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David Matthew Miller

David Miller’s Answers

19 total


  • Can I get a sworn statement from my witnesses for arbitration?

    I will soon be heading to arbitration. Is it possible to get sworn statements from my witnesses rather than to subpoena them. I am a pro se litigant and can't pay for their missed time from work. How can I get their information to the arbitrator w...

    David’s Answer

    I agree with the comments posted above. Check with your arbitrator. Remember that even if the arbitrator allows a witness' statement, if the witness is a compelling person, then his or her live testimony may be more convincing than a piece of paper (and the reverse is true if the witness does not make a good presentation).

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  • If your case has merit and is worth over 100k (including liquidated damages) through mediation what generally will you get?

    And when I say generally will you get I mean what is generally the lowest you will get in settlement?

    David’s Answer

    I agree with the comment that you cannot accurately predict "what you will get." The first question is whether your case is likely to succeed at trial. Different people have different perspectives, and I have had many clients who thought they had a good case where my legal judgment told me otherwise. If you do have a good case, the next question is whether you can recover anything from your opponent. Your opponent may be wealthy, or may have insurance to cover the claim, in which case you are more likely to get a better deal in mediation. Or, your opponent may be broke, and whatever small amount you might get in mediation could well be better than getting nothing after trial. There are plenty of other variables to consider. You should consult an attorney. Good luck.

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  • What happened at the Medical Malpractice MSJ phone hearing? Am I supposed to argue my case orally to the Arbitrator?

    We are pro per. We submitted our MSJ opposition 14 days ahead of this telephone hearing with all the facts along with several medical witness opinion declarations. Do we still have to argue again during this? or Should the Arbitrator has enough ...

    David’s Answer

    While you don't need to appear at the telephone hearing to argue this motion, you most certainly should. Not appearing could harm your case; first, it might demonstrate weakness in the case itself, and second, there may be inaccurate information which you need to contest in order to show that summary judgment is not appropriate. As upsetting as the underlying events might be, if you want to maximize your chances of success you will have to relive the events--unfortunately that is one down-side to litigation. You really should try to consult with a personal injury lawyer, many of whom would take this type of case on a contingency basis. Good luck.

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  • I am very upside down in my car loan. It may qualify under the California Lemon Law guidelines.

    I am about to fill out the "complaint form generator" and since I owe so much on the loan, it's likely they won't pay it off. Would they just give me blue book value? If by chance they replace my car instead, I would still have to pay off the loan...

    David’s Answer

    Your question didn't state the reasons why your car might qualify for repurchase or replacement by the manufacturer. Assuming it does, you can ask for a repurchase or a replacement decision. If a repurchase decision is awarded, then you will get back your purchase price less a per-mileage deduction for the use you have had of the car (120,000 - the miles on your car, in order to determine the amount of the purchase price you get back). If you have low miles on it, then you would get almost all of your money back, which might solve your problem that you are "upside down." If that number doesn't appear appealing, it might be worth getting a replacement which you can keep driving. Go check out the Better Business Bureau's Autoline program--if the manufacturer is a party to that arbitration program, that might be an easy way to resolve the dispute.

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  • Can my Aunt sue Aamco Transmission in small claims?

    Two months ago, my Aunt and Grandfather took her 1999 Dodge Intrepid into Aamco Transmission in Concord, CA. Both parties decided to install a rebuilt transmission, opposing my advice. Upon hearing of the price, I was alarmed that the price was ...

    David’s Answer

    Your aunt will need to prove that the installation of the transmission cause the engine to "blow up." You don't indicate the dollars involved in repairing the engine failure. Small claims in California has a top limit of $7,500. If the amount of the repairs is higher, she will need to go to into the limited jurisdiction court (up to $25,000). Has a mechanic looked at the car, and determined that Aamco's work was faulty? Also, you didn't indicate how many miles are on the car. If the car has enough miles to need a new transmission, that could suggest to a court that the engine failed due to age, as opposed to anything Aamco did. It's hard to predict whether a case will settle, and it depends on how strong the evidence is as to whether you can convince Aamco that she has a good case. I don't handle your type of case, so you might want to take the other contributor up on his offer for a consultation.

