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, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 39043
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
Type Your Legal Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am an ex-landlord and in a lawsuit with my ex tennant over

Customer Question

I am an ex-landlord and in a lawsuit with my ex tennant over security deposit and damage done to the home.

I have run out of money to pay my attorney $11.500 into this already and need to go to arbitration myself.   

What can I do to protect myself as I do not know anything about the procedures at trial or arbitration?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

If your opponent has a lawyer and you attempt to go up against him/her yourself, you will likely get crushed, because you will not know how to conduct discovery and prepare a response to a motion for summary judgment.


That said, if you want to try to "do-it-yourself," then I suggest you get these two publications at a minimum:


There are layperson guides to representing yourself in court, and they will explain the basics. Eventually, however, you will be confronted with some sort of deadline or pleading that you won't understand, and the layperson guide will not address the issue.


Which is, of course, why there are lawyers.


Hope this helps.


Terms and Conditions: By your continuing in this conversation with me, or by your clicking “Accept”, you are expressly agreeing to all of the following: (1) our communication is for entertainment purposes only; (2) you are not consulting me in my professional capacity as an attorney; (3) you do not seek to establish an attorney-client relationship with me, nor do I with you; (4) you will not rely on anything I say and you will obtain appropriate legal counsel via a traditional/office consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where your legal issue arises (and you may not use our communication to avoid taxpayer penalties imposed by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury); (5) by communicating with me in this public forum you are irrevocably waiving any right to privacy, confidentiality and attorney-client privilege concerning the matters discussed. You further separately declare that any payment made by you is not consideration for this contract, nor offered for any services rendered by me on your behalf, but rather is made in genuine admiration and respect for my desire to help others. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions, then you must advise me immediately.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

This is already set for arbitration. I just do not have the deep pockets to hire an attorney.


Do you know how or who I should contact at the court to help me find an attorney the takes payments?


Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.
What county are you in?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ventura County
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

The only legal aid organization in the area of which I'm aware, and they may not be particularly friendly to an ex-landlord, is:


Channel Counties Legal Services Association
132 S. A St./P.O. Box 1228
Oxnard, CA 93032(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>


Other than that, all I can think of would be the standard State Bar Certified referral services. Most attorneys won't take payments, because they get "stiffed" and collections actions, for a lawyer, unless he/she is a collections attorney, are as expensive for the attorney as they are for anyone else. But, lots of attorneys take credit cards, so if you have a reasonable credit line, then that would be an option.