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 Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118175
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
10285032
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Law Educator, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am involved in a replevin case, yes the same one, entering

Customer Question

I am involved in a replevin case, yes the same one, entering it's fifth year. The defendants are a corporation, I am managing shareholder, represented by a local attorney and myself personally. I am representing myself pro se as a result of the attorney stating he could not help and per his agreement that he would continue to represent the corporation. Two plaintiffs are involved, an individual and the company he controls.On July 1, 2015 we recieved a ruling of fraud upon the court against the company and the judge was to issue an order to show cause against the individual. The attorney was to draft the judgement against the company.Fast forward to a status hearing on July 12, 2016 where despite numerous discussions we learn the attorney never filed the draft judgement and the draft judgement finding fraud against the plaintiff company he presented at this time was approved. The judge ordered a new hearing to allow the individual plaintiff to respond for August 18, 2016 and specifically asked the attorney when he could submit the related draft order for that hearing and he replied 1 to 2 days. He has not submitted that order as of today nor replied to inquiries by the corporation as to whether he intends to. All of the parties, i.e. shareholders and myself believe this is intentional for numerous reasons that are probably too detailed to go into again.There was an order by the judge that the pro se parties should not correspond with judge due to the plaintiff's numerous letters to the judge. I have never sent anything directly to the judge.We believe the attorney has no intention to file the draft of the hearing...or intends to delay by not filing timely. Our question is what can we do, either as attorney's client or as the defendant pro se to ensure the August 18th hearing goes forward as scheduled?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Well, the attorney failing to file orders as instructed by the court and failure to properly represent his client is malpractice. It is grounds for you to file a complaint to the state bar against him. Also, at this point, while I know it may be inconvenient, it is wise for the corporation to terminate the attorney and hire another one to pick up and for the corporation to ultimately sue the first attorney for malpractice for not properly representing the corporation and seek to recover any money his inaction caused the corporation to lose.
Those are the two steps you need to consider taking if he is not representing the corporation's interests as he is supposed to be doing.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I agree with recommendations but have been reduced to bankruptcy by fighting this for five years. Need to understand what actions we can take in the current situation with the current resources. I was thinking a "good faith" email and text demanding a response today as the defendant pro se dependent on his scheduling. And if not replied to satisfactorily filing an ex parte request with the judge to address. This was email I was going to send:Kris,
As Defendant, pro se, I am dependent on your taking action to ensure scheduling of the August 18th hearing as you comitted to before the court. It appears that commitment has not been met while inquiries by the parties involved have not been responded to adequately to determine your intentions. Please accept this as a good faith effort to determine whether you intend to follow through on your commitment to take action necessary to ensure scheduling the hearing as agreed upon in court and when you intend to do so. I would request an immediate reply today so that I might respond accordingly.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, you can send him an email as you suggest, but if he fails to respond, then you have to make that decision discussed above.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hiring a new attorney at this time is not possible. My question is there anything wrong with the email and demanding an answer today and does the situation warrant me filing an ex parte emergency motion on the matter tomorrow as defendant pro se. Remember this same non-response already led to a year delay during which at one point in time he noted the judge had not been responding in other cases suggesting a problem on her part which now believe was BS.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
There is nothing wrong with you sending the email and seeking to resolve this with him and get him to do his job and tell him in the email you believe these delays are adding unnecessary expenses to your corporation and you need a response from him as to when he is going to file and why he has not filed timely as ordered by the court.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But you don't think I have a next step as defendant pro se to approach the court on the matter? The issue of the costs, uneccessary delays have been raised by myself and other shareholders over and over again.Please keep this question and answers confidential.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
I will have it locked by customer service when we are done at your request.
The problem is you cannot pro se represent the company, the company must be represented by an attorney. So, your options are severely limited to the above options I am afraid.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am also personally a defendant in the case, i.e., defendant pro se. The plaintiffs sued the company and me personally. Two defendants, with just the corporation represented by the attorney, as agreed upon by the attorney. The judge just assigned the responsibility to the company's attorney.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You can file your own order only on your behalf as personal defendant, but that would not help filing for the corporation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I must admit I am unsure if the order is just to serve notice of the hearing or to show cause. I am not sure of what an order to show cause would include. I would assume I could find an example online but would it be relevant to what I would need to include.The fact that the judge specifically assigned to attorney is not a factor I could depend on in approaching the court?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Order to show cause is a motion before the court to hold the other party in contempt for not following court orders. You as pro se party can file a motion in the court for the order to show cause to order the attorney to file as ordered.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I guess I am somewhat confused by the back and forth on pro se but let me see if can clarify.....It would seem it would help the Corp also if I filed such a motion as the compelled order if supported by the court would necessarily be for both?..Timing is of concern to keep the August 18th date, seems I could not schedule hearing on my order to keep that date. Do you know how long of a notice to plaintiff in lead of the August 18th hearing would require?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You cannot file the compelled order on behalf of the corporation, that is pretty simple and clear under state law that a corporation must be represented by an attorney and if you do so on behalf of the corporation it can be stricken and can be unauthorized practice of law, which is why the judge ordered the attorney to do it.
You can file EITHER, 1) motion to compel directed to the corporation and its attorney to get the court to force them to submit the order or 2) file a motion for an order to show cause to force the corporation and its attorney to court to explain why they are not abiding by the court's order to file the order. Your other alternative is to file the order only on your behalf and not the corporation's behalf.
Those are your options if this attorney does not get it done.
Generally, you need 30 days notice on a motion.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would assume that filing the motion in either case would require good faith effort on my part, so the email above as defendant pro se would be necessary? Did you see any concerns with the wording that unnecessarily cause concern?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, you sending the email imploring him to reply would be your proof of your reason for filing the order yourself on your behalf. The email was fine.