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Questions about District Court Cases

The United States district courts are general trial courts in which both civil and criminal cases are filed. If you have a case that is being taken up in the district court it is common to have questions about how the district court works.

A few questions about district courts, answered by Experts are listed below.

I am studying to be an attorney and have some past experience wherein I was part of lawsuits and sued other individuals as well. Recently, I considered being a legal aid to an individual, yet the person cannot speak English and can’t independently represent himself. Can I represent him in court?

Unfortunately, since you are not an attorney at law, you cannot represent anyone in court. However, if the judge feels you are capable of being objective and would be able to convey exactly what the two parties are saying, there is a possibility that you could be allowed to aid in interpretation during the case.

I filed an appeal brief in the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Florida. I received a reply from the court and would like to know if I can answer that and how much time I have to do so.

You can definitely reply back to them. According to Rule 9.210 (f), Times for Service of Briefs, you would need 20 days to reply to an answer brief. I have reproduced part of this rule below:
Unless otherwise required, the answer brief shall be served within 20 days after service of the initial brief; the reply brief, if any, shall be served within 20 days after service of the answer brief; and the cross-reply brief, if any, shall be served within 20 days thereafter.

To read the whole rule and to learn more, visit the following link:
http://www.4dca.org/applellate%20rules.pdf

Who can overrule the decision of a district court judge?

The court of appeals can overrule the decision made by a district court judge. What you would need to do is to approach the court of appeals and file an appeal with them. You could list all the mistakes made by the district court judge and cite laws and cases that support the fact that you were right.

I am a retired CEO and the District Court of Virginia is suing me for invoices of the corporation. All assets have been seized by the bank for $750,000 of credit line debt. Is it possible for me to represent myself for not being responsible for the debts of the corporation?

It is definitely possible for you to represent yourself in district court. However, you should be aware of a few ways in which you could be held personally liable for the debt. This could be if you were responsible for misappropriation of funds in some way, if you distributed profit instead of paying creditors, if you failed to comply with corporate formalities (attending the annual board of directors meeting at the minimum), or if the corporation’s active status lapsed under your leadership. If these things are proved, then you could be held liable and would need to face the consequences.

Fighting a case in district court can be demanding and can take its toll. That’s why it is important to both understand what the laws are and how the courts work. When you are not sure, it is always best to take your questions to Experts.
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