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Una Lee Jost

Una Jost’s Answers

3 total

  • Getting help pro se

    Where can one find help in completing court papers? Is there someone one could hire, e.g. a paralegal, to assist them in the preparation of court documents? Can't afford a lawyer. Legal services have been cut way back and my income, although it...

    Una’s Answer

    Courts often provide self-help services. Looks like the New Jersey Judiciary does provide a judiciary ombudsman program that acts as a bridge between the courts and the community, including providing "information, brochures, forms and self-help kits for individuals who choose to represent themselves": http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/ombuds/index.htm). It also looks like much of this information is available online at the Pro Se Self-Help Resource Center: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/prose/index.htm.

    I don't know what disability you have, but the New Jersey Judiciary does also provide certain disability accommodations: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/services/aocada.htm. "Auxiliary aids and services" the court may be able to provide includes braille, readers, qualified interpreters, note takers, transcription services, written materials, assistive listening devices and systems, or other effective methods of making written or orally delivered materials available to individuals with sight or hearing impairments.

    Hope that is helpful to you, and best wishes.
    ~ Una

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Contract with Gym

    I signed a 4 month contract with a trainer at The Body Exchange. My contract lists that payments should go to ABC Financial. The training sessions went well for a couple of weeks and then my trainer decided that he didn't want to meet in the mor...

    Una’s Answer

    It is unclear from your question whether the contract was entered into with the trainer as an individual or with The Body Exchange (I'm assuming it's with The Body Exchange). In any case, whether The Body Exchange had a right to change the training sessions is dependent on the terms and conditions of your contract. Without reviewing your contract, I am unable to give you a definitive answer. With that caveat, if the contract is clear on when the training sessions are to take place, and there are no other issues presented by your contract, your trainer's actions may not only be bad public relations for The Body Exchange, but you may also have a possible claim for breach of contract against The Body Exchange. (On the other hand, if the contract is unclear as to the scheduling of the sessions, this is a reason to make sure all expectations of the parties are clearly defined in future contracts - this helps avoid misunderstandings between the parties as well as ensure you have appropriate remedies for breach of contract.)

    Regarding National Fitness seeking to collect on your contract with the The Body Exchange, it appears that National Fitness may be an outside agency hired by The Body Exchange to provide collection services (see http://nationalfitness.com/collections). It is unclear whether National Fitness communicated to you orally and/or in writing. In any case, since they are seeking to collect from you, they are bound to follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you. Be sure to be familiarized with your rights under the FDCPA including the procedures for disputing a bill. You can find information about your rights under the FDCPA via the government websites of the California Attorney General's Office and the Federal Trade Commission:
    - http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general/collection_agencies10.php
    - http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm
    In particular, please note that you should respond to any written notice of debt from National Fitness (or other debt collector) within 30 days.

    Hope that helps, and best wishes to you.
    ~ Una

    *This communication is for information only and does not constitute legal advice nor establish an attorney-client relationship.

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  • How to verify whether a law group is legit or not

    I'm concerned about a law group in irvine california Valor Law Group is legit in debt settlement, the websight does not list any attorney name, so can't verify with bar assoc/or BBB?

    Una’s Answer

    When evaluating a law firm, you are wise to seek to look up its attorneys' profiles with the state bar association in order to make sure that the firm's attorneys are licensed and in good standing, and to avoid attorneys with a history of disciplinary action against them.

    A helpful site to locate additional information on businesses in general is the California Secretary of State's business portal (http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/cbs.aspx), which reflects that Valor Law Group is an active professional corporation formed in California a year ago in October 2009 (although please note that the Secretary's website does include a disclaimer stating that its data is not a complete or certified record of an entity). In any case, while it is positive that the Secretary's profile shows Valor Law Group to be an active corporation and does not reveal any disciplinary history, I would still recommend proceeding with caution.

    As you note, there are no attorneys listed on the site, which is indeed unusual for a firm website. In addition, according to the Secretary of State's profile, Valor Law Group was only formed a year ago, so has had limited time to establish credibility. Also, it is important to take into account the rising complaints to BBB against debt settlement companies (see http://www.bbb.org/us/article/complaints-to-bbb-against-debt-settlement-companies-on-the-rise-19186).

    In sum, I would recommend proceeding with caution by first seeking the identity of the firm's attorneys so you are able to to research the attorneys' qualifications and experience. If you seek this information directly from the firm, I would advise obtaining any representations from them in writing in case the firm turns out to be engaging in fraudulent practices or fraudulent advertising or the unauthorized practice of law.

    Best wishes on your situation.
    ~ Una

    *This communication is for information only and does not constitute legal advice nor establish an attorney-client relationship.

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