Speak with the attorney that represented you at the time you obtained the wrongful death settlement -- he or she ought to understand a very rapid way to shut your step-sister down.
Understand that your post lacks many pertinent details that your attorney will most likely need to know to properly advise you on how to proceed.
Best of luck!
In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.
Attorney Deasy has provided you with the very best advice. Contact your attorney who handled the wrongful death settlement and ask him to tkae care of the matter. You did not tell us what you meant by "the Attorney who handled the case is threatening me". Hopefully, that is not an issue that you cannot overcome. Best of luck.
Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
I AM ATTACHING CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 377.60-377.62 , GOVERNING THE LAW REGARDING HEIRS IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASES. AT FIRST BLUSH IT WOULD APPEAR THAT A STEP SISTER MAY QUALIFY FOR RECOVERY BUT IF YOU READ FURTHER , YOU WILL FIND THAT THERE ARE QUALIFIERS./ YOU NEED TO RETAIN AN ATTORNEY TO GUIDE YOU, BUT IT SEEMS AS YOU MAY BE ABLE TO PREVAIL BASED ON THE FACTS OF YOUR CASE, SPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE EVIDENCE OF THE PRIOR THEFTS BY YOUR STEP SISTER. BEST OF LUCK.
CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 377.60-377.62
377.60. A cause of action for the death of a person caused by the
wrongful act or neglect of another may be asserted by any of the
following persons or by the decedent's personal representative on
(a) The decedent's surviving spouse, domestic partner, children,
and issue of deceased children, or, if there is no surviving issue of
the decedent, the persons, including the surviving spouse or
domestic partner, who would be entitled to the property of the
decedent by intestate succession.
(b) Whether or not qualified under subdivision (a), if they were
dependent on the decedent, the putative spouse, children of the
putative spouse, stepchildren, or parents. As used in this
subdivision, "putative spouse" means the surviving spouse of a void
or voidable marriage who is found by the court to have believed in
good faith that the marriage to the decedent was valid.
(c) A minor, whether or not qualified under subdivision (a) or
(b), if, at the time of the decedent's death, the minor resided for
the previous 180 days in the decedent's household and was dependent
on the decedent for one-half or more of the minor's support.
(d) This section applies to any cause of action arising on or
after January 1, 1993.
(e) The addition of this section by Chapter 178 of the Statutes of
1992 was not intended to adversely affect the standing of any party
having standing under prior law, and the standing of parties governed
by that version of this section as added by Chapter 178 of the
Statutes of 1992 shall be the same as specified herein as amended by
Chapter 563 of the Statutes of 1996.
(f) (1) For the purpose of this section, "domestic partner" means
a person who, at the time of the decedent's death, was the domestic
partner of the decedent in a registered domestic partnership
established in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 297 of the
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), for a death occurring prior to
January 1, 2002, a person may maintain a cause of action pursuant to
this section as a domestic partner of the decedent by establishing
the factors listed in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, of
subdivision (b) of Section 297 of the Family Code, as it read
pursuant to Section 3 of Chapter 893 of the Statutes of 2001, prior
to its becoming inoperative on January 1, 2005.
(3) The amendments made to this subdivision during the 2003-04
Regular Session of the Legislature are not intended to revive any
cause of action that has been fully and finally adjudicated by the
courts, or that has been settled, or as to which the applicable
limitations period has run.
377.61. In an action under this article, damages may be awarded
that, under all the circumstances of the case, may be just, but may
not include damages recoverable under Section 377.34. The court shall
determine the respective rights in an award of the persons entitled
to assert the cause of action.
377.62. (a) An action under Section 377.30 may be joined with an
action under Section 377.60 arising out of the same wrongful act or
(b) An action under Section 377.60 and an action under Section
377.31 arising out of the same wrongful act or neglect may be
consolidated for trial as provided in Section 1048.
This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. Abogado de Lesiones de Accidentes de Autos, provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Oakland Abogado Accidentes Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Accidentes de carros, Abogado de accidentes de Peatones, practices in Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, Hayward, Martinez, Newark, Richmond, San Francisco and San Rafael. El abogado de lesiones y heridos en accidentes de autos, is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Heridos en Accidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Abogado de Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, Abogado de Accidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.
Simply have your lawyer fight this, or you can tell your lawyer that you will go to fee arbitration to dispute his fee, as he did not recover all the money to which you are entitled.
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There is something missing from your post. In Ca when you make a wrongful death claim, you must have all claimants join in. If any fail/refuse to, you have to name them as defendants. The court and or ins co want to and require that all heirs be accounted for. Did you fail to tell the atty representing you that you had a step sister? it sounds like her claim isnt worth much given the lack of relationship she had with parents. Not possible to advise w/o more details. You should be careful about posting details as this is a public site. You should talk to local counsel.
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