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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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I have a California lawsuit and living in Texas. Lawsuit is

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I have a California lawsuit and living in Texas. Lawsuit is happening for now almost 2 years. Since my lawyer took incredible amount of money from me already I decided to let him go and do it myself. The lawsuit is in exactly 2 months in California. I have a question regarding the process of a lawsuit.

My trial date is on 4.9 and I have judge assigned. My previous lawyer did the counter claim and discovery which emptied my bank account. The other guy in a lawsuit listed some witnesses. The next is I assume deposition to be taken by both side. So what happens if I just absolutely don't do anything and just go to trial that day. Basically ignore everything from their side and get ready for trial.

Note: He does not want to settle and just wants me to suffer by going to trial. What is the best way to behave towards this since I am doing trial myself. Any suggestion is most welcome. I am a defendant in this case getting sued by ex-business partner. Again, I live in texas now so any suggestions you want to throw my way would be great.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

If you're planning to mount any sort of a defense, you will have to serve the other party with witness lists and exhibit lists, or the judge may choose not allow you to present your arguments. If you are not intending to do anything other than show up and say, "Yes, I owe the money," you don't even have to go. The judge will enter judgment against you when you don't appear, so you can save yourself the cost of a plane ticket (unless the judge ordered you to appear). You don't have to request any discovery, but you do have to comply with any requests served on you, or you can be found to be in contempt of court, and you don't want that.

As far as what happens, usually, the judge will ask if you want to do short opening statements where you explain your theory of the case. These arguments are not evidence. The other party is the plaintiff. He goes first. So, he gets to call witnesses in any order that he chooses. He can choose to call you as a witness, if he wants. After he is done questioning each witness, you can also question the witnesses to try to show that the witness doesn't remember the facts, is only telling part of the story, or is not telling the truth (whatever the case may be). You can also ask questions to clarify anything you want to clarify, or try to cast doubt on whether you really owe the money. The other party can introduce exhibits, and you'll be able to object (one of the common grounds is relevance, but you can also object if documents are not authenticated or if an item contains hearsay). After the plaintiff is done, you'll be allowed to present your witnesses/evidence. Then, you can do closing arguments, and the judge will make a decision.

If you have any questions at all about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for helping you today. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Lucy, I would like to have a chance to defend myself in the court and even if it is just with all his witnesses. It is very helpful what you wrote and I basically just need to show up then and do my thing to the best of my ability.


 


So I will not respond to any request from their side at this time and just show up on the date of trial.


 


One question is that even though I will only show up there can I bring my own small evidence of sorts or does it have to be submitted someplace prior to trial? Also not having any witnesses and avoiding deposition can not hurt me in automatic loss of trial.


 


Note: The trial is really nonsense and my goal is to try to defend myself with least amount of money spent. Thank you Lucy, you have been a great help to me...for prior and this question.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
You won't automatically lose if you do not present any witnesses, because the plaintiff has the burden of proof. If there are hearings scheduled between now and the trial, and you do not show up, the judge can rule against you. He can also rule against you if the other party sends you discovery requests and you repeatedly fail to respond after being ordered to do so.

If there is evidence that they asked for but you did not give them, or that you are required by law to disclose (for example, federal law has mandatory disclosures that must be made in all cases), a judge won't allow you to introduce it if you did not first provide it to the other party.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK got it. so hearing is the important one. I know we had some hearing with my previous lawyer and since his lawyer did not contact me via email, phone or mail since I switched to no lawyer (in nov 2012). the best way to see if we have a hearing is to call the court offices directly correct? I know they are usually done via phone if the defendant is out of state. I just need yes or no on this last answer.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Yes
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 19903
Experience: Attorney
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