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My brother and I are college students. We filed a Federal…

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My brother and I...

My brother and I are college students. We filed a Federal Court action on behalf of ourselves and our minor brothers for millions of dollars misappropriated from irrevocable trusts by investment advisers in which we were not only remaindermen, but dependant children. Our mother had filed for an accounting on these trusts, but we were not included as parties or appointed a guardian ad litem. The facts are well documented. We also requested an atty. be appointed for us. The federal court said our mother must represent our minor brothers and through out their claim, but we are adults and the court also dismissed our claim. What do we do

Lawyer's Assistant: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in?

Federal Court Western District Pennsylvania

Lawyer's Assistant: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?

Everything under the sun. We have accountings that show misappropriated funds of over $1,000,000.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I understand why the court dismissed our minor brother's claims, because we may not have capacity to sue on their behalf, but why would it dismiss ours as well, since we are adults? It granted a motion to dismiss all our claims w/out predjudice. Why all our claims and not just our minor brothers

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Legal
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9/27/2017
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 125,313
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

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Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

You cannot represent your minor brothers unless you are attorneys or unless you are legal guardians of the minors, that is what the laws say. The minors by the nature of your claim are mandatory parties, as full relief cannot be granted without you including all of the beneficiaries. This means that in order to refile, you really should be using a local attorney, not pro se or having your mother join in the suit to represent the minors or obtain legal guardianship over the minors. Out of your options, using a local attorney, most of whom would take a contingency fee meaning minimal up front costs and taking a percentage of what they obtain from you as a fee.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
we cannot pursue solely our claims, unless we include our minor brothers? Our mother has different interests than ours in the trusts, so she cannot pursue the claims on behalf of minor brothers
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

I am afraid your brothers are compulsory parties, because the court cannot give full relief to anyone without them being included. So, you would need an attorney in the circumstances you describe or you need to get legal guardianship over the minors (again it is easier using an attorney).

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
This seems a little bit unconstitutional. We cannot afford attorneys, our mother cannot afford an attorney to pursue claims on behalf of our minor brothers, Court won't appoint a guardian ad litem and if we wait for our brothers to obtain legal age, our claim period will have expired. Certainly, the legal system cannot be that rigged
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

It has nothing to do with the constitution, it has to do with the court and state laws regarding unauthorized practice of law and who can represent parties in a case and it also has to do with the rules of civil procedure as to who needs to be compulsory parties to a case. Also, options are available to you, especially if you get an attorney who will represent you on a contingency basis, meaning no money up front. This is a statutory and procedural issue that you must follow to pursue your rights.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
what you are saying is despite the fact that we are adults, we have no legal rights to file claims on our own behalf
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

You DO have rights to represent YOURSELF in most legal actions, but the problem is there are rules about filing suits and one of those rules about compulsory parties is that if the court ruling will impact other parties other than yourself, they must be named as parties to the suit because without that the court cannot give complete justice to the matter. This is no different than in a class action suit, you cannot go pro se because you cannot represent other parties.

So if it were merely an action involving rights of you and your other adult brother, then the two of you could represent just yourselves in the case individually, but there are rights of others involved here the court needs to be concerned with and since you cannot represent them someone must for you to have a complete action and for the court to rule completely on the matter in accordance with the rules of procedure.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
what you are saying is we cannot pursue our claim unless our minor brother's have an atty. and if we cannot find an atty. for them our claims are moot. Can we make a motion to the court to ask that the court name them as indispensable parties
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

Well, actually, if your brother's are minors, the statute of limitations does not run against them. So if they file once they turn 18, then ALL of you can file at that time.

The point is that they ARE indispensable parties, so since you cannot legally represent them they must have representation. You do not need a motion to name them as indispensable parties, they already are and that is one reason the court had to dismiss the suit, because they did not have proper legal representation.

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