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Robert Bruce Kopelson

Robert Kopelson’s Answers

7,455 total


  • If my sister and I can't reach agreement on dividing a wrongful death damage award they will interplead. What does that mean?

    My sister has asked for an unrealistic amount of a potential wrongful death damage award. If we do not come to an agreement when any award is granted, the Plaintiff attorney says we will have to interplead. What does that mean?

    Robert’s Answer

    Interpleader is a civil lawsuit and could take quite long, depending upon the court calendar in the county of filing, and the litigation tactics of each party. Essentially, each side needs to gather evidence of the elements of loss due to the death, and the other party's evidence, to try to undermine it.

    It may be faster if you both would agree to a binding arbitration. You need to clarify with your atty how he/she will charge fees. Hopefully a contingency fee. Your atty should explain all this to you, as presumably he will be representing you. Does your sister have an atty? if you both hired the same atty to represent both of you, that atty may not be able to represent either of you in an interpleader, due to conflict of interest rules of ethics. When I represent multiple claimants in death cases these issues are discussed up front, and typically an agreement will be signed providing for binding arb if the parties cant agree on a division.

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  • If someone died and coroner refuses to give family death certificate, is that legal?

    If coroner did not file death certificate with the State, and none was given to family or funeral director, what can we do to get it?

    Robert’s Answer

    Did they state the basis for refusing? Each state has its own rules on this. Ask for the legal bases for their denial, and then contact a local attorney for a consult to review.

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  • My brother passed away in a car accident are we dealing with a wrongful death?

    Hello. My brother was in a car accident October 17, 2014. At the time of the accident many of the local neighbors told us it was a hit and run. That the initial call was made at 10:48 pm. The tow truck had time to arrive and tow the other vehic...

    Robert’s Answer

    Was there any insurance on the car your brother was driving? if not his car, did he have a car of his own that had insurance? Was he living with a relative that had car insurance? If the passenger survived, have you spoken to him about what happened? Have you requested the 911 records? When was report of incident received? Who made the report? What did report say? DO you have dispatch records? Have you obtained the traffic accident report?
    The family needs to act immediately, as there is a 2 year statute of limitations for making a claim against the persons responsible/liable for the crash, or for an uninsured motorist claim. Blow that time reqt and that would probably end any chance of compensation. Contact a lawyer immediately.

    What was the reported cause of death? Was there an autopsy? What happened to the body? May be very tough to prove he wouldn't have died had police/rescue arrived on time. What does passenger say about your brothers condition and how long he survived after the crash? There are short time limits for making claims against public entities. They have expired already. Whether there is any valid basis to extend them in this case is uncertain.
    Was brother married? have children? If so, they would have standing to make a claim for the death. If parents alive and he was financially supporting them, they may have standing too.

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  • Wrongful death settlement where siblings do not agree and one sibling is trying to sabotage settlement.

    Long story short. We are close to settling a wrongful death settlement for my mother who had no estate when she passed away. Her and I owned a mobile home and a bank account together and that is it. She had no other possessions or a will. We are c...

    Robert’s Answer

    If she has provable mental issues, and is not competent to conduct her affairs, she could have a representative appointed to manage her affairs.
    If that doesn't happen, perhaps she will agree to settle the case with the defts, and that the division of funds received will be allocated either by further discussions between you and her, or by binding arbitration. There are other possibilities. Consult with a local attorney.

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  • I need to file a motion to admit matters of fact, from multiple RFA's. As a Pro Se party, do I simply make an RFO?

    Ex refused to answer 5 sets of RFO questions (she never filed a response to anything). I know I have s huge advantage by having this opportunity to admit these RFO's, but I need to ensure I file the correct order (since "motions" are an old term).

    Robert’s Answer

    Check with a local family law atty for assistance on this. You can also go to the superior court family law self help dept for further assistance. These motions or requests for orders have certain requirements. If you wish to prevail, you have to follow the rules.

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  • In a probate motion hearing, if the opposing pro per litigant or her new lawyer hands me a opposition motion to my motion which

    is why we have a hearing, ON THE DAY F THE HEARING, does the 10 day rule apply? And will the court allow it? Can I object as a pro per?

    Robert’s Answer

    A pro per can object. The judge has discretion to allow it. If you object, and the court is inclined to allow the late papers, it will likely continue the hearing, and give you addl time to file a reply.

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  • I was in a two car wreck, am I entitled to compensation being as I was the passenger?

    I was the passenger in a two car wreck and have permanent shoulder and lower back injuries. Both the driver's insurance companies are denying responsibility and am putting me through the wringer with their attorneys. Shouldn't they have to pay a p...

    Robert’s Answer

    Not an uncommon scenario. Get a lawyer, and file suit. Until their feet are put to the fire, they will continue to point the finger at the other. Unless you did something to distract the driver in your car, you should be ok in the end.

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  • In California, can a person bring intentional tort claims of false imprisonment, assault and battery against police officers?

    In California, can a person bring intentional tort claims (i believe its under common law) of false imprisonment, assault and battery against a police officer? Also, under respondeat superior can the same claims be brought against the municipality?

    Robert’s Answer

    Yes it is possible. look for local atty that handles police misconduct cases. Follow up immediately, as there are time reqts imposed by the law and failure to comply can result in the loss of your rights.

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  • Can I sue my lawyer for discussing my case with another one of her clients?

    High speed chase trafficing driving under suspension. But drugs was never found in the car or on me

    Robert’s Answer

    Unless you can show real damage, the case may not be big enough to make it economically feasible to hire an atty. if you can prove the violation, the State Bar may be interested if you file a complaint.

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  • In Oregon, Who is responsible if I'm successfully sued for damages in excess of my auto insurance policy limits? thank you!

    If my policy limit is $100k, and a jury awards $200k, who pays the excess? Me (insured)? or My insurer?

    Robert’s Answer

    If the pltf gave your ins co the reasonable opportunity to settle within the policy limits, and your ins co did not act in good faith, they could get stuck paying the overage/excess. However, if they offered to pay the policy, the pltf refused wanting you to contribute personally, and you didn't agree to, you would be stuck paying anything above the policy limit. You should consult with independent counsel locally for help. Independent counsel may help you get this resolved.

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