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I was sued by a vendor in a business we filed for business…

I was sued by...

I was sued by a vendor in a business we filed for business bankruptcy. I need to answer the lawsuit. As it turns out they are suing me personally

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

CA

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Yes a summons. My question is they are trying to sue me personally based on a credit application that was filled out by our company secretary. In small print is has language for a personal guarantee. She signed the credit ap and I was not even in town. Can i answer the summons with an affirmative defense: Lack of Privity since I did not sign?

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/8/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,348
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Thanks so much for your patience. I’m really sorry to hear about your situation. I have experience in representing people sued in civil court so you’re in good hands.

The first thing that is important to do is to respond to the lawsuit. California requires that you respond within 30 days after the lawsuit is filed, meaning there isn’t a lot of time to do so. Most people just reiterate the claims being made and then state that they “Deny all claims raised by plaintiff/petitioner” after each claim. You can also answer the summons with any affirmative defenses such as a lack of privity. You could also argue that the secretary did not have the inherent or apparent authority to bind you personally to this situation. Keep in mind that even if you are responding to a lawsuit, most courts require a filing fee. The court will stamp that the docs have been received. The court will keep one copy of the received document and the court will give you back stamped copies of the others (one for you to keep and one for you to serve).

When you get those documents, you should go to www.thumbtack.com and find a process server. A process server is a person who will serve a copy of the lawsuit on the other party. Service is required when you are suing someone for almost all papers you file with the court. A process server must be at least 18 years old and not involved in the case in any way. If you have a friend or family member who can do it, they can serve it for you, too. Otherwise, most process servers charge something like 50-100 dollars. Once service is complete, the process server will typically have to file a “proof of service” form to swear to the court that they filed the documents.

In the meantime, the court will set up court dates like the case management conference (where the parties update the court as to the process of the case). You will also have a chance to conduct “discovery” with the other party. The basic discovery process is a good tool for people involved in a lawsuit to find out information the other party has. Discovery usually can’t begin until about 10 days after filing the initial complaint, depending on your jurisdiction. Through the discovery process you can usually a) request documents to help your case; b) conduct a deposition (which is a formal interview of certain parties); c) request admissions to certain things so there is less time wasted at a potential trial.

Regardless, sometimes, just settling the matter is the easiest thing to do. It doesn't always appear as if it's the easiest thing to do, but every single day lawyers across the country are explaining to their clients that if they just work on settling their legal disputes in a way that makes sense for them and they are going to be in a better position in the long-term.

How else can I help you today?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
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