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 socrateaser Your Own Question

socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33377
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
Type Your Legal Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

This is Kevin Owner of the Driving School. You are THE BEST

Customer Question

This is Kevin Owner of the Driving School. You are THE BEST LAWYER on here. I will be getying back to yoi with my Questions. I want to leave a nice tip for your services using the fill in Box. Is there another way to pay you if I do not want to use PayPal. Thanks for your time and Knowledge as a REAL proffesional. What do yoi think about his voice messages left on my cell phone and his letter. I also sent him a letter saying I would finish his daughter ASAP. Thats when he sent me his letter.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 10 months ago.
Thanks for your kind words. I'm flattered. Concerning how you pay, the website controls that issue exclusively, so whatever you choose to do, you will have to work out with customer service.

But, if you want to leave a tip here, via paypal, then feel free.

If you told the father that you stand ready to perform, and the lawyer is preventing you from completing the contract, then I do not see how the court can give judgment for plaintiff -- at least not as a matter of law -- because you're not in breach as long as you are prepared in good faith to perform the agreed upon service.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33377
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I.


 


Goodmorning Happy Labor Day.


 


If the Daughter is named the plaintiff. Does all my evidence about the father become a mute point. The transcription and recordings and letter. Just me against the daughter. She never made the claims just the father. Just my evidence of the contract. More simple of a case ?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 10 months ago.

Morning. Happy Labor Day to you, too.

If the Daughter is named the plaintiff. Does all my evidence about the father become a mute point?

 

A: The small claims court is obligated to appoint a guardian ad litem for a minor plaintiff. CCP 116.410(b). The father can appear on behalf of the minor child, even though the minor is the "real party in interest."

 

Whether or not evidence is relevant to the matters at issue, depends on the evidence and the issues. You'll have to be more specific about the evidence and what you believe it proves.

 

Note: The legal term is "moot," not "mute." Moot means "no longer legally justiciable." Mute means "rendered silent." Not trying to condescend here. Just want you to know the correct terminology.

 

The transcription and recordings and letter. Just me against the daughter. She never made the claims just the father. Just my evidence of the contract. More simple of a case ?


A: Ah, okay. You can object to the father's claims as without foundation and unfairly prejudicial, i.e., that father is making claims that the child has not alleged, and that unless the child testifies to personal knowledge of the various facts, all of this could be simply invented by father.

But, if the child testifies that everything "daddy" is claiming is true, then dad is no longer making the claim -- he's just acting as guardian ad litem.

Hope this helps.

 

Note: I see you are polling the community for answers today. Many of the lawyers here are not licensed to practice law in California. Many have never even set foot in California, much less in a California courtroom.

 

Where a case is still hypothetical, seeking answers from out-of-state practitioners who can analyze and comment on substantive law may be appropriate. Once you are actually in a pending case, however, trying to get accurate answers from someone with no personal experience in the forum or venue, in my view, is perilous -- and inevitably will lead to a bad outcome.

 

You may want to ask each person whether or not they are a Member of the State Bar of California -- if not, then you may want to give their answers little weight.

 

 

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Ok, GREAT point about the forum. Remember the daughter is now an adult as of TODAY. 9/12 is the court date.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 10 months ago.
If daughter is an adult, then there is no longer any need for a guardian ad litem. Father can still appear, because this is the Superior Court hearing and attorneys can represent parties. But, father can't testify to anything other than what he observed of his daughter and/or you. It's daughter's testimony that matters.

If I were the judge and father was doing all of the testifying about his daughter's mental state, etc., I would tell father to shut up and sit down -- or act like a lawyer and question his witness -- one or the other.

These cases rarely last more than 10 minutes, and I have a busy calendar and I need to get to the facts. I doubt that daughter knows what she's claiming, but father obviously does. He wants to try to prove that you terrorized his daughter -- and he wants to do it without any testimony from a medical professional. There is no way that I would accept the daughter's claims alone, without a psychiatrist or psychologist as a witness.

But, I'm not the judge, so there's no way to know what your judge is likely to do.

