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The quoted rule does allow amendment of an answer. No responsive pleading is required to an answer, so it can be amended without leave of court within 20 days from service of the answer.
Such an amendment can be made to add compulsory counterclaims and third party complaints.
within 20 days though
\weve not answered at all
at this point with two days left
Thus, procedurally, what your attorney has stated is allowed (if done within 20 days of the answer being served).
No, you have 2 days left to answer. Once you serve your answer, you have 20 days to file an amended answer without leave of court.
ok so for example we file an answer on the 5th day .. we can amend that up to the 20th day
If it is not filed within 20 days after serving your answer, you can still file an amended answer but will have to request special permission from the court, which the court will generally allow without an issue.
Well, actually the 25th day (within 20 days from serving the answer)
well i dont trust lawyer at all .. it's been over 120 days to get this in place ..
so he has 5 additional days to amend the answer
Sure. I would start looking for someone else if I were you, but you need to get an answer on file asap so you don't default.
No, he has 20 days to amend the answer
You said you would file on the 5th day. That would mean you could amend through the 25th day of the month
ok so if he files tomorrow the 19th day ... he'd have to day 39
the difficult issue in all of this is i cant file a complaint ..if i do he can drop me .. so i need to let him file and cross my fingers
Yes. Forget about when your answer is due. That is irrelevant other than to make sure you get it filed on time. Once it's filed though, you have 20 days to amend without getting an order from the court.
You can get your answer on file, find another attorney, terminate the current attorney and then file your complaint.
ok so it buys me 20 days
ok i have a few additional questions .. ill tip you very well i cant believe i got someone in this format of chat
just some background this has been going on for almost 135 days
he's told me the complaint was to be ready 7 times and then missed the deadline eventually i became the defendent
i know that sounds nuts on his side and my side for staying with him .. he's with akin gump which is a good firm so I thought he would step iup
in december he instructed me to do multiple things in preparation for the lawsuit he was to bring, he then told me the complaint was ready or near ready that same month
after failing to provide the complaint ... i didnt allow him to move into an apt that i own in DC ... yes you heard that correctly
2 weeks later i get this weird email saying that i shouldnt consider him my legal counsel until a contract is in place ... this is after 3 months of working with him
a client/lawyer relationship was certainly established im thinking ... offering me the complaint, telling me not to do things based on the complaint to be filed
is that pretty obvious, even though he wants to erase that history ..?
Even if you hadn't signed a contract, it seems clear based on facts you noted that an attorney-client relationship was present. As such, he had a duty to get the work done within a reasonable time. It also seems clear that he breached that duty by not doing it within a reasonable time. A reasonable time for an initial complaint wouldn't be more than 1 month in most cases. His just being busy is no excuse.
It's certainly something over which you could file a bar complaint.
well after he makes his i shouldn't consider him as my representtation he tells me i need to sign a contract with his father because he has a conflict of interest .... the contract and complaint go hand and hand except i never got the complaint as promised
IF he has a conflict, he shouldn't be representing you. You could also allege in the bar complaint that he represented you with a conflict.
this was in february .... then the next months include no contact at all with the father and him telling me in writing the complaint was ready or almost ready as additional actions were taken against me ...the transfer to the father is that valid especiall now that its june and ive never spoken to him
he wanted out of the case because he's lazy .. he's been distancing himself for 5 months now ... as I continued to think he'd step up
then after I became aware the plantiff was likely to file a complaint three weeks went by... he once again promiosed the complaint .... never happened and i was served by them
that was about 18 days ago .. since then he's cancelled 3 appts to meet in person, has spent ten minutes on the phone with me .. the whold time me asking for clarification
i finally sent a formal letter yesterday with my expectations ... and what i was under the impression how he was moving forward .......because he would't answer questions in regard to the counter claim or cross claim ...
last night at 1 am he calls and im told that the basis of the case was X when it use to be Y and that the counterclaim and cross claim may not be filed with the answer
I forgot to add when I got the generic response his fathers name was listed as my counsel
i feel like if I sigh that document that my real attorney has the ability to say screw him .... my dads his attorney erasing almost 9 months of BS
should i sign that response with the fathers name?
All very suspicious behavior and adds to the reason you should file a bar complaint.
