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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33761
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I am in the middle of a Lawsuit in the United States

Customer Question

I am in the middle of a Lawsuit in the United States District Court, Ft. Lauderdale Florida concerning a Debt Repair Company, and the Attorneys who own this Company. It has been a "see-saw" ride since January when my Attorney called me while I was in Class stating he was afraid the Defendants were going to File Bankruptcy, and he wanted me to dismiss the case, and he would "gift" me $1,000.00. I wrote him back stating that I did not want to dismiss the case, and if I did, I'd be forced to go Bankrupt because of the lies and disinformation by the Plaintiffs in this matter. My Attorney was mad, but; I guess he decided to just give the case over to his Partner, who told me the Plaintiffs would not go Bankrupt, and the case would continue. I first went to answer Derogatories, and spent two days in Florida in the most expensive Hotel they could find. Then the phone call asking me to drop the case. Next, I returned to Florida for Mediation, then my Attorney filed for a Summary Judgment. I was told then by my Attorney that the Judgment would be signed by the Judge around the end of August, but; now I am supposed to go to Court in Florida sometime in September. Now my Attorney is saying that he does not want me to go to Court because that would keep the Plaintiff's Attorney from bringing up evidence since I would not be there to answer any questions. Is this legal? Am I not supposed to go to Court as required by Law? Does this sound like something "shady" going on here? What am I supposed to do? HELP!!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

Are you asking if it is legal for the attorney to tell you not to show up for a hearing or trial?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I live in Idaho, but; the Court is in Florida. This has never been an issue until now when my Attorney is asking me not to attend so the other side can't ask questions of me.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.

I'm not sure why they would, tactically, choose to do that but there are certainly some things that couldn't be proven if you weren't there to question and it is legal for you not to appear. Your lawyer has to be sure that they can prove your case (what you need to prove) without you but that's the only real issue.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't have to be there. Does that mean I have to trust the Judgment of my Attorney(s) who have tried to make me drop the case in the past? Would I be stupid to go to the Court Hearing, sit in front of a Jury, and give my side to the story?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.

I don't know that I would call it stupid but it could certainly throw a monkey wrench into your attorney's trial plan. In preparing for the trials I've done, and I've done a lot, I would usually spend 7-10 hours outside of court just getting ready for the trial for very hour I spent in trial. If I had a client that showed up on the day of trial and didn't follow my instructions it would almost certainly have resulted in a devastating loss since it would have been the one contingency I hadn't prepared for.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.

But, ultimately, it is your case.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The Company I am suing is a Debt-Relief/Repair Company. Apparently, they are fixed on the fact that a year or so before hiring this Company, I purchased a do-it-yourself debt relief kit. I used it, but; all I got from the kit was that the three Credit Reporting Agencies removed old and unanswered entries from my Credit. THIS is what the Plaintiff's are fixed on. and the question they will ask of me during the trial. I believe I could answer this honestly and accurately.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.

I can't really comment on that but I can tell you that there have been many, many cases lost that would have been won if the client hadn't been there. It would take a complete review of your facts to know how your testimony would play into the case and how you not testifying could affect each side's case but if you do go then your lawyer is going to ask the judge to put you on the stand and will question you about whether you were told not to attend, etc. so they can cover themselves.

You definitely need to let them know several days in advance if you're going to be there so they don't prepare based on one idea only to have it change at the last minute.

My position was always to tell the client what I thought and preferred and explain why but since it is their case the ultimate call is their's. Most followed my suggestions but some didn't, to varying results.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well, I'll try to get a good explanation from my Attorney. I guess he has some kind of plan, but; I keep thinking all the strategy will accomplish is an Appeal if my case wins.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.

Now that is certainly a possibility. However, if you get a judgment then to appeal the other company has to post a bond to cover any monetary judgment you receive and that makes it easier to collect at the end. Not much of a comfort but it's something.