If you want to find out, then take a half day, find out which judge will be hearing your case, go to the courthouse and observe some Superior Court de novo hearings. Then, you'll know what the judge's disposition is like.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Goodmorning, This is Kevin again. My Driving school APPEAL is this Thursday night at 3pm.


He has postphoned it 3 times. I would like to run my Cross examination questions by you. After they get to talk first. Then I get to question them. Can I ask them anything I want ? Use their own recordings and letters against them

Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 months ago.
After they get to talk first. Then I get to question them. Can I ask them anything I want?

A: In small claims court, there are only two evidence rules in force:
1. Privilege. Parties are entitled to claim privilege (doctor-patient, attorney-client, mental health professional-client, priest-penitent, etc.).
2. Cal. Evidence Code 352. Probative value substantially outweighed by the risk of (a) unfair prejudice, (b) confusion of issues, (c) undue consumption of time, (d) misleading the jury.

For #1 (as an example), if the plaintiff has "opened the door" to issues concerning the plaintiff's own mental or physical health, then she cannot claim privilege -- it is waived. But, unless she starts talking about what her attorney told her, she can claim attorney-client privilege and refuse to answer.

For #2, if the plaintiff starts discussing her emotional state, and then suddenly offers a photo of a horrible motor vehicle accident as an example of what can happen when driving with defendant -- even though defendant wasn't involved in the photographed accident, nor has defendant ever had such an accident, then that would be evidence, the probative value of which is substantially outweighed by the risk of unfair prejudice, because it suggests that defendant is likely to cause plaintiff to become involved in an accident of the sort that is displayed in the photo.

So, you can ask any question you wish. But, the plaintiff can object to a question the answer to which is privileged, or confuses the issues, consumes too much time, is unfairly prejudicial, or misleads the judge.

Use their own recordings and letters against them?

A: Yes, as long as the recordings were made under circumstances where the other parties who were recorded had no reasonable expectation of privacy at the time that the recording was made. Example:

1. Offering a recording of a conversation with the plaintiff made while in your vehicle, no one else was present at the time, and the plaintiff had no notice of the recording being made -- this is illegal, the recording is inadmissible, and you could be arrested and charged with a crime for disclosing the recording in court.

2. Offering a recording of a voice mail message made by plaintiff's father who intentionally called you on the phone and left the message -- this is legal, because the father knew that he was being recorded. He intended that you receive the recorded message -- so, he had no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

For the Mother :


1. Is your Phone # XXXXX YES !


2. Did your daughter receive 31 Hrs of my 36 Hr program YES !


3. On 12/31 Did you call me and pay. YES !


4. When I picked up your daughter where you given my driving school contract. Yes !


5. Did I receive my Contract back affter the driving lesson. YES !


6. Would you have given me back the contract SIGNED by you and your daughter if she was crying upon leaving my car and felt terrorized. No !


7. The next day did you call me to finish the driving lessons AND IGNORE OUR CONTRACT which states we spread out the 6 hours over the next 6 months. YES !


 


Daughters questions coming next then the fathers....

Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 months ago.
Very good. But, be prepared for the mother to lie at every opportunity. Try to figure out some additional questions to pin down mother if she does not testify as you contemplate.

Otherwise, you could find yourself in a position of having no fallback position.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Daughter


1. Did we have a 1 hr Driving Lesson on this date. YES !


2. Before your 1 hr driving lesson did you and your Mother come out to meet me at my training vehicle. YES !


3. Was there another student in the car during your driving lesson that you dropped off at home. YES !


4. When your 1 hr driving lesson was over were you unable to speak about your experience without tears coming to your eyes. NO !


5. Would you enter your house and tell your mom and then bring back my driving school contract signed by you as well, if you were not happy. No !


 

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Father/ Lawyer


1.Mr Schecter did you on this date leave me a voice mail message stating " I should google your name and that you are a lawyer and own a law firm. That you are going to sue me for $25,000 for cancelling your contract. And that you were going to find everyone else that I have cancelled in the last 3 years to file and action against me. It would be promised on fraud and missrepersentation. ? !


2.Mr. Schecter in that same message did you


state that if I were to call your wife or your daughter you would then file and injunction as well. ? !


