Responding to the additional information you have added, you are really are going to have to develop the facts on a step-by-step basis. If the first plumber won't take responsibility for the leak, then you need to hire another plumber to evaluate what actually caused the leak. If this second plumber finds that the first plumber caused the leak, then you can use this evidence in a case against the first plumber in Magistrate Court. Before you repair the leak or go to court, I recommend that you present the repair estimate to the first plumber in writing and ask him once again to repair the leak at his expense. If the first plumber still refuses to repair the leak, then you should repair the leak, pay for the repair, and then file suit in Magistrate Court against the first plumber. The amount of your damages will be the cost to repair the pipe leak caused by the first plumber. The plumber who repaired the leak must come to court as your "expert witness" and explain to the court what the first plumber did wrong and what it cost to fix it. You must bring your expert witness to court. Normally, the Magistrate Court will not consider an affidavit or letter from your expert witness. I don't recommend going to court without having completed the repairs. Also, I don't believe that any lawyer can ethically promise you that you will recover your attorney fees at trial. It is possible to collect attorney fees in some cases, but there never is any guarantee of collecting attorney fees at trial. This means that you run the risk of spending more money litigating this matter than trying to fix the problem at your own expense. Magistrate Court is set up to allow individual plaintiffs to represent themselves at trial. It is always better to go to court with a lawyer, but for small claims it is often more economical for you to handle the matter yourself. Also, you have gotten some excellent advice from the other lawyers who have commented here.