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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11519
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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Before signing a settlement agreement for a small claims case

Resolved Question:

Before signing a settlement agreement for a small claims case I want to know if the below language is ok or if it is not something I should sign? I had it reviewed previously but now as I read it I am nervous since I don't understand all the language.I was suing for 2150, and the court awarded me 2750 but the other party lives in Kansas so collection is nearly impossible.

Below is some of the settlement language....

A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him or her must have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor.
The undersigned agrees to abandon and dismiss with prejudice all causes of action arising out of said event, including Action No.: 12SC05031 in the Sacramento County Superior Court

And authorize BARRY WOODS to execute a Request for Dismissal with prejudice of said action.

Please advise.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX X will be glad to assist you,

 

The release is ambiguous. The first sentence is favorable to you because it states that you do not release the Defendant from claims that you may have against him, but of which you are not aware at the time of signing this release.

 

However, the second sentence states that you are releasing the Defendant from all claims or causes of action you might have and which arise out of the same event.

 

The release would be fine if you deleted the language which I have placed in parentheses and have underlined. That way, you are releasing the Defendant from further liability only as to this specific action and nothing more.

 

 

The undersigned agrees to abandon and dismiss with prejudice (all causes of action arising out of said event, including) Action No.: 12SC05031 in the Sacramento County Superior Court

 

So that the sentence reads as follows:

 

The undersigned agrees to abandon and dismiss with prejudice Action No.: 12SC05031 in the Sacramento County Superior Court

 

 

Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you, it will not cost you anything additional to give me a positive rating, and that is the only way I can receive credit, Thank you for understanding,

 

Positive Feedback and Bonus are always welcome,

 

If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, Please rate a 10 as it gives me a greater opportunity to assist other customers on this website and is greatly appreciated,

 

 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,

 

ANDREA

 

 

 

 

Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11519
Experience: 25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
Andrea, Esq. and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thank you I will definitely rate you as excellent. Can you please review these final two paragraphs and let me know if you think it is safe for me to accept a cashier's check. We had discussed cash and then he mentioned cashier's check.


 


The undersigned does hereby accept the amount of $2100.00, to be paid by Cash or bank verifiable Cashier’s Check payable to MELISSA JOHNS, in full compromise settlement and satisfaction of, and as sole consideration for, the final release and discharge of all actions, claims and demands whatsoever, that now exist, or may hereafter accrue against BARRY WOODS, STACEY WOODS and any other person, corporation, association or partnership responsible in any manner or degree for injuries to the person and property of the undersigned, and the treatment thereof, and the consequences following therefrom, as a result of an accident, casualty or event which..


 


This agreement is entirely void unless the consideration agreed-upon herein which is payable to MELISSA JOHNS is tendered to her in full by no later than OCTOBER 15, 2013. The agreement is further void if the payment tendered cannot, for any reason, be finally and fully negotiated into good funds by MELISSA JOHNS. Additionally MELISSA JOHNS shall sign the acknowledgment of satisfaction of judgment, only after payment in full is received pursuant to the terms of this paragraph, including verification of good funds if paid by Cashier’s Check.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hi, Melissa,

 

A Cashier's Check is just as good as cash because it is a bank check.

 

But the first paragraph is much too broad and has the same effect of the language I deleted in my previous Answer. The release and the language that is being used on the check should refer only to the action you are presently settling, not releasing the Defendant from possible future actions which might arise against the Defendant or from the same event. The language should read only as follows,

 

 

The undersigned does hereby accept the amount of $2100.00, to be paid by Cash or bank verifiable Cashier's Check payable to MELISSA JOHNS, in full compromise settlement and satisfaction of, and as sole consideration for, the final release and discharge of Action No.: 12SC05031 in the Sacramento County Superior Court.