3. Did you file an injunction against me. ?!


4. Did you further say "if I wanted to play in the Kitchen I should be able to deal with the heat. ?!


5. Mr schecter in the subsequent message you left the next morning did you say that If I did not refund your money you would file all actions anyway. ? !


6. In the last part of that same message did you say that all I had done was illegal and against the law. ? !


7. Mr. Schecter did you ever file a police report. ? !


8. Mr Schecter did you write a letter to me 15 days after the voice mail messages that your daughter was visibly shaken upon leaving my car and tramatized and unable to speak about it without tears coming to her eye's.


9. Do you have any messages that show I called your daughters number numerous times to harm her verbally for the court. ? !


10. Did your daughter receive 36 hours of the required 36 hour driving school course. ? Sorry mycomputer mesed this part up ???
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Where could the lawyer Father trip me up as a lawyer. After I cross examine them I get to give my summary then they get to finish talking last. When should I show my documentation and recorded evidence. After each NO ! during my summary ? Your honor I have this for the court. I have 3 binders with numbered tabs and plastic sheet holders. 1 for each of us. When do I give my binder to the judge. ?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 months ago.
Okay, I think I need to clarify the process here.

1. In order to prevail against you, the plaintiff must make a complaint against you. In regular civil court, that claim must state ultimate facts, which if proved at summary judgment or trial would require that the court give judgment to the plaintiff.

2. In small claims, the plaintiff can make a relatively ambiguous claim, but the judge must try to figure out the elements of the plaintiff's claim and then apply the facts adduced at trial to determine if the plaintiff has proved the elements and thus the claim.

3. The defendant, regardless of the venue, must either disprove one of the elements necessary to make the plaintiff's claim, or prove an "affirmative defense," which is the same thing as a complaint, but if all elements are proved, then the court must give judgment to the defendant.

4. When you prepare questions for a witness, you must be cognizant of what you must prove or disprove. When I read your questions, I'm not sure what you're trying to prove/disprove.

5. So, if you want me to provide any intelligent comments, you must take each element of the plaintiff's claim or your affirmative defense(s), associate your questions with the elements and then show how the answers to your questions would successfully prove or disprove the element(s).

6. At this time, all of your questions and answers are undifferentiated. So, I have no idea what your trying to prove. Moreover, I don't know what the plaintiff's cause of action is. My recollection is that it's "intentional infliction of emotional distress." But, maybe there is another claim, or maybe my recollection is flawed. Regardless, you need to be able to associate your questions and the answers to the elements, if you want me to provide anything close to useful feedback.

7. You asked some other direct questions: Where could the lawyer Father trip me up as a lawyer.

A: Question is too broad. Since you are not represented by legal counsel, the court is unlikely to permit the father to examine you, and instead, the court may ask all of the questions. I don't know for certain, but if you want to find out, then you need to visit the courthouse and watch the judge in your case and see how he/she presides over a small claims hearing.

After I cross examine them I get to give my summary then they get to finish talking last. When should I show my documentation and recorded evidence?

A: When it's relevant to the testimony that you or some other witness is giving. You cannot simply offer evidence without a witness to testify about the evidence.

After each NO ! during my summary ? Your honor I have this for the court. I have 3 binders with numbered tabs and plastic sheet holders. 1 for each of us. When do I give my binder to the judge. ?

A: If you have copies of your evidence, then that goes to the judge and to the other party before the hearing begins.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Good morning Sir. He sued me for : Breach of contract, Misrepresentation IIOED to a minor, NIOED to a minor, Disappointment, Stress $9000, Doctor Appt. $1,000. He calculated it as $260 for Breach of contract, severe mental distress, nervousness, shock, mental anguish, anxiety and worry.

 

I believe I only have to defend against why he thinks I owe him in the first part, not also how he CALCULATED it out ?

 

 

Affirmative Defense : I'm trying to deny the fathers truth and defend myself with the facts.

