Thank you for your follow up, S.My attorney bolted (relieved himself of the case) last week when he realized what he had done (failed to do).
I am sorry to hear that!So now, after paying him thousands and thousands of dollars - not knowing I had no case since last July, I'm wondering if the defendant can now come back and sue me for his own legal expenses all this time?
. Sue you for what, exactly? To sue in state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract
," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state. Every cause of action has its own elements, and each element has to be satisfied for a cause of action to be successful in court.
Here, you attempted to litigate but the suit fell apart on technicality. That in itself is not actionable. The closest thing I can think of is malicious prosecution
. To establish a cause of action for the malicious prosecution, of a civil proceeding a plaintiff must plead and prove that the prior action (1) was commenced by or at the direction of the defendant and was pursued to a legal termination in his, plaintiff's, favor (2) was brought without probable cause and (3) was initiated with malice. Zamos v. Stroud, 87 P. 3d 802 - Cal: Supreme Court 2004
(internal citations omitted). This does not apply here - you HAD probable cause.I've been told that as a General Contractor, if the defendant does come back and try to recover his own legal expenses - and actually wins, he can then send a copy to the CSLB, and they will suspend my contractor's license until I pay the defendant in full. Is this true?
In a manner of speaking. If you are a GS, a judgment may be sent to CSLB which may suspend your license until it is paid... but, as explained above, the other party likely has no case to bring.(I have no attorney now, and the defense attorney wants a full lien release no later than Monday at noon). What can I do?
Well, first of all take a breath. As explained above, you are likely NOT in that world of ***** as you had stated. Someone in your situation may wish to either:
1) release the lien (in exchange for a written release against any action by them against you which they likely will grant - not that they have such an action necessarily, but just as a precaution so they do not even think to try it) or
2) retain another counsel in an attempt to still somehow push through the matter.IMPORTANT
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