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Joseph Lars Rockne

Joseph Rockne’s Answers

18 total


  • I am a pro se litigant in an arbitration and the other side will not honor my request for Docs or admissions properly served

    How can I hold them accountable. I filed a motion to compel to the arbitrator and he simply told them to cooperate. The plaintiffs will not cooperate. I thought admissions were admitted if not answered?

    Joseph’s Answer

    I would follow up, again. I would follow up with a phone call and then document the phone call with an email and letter. "Just to confirm what we discussed....bla bla. If I have not accurately summarized our conversation please let me know immediately."

    I would print these all out. I would file a second motion with the arbitrator and ask for sanctions. Specifically, I would ask that they not be allowed to present any evidence or documents that are not disclosed. If you need the documents or evidence to present your case in chief, I would explain to the arbitrator what the evidence or documents would show and then ask that the case be dismissed (or ruled on in your favor).

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  • What does this mean ?

    Each Parties hereby releases, acquits & forever discharges the other party & each of them of and from any and all claims, demands, actions,suits, complaints and matters of any type which either party has asserted or could have asserted, know or un...

    Joseph’s Answer

    It means that ANY conceivable claim you might have against the other party would be waived and you would not be able to bring it in any future action. This would likely even include claims that you are not currently aware of.

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  • With or without prejudice?

    I am considering dropping a lawsuit the only thing that has happen so far is that the defendant file an answer to the suit with his lawyer so he would not be in default ? We have not been before the judge to start any kind of court proceeding. If ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    You would want to dismiss the case, without prejudice. That way you can refile the case in the future. (Provided the statute of limitations has not barred your claim).

    If you do refile your case in the future, you might be obligated to pay attorneys fees to the defendant for the work that was done on this case. You would need to review the civil rules for your jurisdiction to answer that.

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  • Lawsuit

    When the plaintiff of lawsuit wants to drop the suit do both the plaintiff and the defendant have to sign off on the suit ? Or is it just the plaintiff?

    Joseph’s Answer

    If the defendant has not filed a counterclaim, then the plaintiff can dismiss the lawsuit on its own motion. Often without prejudice (meaning they can refile later).

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  • Can a default judgement in civil court be retried?

    I was being sued in civil court and I countersued independently and I was never notified of a date and time on when to appear and I was ready to go after this person who did me wrong. I have great case against him and I just want not blood.

    Joseph’s Answer

    Default judgments, in certain limited circumstances, can be set aside. But it is difficult and if you delay they will not be set aside.

    You should contact an attorney immediately.

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  • Is correspondence accepted as evidence in a civil trial?

    I am a party in civil litigation. Opposing party listed our correspondence as evidence. Previously, both of us had access to each other’s email account. I never discussed any business via email. I produced documents with financial transaction as p...

    Joseph’s Answer

    If the correspondence is relevant or contains relevant information, they most likely will be admissible. Objections to its admissibility might be based on hearsay, confidentiality or best evidence rule.

    I would recommend that you review all the correspondence to determine which ones contain relevant information and then determine if there is a specific objection to its inclusion in evidence.

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  • What are my options if my lawyer does not show up at my first court hearing tomorrow?

    I have been patiently working with my lawyer well over a month and a half. He has not returned phone calls, and i haven't heard from him in two days. To say the least i'm concerned that he won't even show at court tomorrow. What are my options at ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Request a continuance. (I'm not sure what type of hearing you have). Explain to the judge what has happened and that you will be retaining another attorney. (And filing a complaint with the bar association)

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  • Will I be able to raise new claims in a motion if they are not specifically detailed in an initial complaint?

    Lets say I file a copyright suit and the initial complaint does not include specific claims, will I be able to raise them in a motion? Can a motion be used for adding a few new "connected" claims to a complaint?

    Joseph’s Answer

    You can usually amend a complaint to add new claims only once. A second amendment would require a motion to the court and the court's approval.

    With that said, it is important to amend your complaint as soon as reasonably possible. A motion to amend a complaint to add a new claim or claims could be denied if it comes too close to trial and adding the additional claims would be prejudicial to the other side.

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  • What can result from my attorney filing a dilatory pleading against the defendant in a civil lawsuit?

    The opposing counsel failed to file an answer to our lawsuit within the 20 days. My attorney said he will file a dilatory pleading to have their answer dismissed. What can result from this action? Will they automatically lose the case?

    Joseph’s Answer

    A judge rarely dismisses a case for a later filed pleading (unless there is a statute of limitations issue).

    Usually a judge will consider a motion for sanctions or impose sanctions for the late filing. The severity of the sanction would depend on the type of pleading and whether its late filing actually caused some harm or prejudice to the opposing litigant.

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  • Can a court award attorney's fees to someone who proved undue influence and/or lack of capacity?

    Person A, we'll call him "bad guy," is believed to have taken advantage of an elderly woman with dementia, causing her to change her will, trust and other documents. Elderly woman dies and her relatives bring a lawsuit against bad guy for undue i...

    Joseph’s Answer

    In Washington State there are statutes which would allow a court the ability to award attorneys fees in situations such as you've described. There may be statutes in Florida, designed to protect against the abuse (including financial exploitation) of the elderly that provide for attorneys fees.

    The heirs should be aware, however, that the usual rule is that if one side is entitled to an award of attorneys fees, the other side would be as well. That means if they don't prevail, they might be responsible for the "abuser's" attorney's fees.

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