Small Claims Pointers
I sometimes get hired to consult with people that want to represent themselves in divorce, child support, related matters … and Small Claims cases. Although, if one can afford to hire an attorney, I believe they should do so. Their a lot of little things that can get screwed up when you try and represent yourself.
Small Claims cases are different-no lawyers. So, getting coached before Court can be VERY helpful.
Here is what one client recently said about my assistance on her Small Claims case:
“Andrea responded immediately to my request for assistance and set up an appointment within a few days of our first contact. She listened carefully to my concerns, provided a great deal of very helpful information and advised me on the best way to organize and proceed with my case. Overall, she was very thorough and professional.
Thanks to her guidance, I think it is now very organized and detailed.”
Small Claims Pointers for those involved in a legal situation:
- Before your Court date, discuss settlement with the other side (or counsel/attorney for the other side) and limit the number of items/issues to be decided by the Court. It is almost always better if you can settle things instead of having the Judge decide for you. Neither party is usually happy with the Judge’s decision. Even if the other decide will not settle or discuss the case with you, try. That way you can tell the Judge you tried to settle the case and the other party wouldn’t even talk with you.
- Do some research to figure out what will happen at each of the various types of hearings so that you understand the procedure and what is happening.
- Be as prepared as possible. Go over your case. Practice it on someone else to make sure they understand it. Make it as simple as possible, as if you are talking to a not so bright eight-year-old.
What is Small Claims Court?
Small Claims Court is a relatively quick and inexpensive process where individuals can sue (Plaintiff/Petitioner) or be sued (Respondent/Defendant) for up to $10,000. The parties must be prepared to present their case or to present a defense at the Small Claims Court date in order to win money or not have to pay money.
Even though an attorney cannot represent either party at Small Claims Court, both the party suing (plaintiff) and the party being sued (defendant) can and should consult with an attorney and get their case reviewed.
Why Hire An Attorney?
If you are suing someone in Small Claims Court or if you are being sued in Small Claims Court, it is very important that you are ready to win on your court date. Attorney Andrea Schneider will consult and prepare you so that you are ready on your court date.
Here is some of what you can expect when getting a consultation:
- A careful review of the documents and evidence that you have and pointers on how to best present them.
- Small Claims Pointers on what you should expect in court and what you should do when you’re there-procedures, protocal….
- Assistance so that you will feel prepared and confident to present and win your case.
Typical Small Claims lawsuits are for:
– Breach of contract
– Unpaid personal loans
– Car repair disputes
– Unpaid wages or…..
– Security deposit disputes and unpaid rent
– Issues with remodeling contractors
– Medical bills for a car accident
– Suing for a bad check (insufficient funds, stop payment, account closed)
Have an awesome week. I would love to help you with your Small Claims Case.