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Howard Mark Ullman

Howard Ullman’s Answers

14 total


  • When counting the 45 days on a Motion to Compel, are holidays excluded and do I count an additional 5 days (CCP 1013(a))?

    I am a defendant in a credit card collection action. The plaintiff replied to my interrogatories on 11/18. However, there are claims that the contract was attached to the responses, but there is no evidence of any. Would the best course of action ...

    Howard’s Answer

    Assuming you are in California state court, a party normally has 30 days to respond to interrogatories. CCP 2030.260(a). You then have 45 days to file a motion to compel. CCP 2030.300.

    As to calculating time, if you served interrogatories by mail, then yes you must add 5 days to the response period (if the place of mailing is inside California). If outside California, then you must add even more extra days..

    You do not count the day you mailed the interrogatories - you start with the next day. CCP 12. You count holidays, unless the last day of the period is a holiday, in which case the response date rolls over to the next day that is not a holiday. CCP 12; CCP 12a.

    As to a motion to compel, you may need to file one, but you almost certainly need to meet and confer first to try to see if you can resolve the issue without the court's help. You also might consider asking for an extension of time on any motion to compel so that you can try to resolve the issue.

    I think you are asking about interrogatories you mailed to the plaintiff, but you also mentioned the date you "received them." In any event, the same timing rules should apply.

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  • Catering company did not show when promised. Signed contract. Can I sue for breach of contract, fraud, and negligence?

    Large party at Country Club to raise money for charity. Hired catering company that said they would provide the food, decorate the room, party favors, and band. Signed contract, said they would be there at 5:30. Showed at 7:30 after the majorit...

    Howard’s Answer

    You very well may have a claim for breach of contract. It would be important to review the agreement you signed to determine whether you have a claim, and if so, what your damages might be. (Some contracts stipulate the amount of damages you may recover.)

    As to fraud, you would have to prove various things, including that the other party intentionally made a misrepresentation to you (in other words, that they lied about something, and that you relied upon the misrepresentation). That's often difficult to do in a typical breach of contract setting, and fraud is not apparent from what you've described.

    Finally, as to negligence, you only have a claim for negligence (a tort) if the other party had a legal duty to you and breached that duty. Maybe there's an argument for that here, but on the face of what you've described, the argument doesn't seem very strong. Any duties here are probably contractual.

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  • Need 2nd Opinion About Appellate Process

    My husband's lawyer has advised him to forego his appeal to US Supreme court and file in the Federal Court. Reason being, he says, that if the US Supreme Court denies the appeal the Federal Court will most likely deny it to just because the lower ...

    Howard’s Answer

    Respectfully, your summary of your attorney's statement does not make much sense.

    The U.S. Supreme Court is a federal court. It is the > federal court.

    Usually, federal cases are decided first by a federal (district) court. Then if there is an appeal, it is usually heard by a federal circuit (appeals) court. Then, there may be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    If you are at the stage of an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court (most likely from a circuit court decision), in most cases you can't go back to the federal district court unless you get an appellate opinion overturning the lower court's ruling.

    So when you mention not taking an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and instead just filing in the federal court, this doesn't make a lot of sense.

    I also don't understand what you mean by preserving appellate chances at the federal level by not filing in the Supreme Court.

    Now, the U.S. Supreme Court can also hear appeals from state supreme courts. Maybe you have a case in the state system, and are thinking about filing a related sort of claim in the federal system. However, I can't tell from your description.

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  • Requesting Civil Advice

    A group of people invested money into a business that hasn't started yet. One of the investors did not fulfill her investment portion. Ultimately, the group of investors did not meet the investment requirement amount so a contract between the busi...

    Howard’s Answer

    Quite likely, but it's hard to tell from the limited facts presented. Was there any writing governing the investments? If so, the terms of the writing would control and probably specify what should happen. If there was no writing, it is possible the investors have a claim under what's called a "promissory estoppel" theory -- the business owner promised to do something with their money, but didn't, and now should return it.

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  • How many questions from a deposition will be actually be asked at trail?

    I was asked a lot of questions in my deposition a lot was just general info, just to see what "factor" I played in the case. Will I only be asked the questions about the case itself or every question from the deposition?

    Howard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    A deposition is a vehicle to discovery information -- everything that might be relevant to a case. By the time a case gets to trial, it is whittled down to its essentials. So only the essential pieces of information will be put into evidence. Long story short, if you are a trial witness, you are unlikely to be asked everything in your deposition. Probably you will be asked only a small subset of those questions.

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  • What is a stipulation?

    got this letter copy stipulation and order for contunance of status conference and trail setting conference? not sure what this means

    Howard’s Answer

    A stipulation is just an agreement (here with the other side). If you sign it, you would be agreeing to reschedule the status conference and trial setting conference for a later date.

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  • Appeal from Nevada Supreme Court?

    In a civil case, is the decision of the Nevada Supreme Court appeal-able? Or is the Nevada Supreme Court the end of the road?

    Howard’s Answer

    If there is a federal question involved, there may be an appeal to the United States Supreme Court. SCOTUS, however, takes very, very few cases out of the thousands presented to it for possible review.

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  • Can a pro per Defendant subpoena an attorney representing Plainitff?

    I.e. the defendant served a subpoena duces tecum on the actual attorney representing the Bank to produce documents not in the attorney's control and is asking for items which are protected by the attorney-client privilege. If the attorney filed...

    Howard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Until and unless the court rules on the motion,
    no appearance is required. Your question
    suggests you are seeking privileged
    information. You won't be able to discover
    that.

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  • Interrogatories -- is it 25 per party or per side (federal court)?

    Hello and thank you for reading. I'm in federal court in Los Angeles and I know that there is a limit of 25 interrogatories. My question is, is that 25 for each adverse party? For example, if there are two adverse parties can I propound 50 tota...

    Howard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Per party. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 33(a)1 states:

    Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, a party may serve on any other party no more than 25 written interrogatories, including all discrete subparts. Leave to serve additional interrogatories may be granted to the extent consistent with Rule 26(b)(2).

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  • Is there any legal ground to stand on if a Doctor makes and then later breaks a verbal promise about his ability to treat you?

    I was wondering if I have any legal grounds to stand on regarding a dispute I have with a former medical service provider. Basically a doctor made a verbal promise to me that if I invested in his treatment plan it would work... long story short it...

    Howard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Some types of oral contracts are enforceable. There also is a doctrine called "promissory estoppel" that lets you enforce oral promises even if no actual contract is actually made. The problem with both of these legal theories is that it can be difficult to prove the oral commitment -- you may have a "he said / she said" situation. So other, corroborating evidence becomes important.

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