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I am involved in a class action law suit involving previous

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employees (my company has closed.)...
I am involved in a class action law suit involving previous employees (my company has closed.) My company and I have been named defendants. I have filed personal BK and am considering filing corporate BK even though my company is closed. I do not have an attorney as the judge released my court appt attorney because the case was too big for her. I was at a status hearing this morning when the plaintiff's attorney approached me to question me about my husband's company. (While we are in the same line of work we are separate companies with no co-ownership.) I told him my husband has nothing to do with this case or my company. He looked at me in a condescending way and said he was going to drag him in personally and corporate. When we were before the judge he told her that my company disolved into my husband's company. My husband's company has been around many years before mine. The one account we had in common was his first and has always paid us separately under the individual company. Our employees had nothing in common. When I asked the judge for another attorney since this case is no match for a person with no legal background - she said there was nothing she could do. Can he drag my family into this case? What can I do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Business Law
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11/4/2010
Business Lawyer: Fran-mod,
 replied 7 years ago
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
yes- I would still like an answer
Business Lawyer: Fran-mod,
 replied 7 years ago

Hello,

I’ll try to find an Expert to assist you. When the Expert replies, you will receive an email notification. If you find the answer helpful, please remember to click the green Accept button so the Expert is compensated for the answer.

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I received an email twice stating more information was requested but there was no link to respond. Still waiting on an answer since 5:45 pm last night (it wasn't in the middle of the night.) This is an extremely long time to wait. Not sure what is going on.
Business Lawyer: Fran-mod,
 replied 7 years ago
Hello,

Each time a post is made on the thread, an email is generated. Right now it's because you're communicating with me. Just check the thread when you get a mailing to make sure it's not from an expert.

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
This time there was the "Reply" link in the email. The other times it was not there.
Business Lawyer: Thomas McJD, Attorney replied 7 years ago
Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,516
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While I'm sure you can prove that your husband's company is a completely separate entity than yours and that you never shared any part of ownership in that company, and that the company or your husband could therefore not be responsible in any way under the suit again you and your company, the legal system will allow the other attorney to make the claim that has already been presented to the judge -- it will be your responsibility to prove that your husband's company is not a proper party to the class action lawsuit.

 

Further, you will have to retain an attorney to represent your company and your husband's company in the lawsuit, because you cannot represent an entity on a pro se basis. You can represent yourself without an attorney, but you cannot represent the companies without an attorney.

 

I wish I could provide some more specific information for you -- but at the end of the day, the other attorney is within legal bounds in making claims that your husband's company is a successor (you then simply need to prove that's not true and that your husband's company is separate and not a proper party; his company would then be dismissed from the suit -- or the judge might never allow it to become a party based on your arguments -- but you still have to make those arguments).

 

 

 

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

This judge has released my court appointed attorney because the attorney said she did not have the time nor resources to see the case through. When I was back in court for the status hearing - I asked the judge for assistance and if she could appoint me another attorney. Her response was she didn't know what to tell me. End of comment. I'm not an attorney but I know, as you pointed out, that I cannot represent my corp in this case. Why wouldn't she know that? She knows I filed personal BK and the company is not functioning. How do I get legal assistance in this matter? If I file corp BK would that stop this suit and it's proceedings against my family?

Business Lawyer: Thomas McJD, Attorney replied 7 years ago

Yes, corporate bankruptcy would stall the suit and if you obtain your discharge (along with your discharge in personal bankruptcy), there shouldn't be a reason why they would continue to pursue the suit after bankruptcy is completed and the automatic stay has been lifted (the automatic stay of bankruptcy is what prevents them from continuing the suit -- in fact, that should currently be preventing them from pursuing the case against you personally -- you need to make the court aware of your bankruptcy if you haven't already).

 

Thomas McJD
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Would my corp BK stop them from pursuing my family or anyone else?
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Would my corp BK stop them from pursuing my family or anyone else? Would filing both personal and corp BK end this case for good?
Business Lawyer: Thomas McJD, Attorney replied 7 years ago

They would still be able to sue your husband's company on the basis presented to the Judge, but I'm sure that company has valid defenses that can be asserted so that the claims against your husband's company would be dismissed.

 

A corporate BK would probably end the case against you and your company, assuming any claims made in the lawsuit can be discharged in your personal and a corporate bankruptcy (most claims are dischargerable but some are not -- your BK attorney would have to take a look at the claims made in the suit against you and your company and advise you accordingly).

 

 

Thomas McJD
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