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Malicious prosecution; small case looking contingency attorney to right a wrong!

Camarillo, CA |

Lawyers get a bad rap for sure. I was a part owner in an LLC. That business is now closed. Prior to closing, the LLC owed a creditor about 6K in debt which it had paid down from about 12K over the 9 months prior to closing. A collection attorney initiated several legal actions including me personally. At the MSC the judge granted an OSC for sanctions vs. the Plaintiff attorney. The sole reason for the case was to intimidate me into paying them money rather than hiring an attorney. I represented myself and just now before trial, the Plaintiff attorney dismissed the case. I did have attorney fees along the way over the 3 years and multiple litigation actions filed. I'm looking for counsel to take on a contingency the malicious prosecution case. can you help..?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Malicious prosecutions actions are very difficult to "win," and that means that most skilled attorneys are very careful and cautious before agreeing to accept such a case on contingency. Moreover, the facts you have recited here are not promising for a successful result. The "sole reasons" for almost any civil case is to cause the debtor to pay money. There is nothing improper, malicious or abusive about that.

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Asker

Posted

in the space provided, it is difficult to paint a clear picture of the case. The theory of the malicious prosecution is that the Plaintiff attorney (who himself purchased the debt), filed with the court a pleading which he MAY have believed contained legitimate facts. However, when I answered the complaint and spoke with him, HE KNEW that the facts he alleged in the complaint were not backed up by even the evidence HE submitted. he was abusive, rude and aggressive on the phone. While being a jerk is not actionable, it plays to state of mind and conduct. While clearly going after a debt is not in any way illegal, going after it in a manner that is only aimed at simply harassing and brow beating the defendant into submission is.. Again the facts of the case when examined, can only lead you to the conclusion that while he had ever right to go after the debt, he SHOULD have amended his complaint to allege a different theory that was at least accurate. Which he did not. The only conclusion can be that he didn't care about the facts. When the judge hit him for a sanction for not showing up, then he bailed.. I just want him to be accountable for his actions. As I would be were I to be in the wrong; which in this case I was NOT..

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

Your theory is that the plaintiff is required to believe the defendant's representations about a contested matter after suit is filed to collect a debt. If that were the rule for legal actions for malicious prosecution, it would change the legal landscape beyond recognition. (And I would be so very very rich.) You won't get far with this effort, but have a good go to get it out of your system. Take precautions to make sure you don't inadvertently raise the stakes and get hit with the defense's legal fees. My guess is you'll be walking pro per here -- can't imagine an experienced attorney getting invested in this.

Posted

Ms. McCall's advice is sound, but she doesn't flesh out half of what will happen if you file a malicious prosecution action. The attorney whom you sue will retain his own attorney and file what is called a Special Motion to Strike (also known as an anti-SLAPP motion). If the defendant wins that motion, you lose the case and you will be ordered to pay his attorneys fees. If he loses the motion, he has the right to an immediate appeal, thereby tying up your malicious prosecution action for 18 months to two years. Oh, and you are not entitled to your attorneys fees under that scenario.
If you find an attorney wiling to take your case, ask him or her if you are at risk for an anti-SLAPP motion.

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