 

Mrs Schechter

 

1. Did your daughter receive 30 hours of my Drivers Education course and a completion certificate. Yes!

2. Did your Daughter receive 1 hr of 6 hrs of drivers Training you paid specifically me for. Yes !

3. Does my website offer these 2 courses. Yes!

This speaks to the Fraud & Misrepresentation of my website. He tried to say My website states Drivers Ed 30 Hrs is free and I was charging them for it. Drivers Ed 30 hrs is free provided you pay for Drivers Training 6 Hrs. They paid for the drivers Training only. He is trying to confuse the judge.

4. When your daughter drove herself home after her first 1 hr driving lesson. Did she tell you she received any traffic tickets or had any collisions or was harmed in any way. No !

5. Would you agree that would be considered a good driving lesson from a driving school instructor. Yes !

6. Did you give me back my driving school contract which you had 1 hr to read and that was signed by you and your daughter. Yes !

7. Would you have given me back my driving school contract SIGNED by you and your daughter if she had received and traffic tickets, collisions or was harmed in any way. No!

8. Were you aware that per DMV regulations that your daughter had to keep her DMV driving permit for at least 6 months and drive 60 hours with her parents before she was able to take her DMV driving test. Yes !

9. Does my contract that you and your daughter signed right after her first 1 hr driving lesson state that we spread out the 6 hrs of driving over the 6 month/ 60 hr time period. Yes !

10. Did you call me 24 hours later on this # XXXXX schedule and finish up the driving lessons ASAP. Because you wanted to get the completion certificate for the 6 hrs so your daughter could get her DRIVERS license right away. Yes !

11. Because you were not following the contract or CA DMV regulations did an argument arise during some phone calls.

12. Did I leave some messages out of frustration on your voicemail CANCELING your contract per my abusive behavior clause. Yes !

13. Do you allow your daughter to listen to your private voicemail messages. YES !

 

Does this maybe fit better under addressing the elements of the claims ?

 

 

Before I was focusing on his voice mail messages to me and his lying letter. I never met him before or talked to him. Only after canceling the contract.

 

Now, I think just addressing the claims.

 

I was mean in the car ?

 

My voice mails I left for the mother on her number only are supposed to show I was mean then, so I was mean during the driving lesson too. His daughter is damaged because of a 1 hr driving lesson and from messages I left on her phone. I never left them on her phone, just the mother who had called me. I have phone bills that show as much.

 

Daughter

1. Same questions from above that you said very good on !

 

Father

 

1. Mr Schechter on these 2 dates did you leave me 2 voice mail message saying you were going to sue me for $25,000 for canceling your $260 Driving School contract. Yes!

2. Did you also say you were going to file an injunction against me and that all I had done was against the law. Yes!

3. Mr Schecter did you ever file a police report or injunction. No !

4. Mr. Schechter did you ever indicate in these 2 messages12 hours apart all the claims you are making. No !

5. Mr Schechter did you receive a letter from me dated that I would honor my contract and finish your daughters driving lessons ASAP.

6. Mr. Schechter did you prevent me from finishing. Yes !

7. Mr. Schecter is there a Doctor here today to testify to your Daughters supposed damages. No !

8. Mr Schechter Isn't this lawsuit about me making you and your wife unhappy while on the phone and not following your wishes.

 

Your Honor this family received 30 hrs of my Drivers Ed course for free. They then paid for Drivers Training 6 hrs after that. Just like my website states.

Your honor on this date I simply conducted a routine driving lesson with a first time student driver. I did not notice her to be distressed, frightened or scared of me in any way. She at no point asked to be taken home early. She drove herself home after having a good driving lesson, went inside and brought her Mother out to the car with my Driving School contract signed by both of them. My conduct during the driving lesson was not extreme or outrageous. If her Mother the next day allowed her to listen to my messages meant just for the mother, that is out of my control. Those messages were not during or about the driving lesson that took place the day before. I have been teaching teens to drive for more than 20 years, I have never had such a lawsuit in court. I don't think any driving school has. I'm sure learning to drive can be a little stressful but not to this degree. I think Mr. Schechter claims are simply unfounded. He never gets specific about what I actually did in the car that made his daughter unhappy. He was not there and another student was. My negative tone messages to the Mother only does not justify his claims.

 

I'm trying to disapprove their claims and prove he is lying !

 

Is this pattern for AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE or Elements.

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.