How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask John Legal Your Own Question

John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 15 years legal experience.
18914223
Type Your Legal Question Here...
John Legal is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My wifes deceased mothers estate and my wife are being sued

Resolved Question:

My wife's deceased mother's estate and my wife are being sued by a home care nurse company in small claims court in Palm Beach County. This case involved using a Home Health Care policy where the policy pays at $120/day for non-professional care and $180/day for professional care. I am the agent who wrote the policy and know how the policy is to work. The company is using a debt collection attorney and has already filed a law suite to collect the debt.

Under the terms of the policy my wife would have an aide ie non-professional care for her mother for 8 hours per day ie 15*8= $120/day. The home care company representative told my wife that she could probably get the insurance company to pay at the higher level of $180/day and would then be able to have the aide for 12 hours/day.

She called back several days later saying to my wife that the insurance carrier agreed to the $180/day level. Based on that, my wife agreed to bump up the hours to 12 hours/day. Three months later my mother-in-law passed away.

The home care agency said that the insurance company did not pay at the $180 and that my wife and her mother's estate owes over $4000. As the agent, I called the insurance carrier to find out what had happened. I was stunned to learn that the carrier never approved the higher daily amount and they put it in writing. Furthermore, the home care agency sent in the bills coded for non-professional care and the insurance carrier paid at the $120 level. From what I can tell at this point I believe this is a case of fraud in the inducement, unjust enrichment, detrimental reliance and fraud. I also have a though understanding of the policy.

Since this is small claims court, we do not want to use an attorney. It would cost more than the claim and even if we win, we would still have to pay the attorney's fees. I understand the case thoroughly. My question is under Civil Procedure am I allowed to speak on behalf of my wife with her permission? Do we need to get approval from the judge before we go to court or do we ask when we get to court. Thank you for any information you can provide or any suggestions.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John Legal replied 1 year ago.

Welcome! Thank you for your question.

I can tell that you fully understand the issues here and would be a terrific advocate for your wife and her mother's estate. Your final question relates to whether you will be able to speak on behalf of your wife and the estate. The issue that you are stating is really whether this would be considered as the practice of law without a license.

Anyone who is not a licensed attorney in Florida who offers legal advice, prepares or files legal documents, represents a client in court,presents himself as an attorney when he is not or offers a legal opinion is practicing without a license, and is subject to criminal prosecution. You filing documents or speaking on behalf of your wife is unfortunately the unlicensed practice of law.

"Generally speaking, a nonlawyer may not represent another in court. An out-of-state attorney who wishes to represent some

one in a Florida court must seek permission to appear pro hac vice

in order to do so." Rule 2.510 Fla.R.Jud.Admin. The Florida Bar v. Moses, 380 So. 2d 412 (Fla. 1980).



Your wife can certainly represent herself in the small claims proceeding, however. She can call you to testify and you can present the issues related to your experience in your testimony. The small claims judge will likely allow her lots of leeway in her questions and your comments in your testimony.

Another issue that you are going to face is that the small claims judge may also not allow your wife to represent the estate because that could also be considered the practice of law without a license.

"The general rule is that an individual may appear pro se and represent themselves in court. Fla. Stat. § 454.18. This general rule does not apply to probate proceedings or to corporations. In a probate proceeding, unless the individual attempting to appear pro se is the sole interested party in the matter, the individual must be represented by a member of The Florida Bar. Rule 5.030, Probate and Guardianship Rules," Falkner v. Blanton, 297 So. 2d 825 (Fla. 1974).

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

 

Please show your appreciation for my candid, accurate information by clicking VERY INFORMATIVE, OR the OR and positive feedback. You should only rate me if you are satisfied with the information I provided you. If you cannot rate me GREAT please do not rate. Give me a chance to make it right by clicking REPLY TO EXPERT.

 

I appreciate your question and repeat customers. You can request me by beginning your question with "Dear XXXXX..."

Thank you,

John

John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience: Over 15 years legal experience.
John Legal and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  John Legal replied 1 year ago.
Alan,

Thanks for asking your question and viewing my response. Please remember that I really need your excellent rating so that I am paid by the site for my work. If I can help with further information let me know.

Thank you,

John

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
 
 
 

Related Legal Questions

Chat Now With A Lawyer
John Legal
John Legal
Lawyer
4631 Satisfied Customers
Over 15 years legal experience.