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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37492
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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I live in San Diego, CA. My attorney never filed the settlement

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I live in San Diego, CA. My attorney never filed the settlement brief nor prepared me for our Mandatory Settlement Conference tomorrow morning. I did not even know what a MSC meant. My husband has refused 4 ways but at our mtg. last Thursday his attorney came with their settlement proposals which was the first time I've seen them. I asked my attorney several times to send me her plan or proposal for what things we needed to settle and she said she didn't have time and that my husband's attorney was bringing one. All of this has happened since last Thursday with a copy of "my settlement brief" emailed to me today. My attorney tried to go ex parte yesterday to ask for a continuance of the MSC and was denied as she was beyond the time limit to request a continuance. My fiends husband still hasn't supplied financial records as stipulated over a year ago and my friend's attorney just last Thursday asked for more documents as well as the one's still NOT provided. As of yesterday she also quickly filed a few subpoenas for financial info.
By the way, I am my spanish speaking friend's English speaking friend. She speaks some English but she doesn't understand as well as she speaks. We are going to hire her a Spanish speaking attorney but we wonder the following:
1) she's been told by 3 attorneys today NOT to agree on anything tomorrow
2) Her attorney doesn't want Trudy to bring emails which clearly indicate her husband has NOT been forthcoming but also that she (my friend's attorney has NOT prepared my friend at all for settlement. She told my friend not to say that or else she (the attorney) would be in trouble with the judge.
3) The fact that the JAMS judge did not receive my friend's settlement brief on time and when it is apparent she is not prepared and doesn't agree to settle any issues..what are the ramifications for my friend? How long is the conference likely to go on and basically can you say what she might expect to happen?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

I am sorry to hear that you ae in this situation. Please permit me to respond to each of the points you listed.

1) she's been told by 3 attorneys today NOT to agree on anything tomorrow
That is essentially correct. She would need to stall and wait until she hires a more competent attorney to assist her.
2) Her attorney doesn't want Trudy to bring emails which clearly indicate her husband has NOT been forthcoming but also that she (my friend's attorney has NOT prepared my friend at all for settlement. She told my friend not to say that or else she (the attorney) would be in trouble with the judge.
That is the attorney's problem, not your friend's. Explain to the attorney that if she fails to take responsibility your friend will still contact the county disciplinary board and file a grievance specifically for violating her ethical obligations and placing her client in a worse position based on her action, or in this case, lack of action.

3) The fact that the JAMS judge did not receive my friend's settlement brief on time and when it is apparent she is not prepared and doesn't agree to settle any issues..what are the ramifications for my friend?
Possible contempt but unlikely if your friend may claim she does not understand the situation and needs more time to figure out what the agreement means.

How long is the conference likely to go on and basically can you say what she might expect to happen?
The conference may go for hours although they are generally about 30 minutes or more. The judge will attempt to figure out if the parties came to an agreement and if not, he may get unhappy and upset with the waste of his time.

Good luck.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37492
Experience: I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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