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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 29985
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Could you interpret this in terms that maybe a 9th grader

Customer Question

Could you interpret this in terms that maybe a 9th grader could easily understand as I struggle with legal-ese. "Rule 11(c) Sanctions. If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that subdivision (b) has been violated,
the court may, subject to the conditions stated below, impose an appropriate sanction upon the attorneys, law firms, or parties that have violated subdivision (b) or are responsible for the violation." Question 1: If I received a court document or I know a
report was submitted to the court that had errors, particularly intentional misrepresentation (big 'ol lies) do I need to contact the author of that document and point out the misrepresentation? Question 2: If I do need to contact them, do I need to point
out each error or can I just say the content of you court paper contains misrepresentations and tell them they need to correct them and submit the corrected paper? Question 3. If it is a report and the person making the report is supposed to be an witness,
such as a home evaluator, and the evaluator put in the report items that are not true or left out information that makes the truth appear different, or made remarks that are not based on facts and would be considered slander, would I need to contact them as
well. Question 4. If I contacted them and they don't change it, is the motion I file a Motion for Sanctions? Question 5. Can just one lie be enough to motion for sanctions? Thank You
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond means that a person is told the judge is going to hold a hearing to decide whether they lied.
1. Not personally, no. But the other side will get a copy of your motion for sanctions.
2. Your motion for sanctions would tell the judge all of the false statements in the document. That way, he has all the information he needs to decide on the best punishment.
3. No. Statements made in court proceedings are protected from slander allegations. This is for two reasons - (a). In nearly every court case, Party A says one thing and Party B say something else. The system would shut down from sheer overload if the losing party could always sue for slander. (b) The courts want to encourage people to present all relevant evidence in court, and some people might not be willing to testify at all if they're afraid of being sued.
4. Yes.
5. Yes, it can, although there's it's important to be aware of the distinction between a "Lie" - a false factual statement and a negative opinion - Opinions, by definition, cannot be true or false. If you say you think I'm fat, well, that's not very nice, but I can't sue you or ask for sanctions against you, because that's your opinion and you're entitled to say it. If this is a report where a professional is analyzing facts and coming to a conclusion, the conclusion itself typically cannot be considered a lie. And if they're relying on false information provided by someone else, then the Motion for Sanctions may be against the other party or the attorney, not the expert.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I'm still a little confused. So when a court document has misrepresentations in in I do not contact the attorney or person that submitted the document? I was under the impression I had to give them the opportunity to correct the error and if they didn't then I could ask for sanctions. Is that incorrect? For example, A custody evaluator wrote a report. She wrote it after we had the custody conference. The report was optional and the opposing side wanted it. After the conference, the home evaluator was told that my attorney and I had tried to submit a motion to have her dismissed due to an obvious bias and actions outside of her responsibility. When the report came out, it was very apparent she was giving a big dose of payback and stated things to make me look bad but not my Ex, such as I was the parent that would be hard to deal with noting I had sent her over 40 emails. We were told to send emails to her with as much info as we could. Maybe my Ex put them all together and sent one huge email but I told her I would send them one at a time as I finished, she even would email me back asking for addition information by email. She said that my Ex believed she handled a threat of suicide of her son appropriately. That maybe true my Ex thinks that but no one else feels that way as she did nothing until DCSF got involved and her first Ex husband made the ball roll. Even then she waited 6 weeks to take him for help. But she left the truth out. The evaluator did this throughout the report. So as far as correcting the errors since a court document can not be submitted "for any improper purpose" and they have evidentiary support. So what would I do in this case? In another case, my attorney wrote and said he was going t withdraw from counsel becasue I was out of money. I didnt ask him to withdraw. He send a "Stipulated Motion to Withdraw" in it he states I ask that the attorney client relationship be terminated? What would I do there t correct the facts? Do I contact them or just do a motion for sanctions or what. Sorry Im lost on this one
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry. I thought you were asking if you would contact the person who wrote the report directly - and typically, that's not done. But you can bring the inaccuracies to the attention of the other lawyer and ask them to withdraw the report. Note that the other lawyer can't talk to you until your lawyer withdraws. If they refuse, then you can seek to strike the motion and impose sanctions on the other party.
If your attorney is telling the judge that you agreed he would cease representing you and you didn't, you can file an Objection to let the judge know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The opposing lawyer would not want the tainted report withdrawn because the home evaluator tainted it against me becasue she was upset we wanted her dismissed and she was confronted about unethical behavior. So her report that now reads like a "how dare you challenge me - Ill show you" report is not one the opposing attorney would want removed. So I now understand that I would not contact her about the report being filled with inaccuracies and I know the opposing attorney loves the report that way, what can I do to get the truth out about her report being a misrepresentation of the truth?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I know he doesn't WANT it withdrawn. But if it's filled with factual misstatements, the attorney has an ethical obligation to have it corrected or withdrawn. Lawyers can't just submit false evidence. Once he's aware of the problem, if he won't do anything, THEN you can move to strike the report and impose sanctions on the lawyer.

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