound by that rule of civil procedure as much as any licensed attorney.  Buckle up because it could get a lot harder.

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13 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

The reality is a lawsuit is expected to be adversarial.  What you interpret as bullying the court will see simply as posturing which is the norm in contested cases.  Whether you like it or agree with it you have to put up with it the same as a hired attorney would.  The other side knows that as a pro-se it is easier to get under your skin and they clearly did.  What you cannot do is refuse to speak to them or the firm they hire to go in to court.  You are bound by that rule of civil procedure as much as any licensed attorney.  Buckle up because it could get a lot harder.

You are correct that this is adversarial and that the OP cannot stop communication. However, the other side has also been acting unprofessional too. What attorney would expect the opposing attorney to drop everything and discuss the case at the drop of a hat. If that happened, judges would never be able to finish trials.

So as I said, give the other side what they want. If they want the OP to communicate with their in house attorneys instead of the local attorneys, then do so. When doing filings, send them to the in house attorneys as they requested and let them figure out how to get them to the local attorneys in time. If they don't, that is their problem. In court, do not bring up the unprofessionalism unless they bring it up first. Let them open the door. In the meantime, just keep the case moving on your end. Hand them just enough rope to hang themselves.

As for other meet and confers, I would call them and ask what time works for them and set up an appointment rather than waiting for them to call me. That would then put the onus on them to come up with a reasonable appointment for all to get together.

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I apologize for not answering before now. I'll try to get everything in here to answer everyone’s recent questions.

I was told by their in house counsel that they were hiring outside counsel from my state and not to contact them directly. They also gave me the name of their local to me attorney they had supposedly retained. I've looked them up and they didn't even give me the correct name plus they have horrible reviews, so I'm not sure considering their behavior that they have actually retained them.

Something else that also makes me think they have not retained outside counsel is that the other day I received their defense. They actually had a messenger deliver it directly to me. However, the envelope was open and it did not have any firm name on it as if they didn’t want any proof they sent it to me. However, when I checked the court site today, it reflected their Proof of service of Exchange and Submission of Evidence, but no substitution of attorney.

I don't plan on responding to them because on TurboCourt they told me not to contact them directly and gave me the name of the supposed local attorney so there should be no expectation of me sending them anything. So unless anything changes between now and court, I am just going to go to court and present my case. And if they play any games there, I will present all the behinds the scenes stuff they have been doing.

I expect adversarial; it’s the games and unprofessional behavior I’m tired of.

 

*** For the record, I told them that I wouldn’t speak to ONE person in particular and that if they had anything to tell me it had to go through someone else on their side. I called the first rep/attorney who contacted me and told her that shortly after I ended the bad call; she told me she understood and would relay that message. I never said I wouldn’t speak to them at all. THEY are the ones who said that.

Also there seems to be some miscommunication about the meet and confer. They called me unexpectedly and we set up a time to talk. That time came and went and they did not call. When they called again (ELEVEN DAYS LATER), they did so unexpectedly and when I said I couldn’t talk, that’s when the one went crazy. When I brought up the missed meet and confer, they then pivoted to “adhering to CA rules means using TurboCourt”… yet then when they wanted to call me, they did.***

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I don’t know the RCP for your court. 
 

You DO need to know the rules. 
 

What I do know is this:

1.  If you don’t follow the RCP to the letter, you could be in big trouble.  
 

2.  If there is a court order to court schedule to do something by such and such a time you need to do it. 
 

3. The bar attorneys will almost always be given leeway that you are not.  
 

You mentioned you refused to talk to a particular attorney because he was being a jerk.  That could really backfire on you 

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4 hours ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

I don’t know the RCP for your court. 
 

You DO need to know the rules. 
 

What I do know is this:

1.  If you don’t follow the RCP to the letter, you could be in big trouble.  
 

2.  If there is a court order to court schedule to do something by such and such a time you need to do it. 
 

3. The bar attorneys will almost always be given leeway that you are not.  
 

You mentioned you refused to talk to a particular attorney because he was being a jerk.  That could really backfire on you 

It's small claims. They aren't even supposed to be involved in my jurisdiction.

 

 

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