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More and More Legal Expenses…

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I hate to update about this but, since someone is trying to squeeze $300K from us, our legal battle has a large impact on our finances.

For more information on the legal battle, see HERE.

We received our schedule for the court ordered mediation yesterday. We’ll be meeting with the plaintiff in February. We aren’t required to attend, but our attorney must represent us which means expensive 6 minute increments of billable hours every time he even thinks about our case. I’m hoping this mediation will settle it but we aren’t willing to budge on our miniscule several thousand dollar offer. I’d like to offer a big fat zero, but our attorney strongly suggested we come to the table with something.

To me, offering anything suggests guilt.

To him, offering something is ‘neighborly’.

I thought about asking him how ‘neighborly’ a three year lawsuit was but, for once, my better judgment was louder than my mouth.

If the mediation fails, and I’m guessing it will, our trial is set for June.

Three and a half years is WAY too long to be dragged in a legal mess. I am so very tired.


12 Comments

  • Reply Michelle @ Chasing Ambulances |

    I know what you’re saying that offering something suggests guilt. However, it makes a lot of *financial sense* to resolve a dispute to “stop the bleeding”. In other words, your attorney should talk to you about the cost of going to trial. You can pay that as a settlement to the other party, or you can pay your attorney that amount at the trial, plus the risk (there is always a risk) that a judge/jury implicates you in some way. Hopefully your attorney can talk to you in an honest way about that risk, and also about his/her future fees so you can make a knowledgeable decision about any settlement you would like to offer.

  • Reply alison |

    You knew about this 3 years ago, and you haven’t changed title to your home? What were you thinking? Do you realize you may be forced now to sell your home, your major asset and pay off these dudes? You haven’t secured your assets?

    Since you returned from Europe, you’ve had nothing but financial problems. Is the universe trying to tell you something? You can cajole the facts and rectify your life any which way you want to but the facts are, you’re just not thinking things through well.

    Call me abusive but babydoll, you need a jerk to the head. And a V8 ain’t gonna cut it.

  • Reply Honey |

    It is good to bring something to the table because if you settle you don’t go to court. Juries are crazy, my boyfriend’s an attorney and he has lost trials that should have been slam dunks because juries are unpredictable.

  • Reply Honey |

    If it goes to trial and you lose, you will likely be responsible for the opposing side’s attorney’s fees as well as your own (plus whatever settlement is levvied against you).

  • Reply emmi |

    Crazy. And these teasers about putting up lighting and such, as a risk averse person I’m dying for the details. So, I hope you get it resolved soon. For, many reasons . . .

  • Reply Beks |

    Alison – I’ll be kind and respond to your comment even though I don’t think it deserves a response.

    1: ‘Changing title’ on my home is a waste of time and money. I am over 100K upside-down on my house. If they want it, they can have it. I’d finally be closer to having a positive net worth.

    2: Do you say ‘the universe is trying to tell you something’ to everyone in hard times? Or does the universe only talk to some people? Do all people deserve all the bad things that happen? That’s silly. As someone who has paid off 75% of my debt, I’m proud of where I am. I don’t believe the ‘universe’ dictates my life. I DO.

    Honey – That’s what my lawyer said. That’s why he wants to make an offer.

    Emmi – Thanks. I hope to too!

  • Reply Angela |

    Man, I feel for you. I actually went through a mediation and legal process with a neighbor several years ago. Not for those reasons — it was a property line dispute — and not for that much money. But it was by far the most stressful, unpleasant experience EVER. And without going into details, let me just tell you that I was absolutely 100% in the right, and in the end I let the neighbor win the whole smash because it was the only way to be fully done with it and NOT have it drag on for another 5-10 years (I was living in an area where even murder cases were waiting years (yes years) for court dates!). My least favorite situation EVER. But it’s over now, thank goodness.

    I hope yours ends swiftly and as painlessly as is possible under the circumstances!

    ~Angela

  • Reply Lizzie |

    Aren’t your attorney fees going to wind up costing more than the initial $125 you were being asked to fork over? I know it’s the principle of it, but this may be one case where it’s cheaper not to be quite so principled.

  • Reply Carrie |

    Where is your homeowner’s insurance company in all of this? I’m not familiar with California’s property insurance laws, but I work for an insurance company and this sounds like something your insurance company should be handling, not you!

So, what do you think ?