You can sign a contract with the firm but you're free to terminate the contract at any time. The firm would only be able to collect fees for reasonable services performed.
the bar complaint gives him an out immediately thus im dealing with malpractive and my current issue at once .. i guess your saying the complaint comes after he gets me another 20 days by filing the initial answer
You don't want to file any complaint until you have an answer on file and have some time to secure new counsel
just a daunting task he'd taken this under contingency and finding someone else to do so may be impossible
i got the answer from him its kind of a joke .. its a HOA case .... very involved.. almost ridiculous .. but 3 weeks ago he had no idea why they filed a breach of contract complaint ... how can he not understand that?
so your sure in dc an amended answer can be provided 20 days after the initial answer just confirming
He may not fully understand the law on the matter. It will be best to get an answer, any answer, on file and have new counsel review the case with you to file an amended answer, counterclaims, and third party complaint within 20 days.
Yes, I provided you with the rule allowing amendment of pleadings. An answer is a pleading.
great ... one last thing i have issue with the answer having his fathers name on it ... in regard to malpractice doesn't that almost realize his son of his responsibility
It doesn't matter whose name is XXXXX XXXXX contract. If you can show he did the work and committed malpractice, then that's it. There doesn't have to be a signed document.
ok .. his behavior is just so bizarre if your going to lie dont you do it verball and not in writing :)
malpractice cases im told are very expensive and last forever ... is that your take
Yes, malpractice cases are usually not worth the effort, which is why I only mentioned filing a bar complaint.
well the damage associated with his behavior is pretty severe .. i could lose my home due to him letting things drag for nine months and the HOA took additional actions as he sat on his hands ...
i guess the worse the damage that occurs makes a malpractice case much more feasible .. it sounds ridiculous but it seems the lawyer can do whatever they want with no repurcussions
Of course is damages are severe, then it might be worth pursuing. It would certainly be something to discuss with a malpractice attorney.
his damages report came to around 500k he put in a recent document to convince me how much work hes down ..he'd spent 150K of his time on the case
which is ridiculous but would his own reports be something a malpractive attorney could tie to the case he brought against my current attorney ... there aren't many malpractice attorneys i realize i need to have a case that would see $$$ is that correct?
im assuming i have to sign the answer is that correct ... at least i would see him at that point or is my signature not required im assuming it is but just checking .... im done promise
If it's a verified answer, you'll sign it.
As for the malpractice issues -- the damages would be to you, which makes the amount of time he's spent irrelevant. It's only whether he failed to do something or did something inappropriately that caused you significant damage. If the fee he tries to charge is unreasonable, he would not be allowed to collect it. Any costs you incur fighting an unreasonable fee might be compensable as part of the malpractice action, but that only makes what he attempts to charge secondary, not primary to your claims of malpractice. His failure to timely complete tasks is really the meat of it.
its verified ....
Then you will sign it.
he wasted 180 days lying about filing the complaint resulting in ,multiple actions against me .. im not joking 8 times he offered up the complaint each time he was lying to buy more time ...thank you for your help ..... im just worried about signing that answer because if i do ... and then he does nothing in regard to the amended answer my only option is malpractice
to afford and find another attorney in twenty days may be impossible .. ive considered settling with the plaintiff actually
Yes, I'm sorry about the situation you're in. It should never have happened. Please let me know if I can provide any assistance in the future. Have a great day!
if i sign the answer based on him signing something in regard to the amended return is that viable .. it would force him to write the counterclaim and cross claims .. something after 120 days he still is the best person to write such things without recreating the wheel .. that seems like a compromise that provides me cover as well as him
Maybe. You can certainly ask him to provide written assurance he'll get it done within the allotted time.
ok well it seems like the only answer for me ... i wont go through another 20 days of his bs especially with his father officially on record as my attorney
thank you for your help ...in appreciate it
Yes, neither would I. Your welcome. Again, let me know if I can help in the future. Thanks.
I would appreciate it if you could leave the positive rating and bonus at this time (as you noted you would do). Thanks!
I would appreciate it if you could provide the positive rating and bonus you noted you would leave. Thanks!
Well lawyer filed a motion 2 hours before answer was due based on the Condominium suing me and not the condominium association ... there were a few other sloppy errors in their complaint making it difficult ( not really, technicalities) ti understand were the counterclaims against the condominium or the condominium association, as well as they used BOD's ... which we can't have .. we have a president ... blah blah ... so the motion will be granted he said .... either the plaintiff will have to refile ..( Most likely) or case thrown out ( not likely ) .. if the motion is granted ... other attorney contacted on Thursday never got back to my attorney ... so sent to Judge per DC Code) if they refile Wednesday, do they need to serve me again, if they do or do not, does the 20 days to answer start back over for my attorney ... I'm thinking yes .. which is what he wants because he hasnt done the work as he should.
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