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  • IPod stolen during tow

    I was in a car accident. My car was towed from the scene by a company that contracts with BMW roadside assistance. The car was towed to the nearest dealership. I did not ride with the driver, I was taken by a friend to the hospital. I was with th...

    David’s Answer

    You can make a claim against your own insurance, or against the tow company and its insurance. From a practical standpoint, you really need to decide it is worth it, given the small value of the iPod (which might be less than your own deductible). It will be a credibility contest, and you'll have to prove it was more likely than not that you had an iPod in the car when you left it (small electronics tend to be the subject of a lot of loss claims like this circumstance). You will probably save yourself a lot of emotional grief if you pass on making a claim and chalk this up to a learning experience. Sorry not to have better news.

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  • I don't know if my car would fall under the California Lemon Law or Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. I have a 2004 VW.

    I purchased it used in 2008 "as is" but with a service warranty. The dealer I bought it from went out of business 6 months later. Within 11 months it was in the VW dealership for 56 days getting a new (re built engine). Much of that time was spent...

    David’s Answer

    I doubt you have much of a legal case against Volkswagen. You didn't say how many miles were on the vehicle at the different repair times, or if the first warranty was an extended warranty through VW or with a private company. Also, you are probably time-barred from bringing any claims against the VW dealership that did the repair in 2009 or 2010, unless the same dealer has been doing the repairs all along. The "Lemon Laws" apply to manufacturers, not dealers, and not to private companies that issue extended service contracts or warranties. You may have a claim (or claims) against the mechanics who have done the repairs previously, if you can prove that they did not do the jobs right. Sorry not to have better news for you. Someone else may have a different opinion than mine.

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  • I filed a claimed against the City of San Marcos, CA due to storm drain damage from a broken underground drain

    I am thinking about going to court for $95,000 in damages to my property. Their excuse is right-of-way and "adequate" storm drains. How should I proceed?

    David’s Answer

    California has a statute that requires you to give notice to a government entity of your claim before you sue. The time frame is pretty short. The issue of whether or not the city had a legal right of way or adequate storm drains will probably require expert surveyors and civil engineers to evaluate. For that amount of money, I must agree with my colleague that you should consult with an attorney. If friends can't give you a referral to a lawyer, contact your local bar association. Good luck

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  • How do I response to First Amended Summons?

    I received three different packets that included bunch of cross-complaints. First our company was plaintiffs, on second/third packet we became defendants. However, our company received half of the money last year and I don't know what to do wi...

    David’s Answer

    Legal pleadings can be confusing to non-lawyers. If you do nothing for a long enough period of time, the court will likely enter a judgment against you. The judgment could be for money, or other relief. The pleadings will state these things, if you can sit down and read them thoroughly, you'll get a fair amount of information.

    You mention that your company received money, which makes it sound like there could be a lot at stake, including your business. I agree that you should consult an attorney.

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  • Where to File My Lawsuit if I Work From Home?

    I work from home in Riverside, CA. My former employer, whom I want to sue for unpaid wages and breach of contract, lives and works in Los Angeles. All the work I did for her was done in Riverside then emailed to her. All the agreements we entered ...

    David’s Answer

    I agree with the prior answer, but am not familiar with the two jurisdictions enough to advise whether one might be preferable for your case. In addition to which county might give you a better result, you should also think about which county can process your case faster and get you to trial, and also whether one of the counties has a better mediation program, which would possibly give you an opportunity to resolve your case before trial. If you do choose LA, remember you (or your lawyer) might have to travel there for meetings, court appearances, etc. You really should consult with a lawyer. Check with your local bar association for referrals., and whether your financial circumstances might allow you to get a discounted rate, or find a lawyer who will handle it on a contingency basis (meaning the lawyer gets paid from the result, not by the hour). Good luck.

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