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Richard Eric Berman

Richard Berman’s Answers

86 total


  • Can I serve someone more than 120 days after I sue someone?

    I know the rule says you have 120 days to serve someone, but I could not do in that amount of time. I know where to find them now, but it's more than 120 days. Do I need to ask the judge for more time before I can serve them or can I just do it?

    Richard’s Answer

    You need to go to the Court with a motion to extend the time to serve beyond 120 days. In your motion, you should state the efforts at service that you have made and why they were unsuccessful. Attach to the motion any of the efforts made and reports back to you from process servers. The motion should be granted, so long as it contains sufficient information for the court to see that the delay was created by the inability to effect service, despite efforts to do so.

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  • Should I fire him or take a high risk chance, I suit for wrongful death of my mother and won sorter

    what to do if my lawyer charge me $4000 for medical records but cant come up with any receipts from the hospital when he said he got them from, the date was suppose to be August to December of 2008, so i went to the hospital arm with my court do...

    Richard’s Answer

    Your attorney is required to maintain records of all funds expended on your behalf. Ask for proof of these expenses in a writing to him. If he fails to respond, ask again. If you get no satisfaction, you have the right to file a Bar Complaint, which is without expense to you. The forms are available on line at www.flabar.org and should be completed by you and sent to The Florida Bar. They will communicate with him in writing, keep you in the loop, and he is obligated to respond to this inquiry. If signing the closing statement is an immediate necessity, you can likely do that, but need legal advice on that issue. You should consult an attorney, but do not sign a release to your lawyer. Nonetheless, the Bar will become interested, if you don't get an answer.

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  • I have a question about depositions and subpoenas to witnesses and defendants in a civil lawsuit - I am the plaintiff.

    If I / my attorney (once hired) depose a key witness (previous employee), do they have to do the deposition by law, or can they decline and not give a statement. This is a KEY witness that may be being influenced by the defendant. Same questio...

    Richard’s Answer

    You can compel a witness to testify by subpoena. If they fail to attend or to answer questions, other than to invoke their 5th amendment privilege against self-incrimination, the judge will compel them to answer and if they still refuse can hold them in contempt and fine them. The fine can increase and in some circumstances they can be brought before the judge by the sherrif (if the court so orders) and can be compelled to explain their attitude to the judge. It is not discretionary. They must answer questions. If a party refuses to answer questions othe than on the basis of some type of privilege (such as attorney/client or husband/wife) they will be sanctioned and ultimately their pleadings can be stricken and judgment will be entered in your favor. If you can demonstrate to the court's satisfaction that a witness has been bribed, they can be held in contempt and so can the party who bribed them. If someone makes a promise to a witness in exchange for favorable and untrue testimony, each can be punished by the court. The person offering the bribe can be punished for doing do and if the other person takes it, they will also be punished and the judge can refer the matter to the State Attorney as a criminal matter.

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  • Are literal excuses required of a Plaintiff Attorney regarding no activity on a lawsuit for 60+ months ?

    OR...is this "obvious" neglect excused with a LOP reminder that the forgotten case still exist and there are no further explanations necessary?

    Richard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If you are the Plaintiff and no action has been taken on your behalf for over 5 years, the lawyer has violated a Rule Regulating the Florida Bar. You need to contact counsel and ask what has happened. Also, if nothing has happened in the case and you are prejudiced as a result thereof, you have a Bar Complaint that you can file. Forms are available at www.FlaBar.org Again, if your own lawyer has neglected this file for so long, you need to find another attorney.

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  • E-commerce company (Florida LLC) sued by multi-million dollar, brand-name designer of women's apparel for false advertising

    The specific counts are: Tortious Interference, Violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, False Designation of Origin and False Advertising. (Lanham Act) The truth is our company operates an ecommerce and logistics busin...

    Richard’s Answer

    You must respond to the lawsuit or ultimately a default judgment can be entered against you which could shut down the business, enter money judgments against the parties who have been served and all with serious consequences. You need competent counsel to represent the interests of the company and of the members who have been sued. If the people who have been sued have different defenses, they may each need separate counsel. Without more information, this cannot be determined. But, do not delay and do not ignore this lawsuit.