 

 



Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you, it will not cost you anything additional to give me a positive rating, and that is the only way I can receive credit, Thank you for understanding,

 

Positive Feedback and Bonus are always welcome,

 

If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, Please rate a 10 as it gives me a greater opportunity to assist other customers on this website and is greatly appreciated,

 

 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,

 

ANDREA

 

 

 

 

 

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

The problem is I had another expert look at it and they said it was fine. I agree with your input that it is much too broad. Since I already told him I'd had the agreement reviewed it is difficult to make large changes. Are there subtle changes I can make to that paragraph, leaving in their names, etc, which narrow it as you suggest, without looking as obvious?

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

I took a quick look at some of your past questions and if you are referring to the claim against a Barry Woods and someone else, I have to respectfully XXXXX XXXXX the other expert. The release is too broad and although it probably will not mean very much if it is a small claims matter, I would rather be safe than sorry and I do not play fast and loose when it comes to someone relinquishing their rights. Unfortuantely, there is no subtle way to work past this broad language because I am suggesting the elimination of several lines and that really would be difficult to hide. I am sorry about that,

 

 

Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you, it will not cost you anything additional to give me a positive rating, and that is the only way I can receive credit, Thank you for understanding,

 

Positive Feedback and Bonus are always welcome,

 

If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, Please rate a 10 as it gives me a greater opportunity to assist other customers on this website and is greatly appreciated,

 

 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,

 

ANDREA

 

 

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Understood, please offer me a simple explanation that I can provide to him. I will tell him that upon further legal review the following amendment to the settlement language was suggested for ????

 

Or tell me honestly how this verbiage might negatively effect me if it is left as is

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

I have always been a fan of the truth, that way I never have to remember what I said to anyone because if I were asked the same question, I would give the same Answer I gave in the past.

 

You can simply say the following:

 

"I asked another Attorney to review the language and she said that it was too broad. She admitted that she was more on the conservative side with respect to releases, but said that it really would not affect you in this situation and she was simply on the conservative side"

 

If he is not trying to put anything over on you, he will not object to the changes. And if he did not agree, you still have your judgment for $2,700 which you can give to an Attorney on a contingency fee and ask the Attorney to collect it for you. If the Attorney took it for 20%, you would receive $2,160. And, even if the Attorney took 25%, you would still receive $2,025 which is only $75 less than what you would now receive, but without signing away all your rights.

 

Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you, it will not cost you anything additional to give me a positive rating, and that is the only way I can receive credit, Thank you for understanding,

 

Positive Feedback and Bonus are always welcome,

 

If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, Please rate a 10 as it gives me a greater opportunity to assist other customers on this website and is greatly appreciated,

 

 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,

 

ANDREA

 

 

 

 

Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11519
Experience: 25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
Andrea, Esq. and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

sideline thought but small claims said something to me about being able to be reimbursed for costs such as filing fees and service on the employer's wages etc. If they doesn't go well and I have to get a lawyer, would those lawyer fees be reimbursable?

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Once you sign the Release, you cannot look to the Defendant for anything more. This is one of the situations I was thinking about where you would be signing away rights. The Release is the end of the case.

 

 

Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you, it will not cost you anything additional to give me a positive rating, and that is the only way I can receive credit, Thank you for understanding,

 

Positive Feedback and Bonus are always welcome,

 

If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, Please rate a 10 as it gives me a greater opportunity to assist other customers on this website and is greatly appreciated,

 

 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,

 

ANDREA

 

Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11519
Experience: 25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
Andrea, Esq. and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

What if he doesn't make good on the funds? Doesn't that clause in the agreement that says it is void cover me? If he doesn't fulfill the requirements of the agreement and I have to get a lawyer aren't I able to at that point?

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

He is either going to pay you in cash or by Cashier's check which is just as good as cash because it is a bank check, not a personal check. Please forgive me, but I am going to have to opt out of your question because I have given you 5 Answers and you have not rated any of them and you are a subscription customer, so it would not have cost you anything additional to leave a rating. I receive credit for my time and effort only if a customer leaves a rating for my service,

 

I wish you the best,

 

ANDREA

 

 

Expert:  Zachary replied 9 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just checking with you to follow up on this question. Did you have any further remaining questions on this issue which need to be answered?

I look forward to hearing back from you.

-Zachary

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