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Sarkis Sirmabekian’s Answers

108 total


  • How much can a debt collection attorney charge me? Is it a contingent fee or is an hourly fee allowed?

    Need to recover on a judgment.

    Sarkis’s Answer

    Attorney fees are negotiable between attorneys and clients. California law prohibits attorneys from charging unconscionable fees. Please see the link below listing the factors considered in determining whether an agreed upon fee is unconscionable.

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  • How to file an amended complaint?

    I'm working on a project, basically plaintiff sued and successfully won against her former small business employer, employer shut down and cited bankruptcy, but now they're up and running in the same location, very similar name. It's clear that th...

    Sarkis’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues. You should also consider whether the bankruptcy was filed personally or by an incorporated entity.

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  • Can voice mail on cell phone be used as evidence to small claim court?

    How can I save it permanently, translate to English and present to Judge? And do I need to provide a copy to opponent?

    Sarkis’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues. It may also be advisable to contact the clerk of the courtroom to which your case is assigned and ask whether a particular form of presentation is preferable.

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  • My question is about Small Claims Court and does the Defendant have to be there ? He lives in Joplin Mo. and I live in Fresno Ca

    The Defendant has moved from his previous address and is hiding from being served. I have now hired a Skip tracer because I have exhausted everything I know to do. Do I have to wait him out like a rat or can I go to Small Claims Court without the...

    Sarkis’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague. The court will lack jurisdiction over a named defendant absent proper service. No judgment can be obtained unless Defendant is properly served.

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  • Does an attorney get paid from my insurance claim?

    I got a car from the dealer and I got crashed by another driver. I was still paying the car and the car is now considered totaled. It was not my fault but the other insurance wasn't cooperating so I got an attorney. My question is, how will the at...

    Sarkis’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague. Your attorney fee agreement will dictate if and how much your attorney gets paid from your recovery. But, before spending time analyzing that agreement, simply present the question to your attorney.

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  • Can parties exchange supplemental discovery response documents after the discovery cut-off date?

    We expect to receive documents from a DMV request following the discovery cutoff date. Can we still send a supplemental response with those documents to opposing counsel after the cutoff date? A supplemental request was not made, we simply want to...

    Sarkis’s Answer

    Nothing prevents you from providing the supplemental responses to opposing counsel. It can only help your position should the opposition file a motion in limine to exclude any such evidence.

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  • Rented equipment stolen: Owner accuses me of theft

    A few months back I rented tools from a person who rents them for a job around my house. Long story short they were stolen from a person I had helping me out. I contacted the police and filed the necessary paperwork required by the rental. Not a ...

    Sarkis’s Answer

    Words imputing crime can satisfy a claim for defamation per se where damages are assumed. But these statements must be directed to third parties, not interrogatories to the defendant in the lawsuit.
    The malicious prosecution cause of action is available in situations where no reasonable person would have believed that there are reasonable grounds to sue. But, to sue for malicious prosecution, the lawsuit must first end in your favor.

    See links below.

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  • Can I still sue an ins company if my license was expired?

    My dad and two younger brothers were rear ended at a stop sign 6 months ago. They've complained about head/neck/shoulder/back pain and been to the Dr numerous times. My dad was clearly not at fault but is scared to file/sue for anything because he...

    Sarkis’s Answer

    Statute of limitations for personal injury in California is generally 2 years from the date of the injury. You have not lost your right to recover for your damages after 6 months. Consult experienced personal injury attorney. Also, note that it is required accidents be reported if there exists more than $750 in damages or any injury. See link below.

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  • For a civil subpoena duces tecum, what is the minimum number of days for the witness to respond? Can I force the witness to

    provide the documents within 1 week?

    Sarkis’s Answer

    Pursuant to CA Code of Civil Procedure Section 1985.3(b)(2), service must be made not less than 10 days prior to the date for production specified in the subpoena duces tecum, plus the additional time
    provided by Section 1013 if service is by mail, unless service is made upon the custodian of records.

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  • Civil case _ 3rd party service

    When hiring a 3rd party to serve the complaint at defendant's residence, is it valid if leave the doc. in front of main door without seeing the defendant?

    Sarkis’s Answer

    California Code of Civil Procedure Section 415.20 outlines the proper method of substitute service:

    "A summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint during usual office
    hours in his or her office or, if no physical address is known, at his or her usual mailing address, other than a United States Postal Service post office box, with the person who is apparently in charge
    thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and complaint by first-class mail, postage prepaid to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and complaint were
    left. When service is effected by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at a mailing address, it shall be left with a person at least 18 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof."

    Leaving document in front of main door does not satisfy the requirements of this section.

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