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  • HOW TO STOP THIS NOTICE OF VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE, IF I WANT TO FILE NEW LAWSUITS RELATED TO SAME CONTRACT ?

    "Plaintiff, in the above styled cause hereby submits this Notice of Voluntary Dismissal WITH PREJUDICE as this cause has been settled between parties.Each party will bear its respective costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees incurred in the lit...

    Richard’s Answer

    It sounds as though you agreed to settle this case. If you did not do so, then you have to object immediately. If you settled a case related to a specific contract and that includes a dismissal, with prejudice, then you may be barred from bringing any other claims under that same contract. There are legal doctrines that prevent further actions on issues that were or could have been resolved in prior litigation. Contact your attorney to discuss a limitation on the release, if you do not intend to give up all of your claims, but only those claims that are being settled. This might be possible, but without more facts, it is impossible to provide this information to you.

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  • Can I respond to a motion to withdraw-Do I file it with the court and the plaintiff's attorney or just the court ?

    Can I respond to a motion to withdraw-Do I file it with the court and the plaintiff's attorney or just the court and my attorney? The hearing to withdraw is scheduled so in filing this response am I considered pro se? It seems that it would b...

    Richard’s Answer

    You can respond, but it likely will do you no good. When an attorney moves to withdraw the reason sited is not specific, such as irreconcilable differences. Rarely will a court force an attorney to stay in a case. If you want to respond, you file it with the court and serve it upon your present counsel and anyone else who has appeared in the case. The Order allowing withdrawal will provide your address for future service of documents and may say how many days you have to obtain substitute counsel. If it is just you as a party, and not a corporate entity, you may represent yourself and then you are pro se.

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  • Omitting Evidence

    If an attorney omits evidence that is known or should be known to be negative to his foreclosure case against homeowners, is this deemed to be fraud against the court?

    Richard’s Answer

    As long as this "negative evidence" was disclosed to you in discovery and as long as the attorney does not mislead the court in his presentation, it is likely not a fraud on the Court. Your side needs to bring this forward. An attorney may not mislead the Court, but does not have a duty to try your side of the case.

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  • How difficult is it to add a plaintiff.

    1) I have experience filing, managing, arguing, and winning a (non-jury) lawsuit in state court, but I have no experience in federal court. 2) I run my design business through a small corporation that I own 100% of. 3) Both my company and I were...

    Richard’s Answer

    Bad idea. Federal Court is mostly on the papers, with few court appearances. It requires legal writing and research and a thorough knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. If you try and represent yourself and stumble, you risk losing your claim solely for procedural reasons. If you have jurisdiction in Federal Court (either a Federal Question or more than $75,000 in controversy and complete diversity of citizenship on both sides of the case, you need counsel. Assigning your company's claim to yourself so that you can proceed is problematic and litigating in Federal Court on your own is not a good idea.

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  • In Florida, a Proposal for Settlement has a time limit of 30 days, what happens when the acceptance is after this 30 days?

    In Florida, a Proposal for Settlement that is controlled under both Section 768.79 and Florida Statues and Rule 1.442 indicate that if a plaintiff files an offer (Certificate of Service), the defendant has 30 days which to accept this proposal (Ce...

    Richard’s Answer

    After 30 days (or possible 5 days more for mailing), the Proposal For Settlement is deemed rejected and thus is no longer available to be accepted. Of course the parties can negotiate to settle at any time, but often these proposals are not made to elicit settlement, which can occur, but to set up the other side for attorneys fees, which has been accomplished by the failure to accept the Proposal within the specified time. If you have counsel, review this with your counsel. If you don't have counsel, review carefully both the statute and cited rule to understand what must happen at trial to be exposed to attorneys fees after a Proposal For Settlement has been made and not timely accepted. Acceptance on day 35 might be OK if the Proposal was served by mail or by e-service. If accepted and you are represented by counsel, your counsel accepts the offer in the manner described in the statute.

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