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My case for "libel" was dismissed for failure to state claim/cause of action. The judge threw it out. I started a small claims

Poughkeepsie, NY |

My lawyers work looks as if it is done here.. I just opened up a "small claims" case asking for fees back and had to file.. I plan on telling the judge that I am not suing for my attorney fees, rather I am suing for the damage it caused me to fight this action meaning - I couldn't eat for 4 months, do laundry, had to resort to going to food panty's/soup kitchens - In other words the 5K I had to hire counsel for caused me to be impoverished which is the truth - I was sued for slander 5 days ago the the guy who sued didn't state cause of action -- It was dismissed.. Any ideas on where my Small Claims case will go at this point? I also filed with the NYSA against the plaintiffs attorney for taking this case and hurting me in this way

sued for slander 5 months ago, not 5 days ago.. - I feel I deserve to be compensated for due to his asinine actions against me

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Attorney answers 5


You generally don't get fees back from your lawyer just because you lost.

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Any ideas on where my Small Claims case will go at this point?
Straight to dismissal.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


How did you manage to put $5000 together if you got impoverished but paying them? What are you doing for a living?

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


Lawsuit for you being impoverished will not fly. Lawsuit to recovery money for your legal fees probably will not fly either. Ask your prior lawyer for advice. Not sure why you filed with NYSA? Who is NYSA?

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


The principles that are driving your feeling that you should be made genuinely whole after what you have been put through are embodied in the laws of the various states, most typically as claims for damages for abuse of process and malicious prosecution. These are very difficult claims to bring successfully as lawsuits. The standards and specifications are very high and exacting. In fact, these kinds of claims are labelled "disfavored," causing them to be very skeptically scrutinized by the courts.

In most litigated matters, it is the policy decision of the law that attorneys fees are not recoverable to the successful litigant (you). Where the law chooses to make the successful litigant whole to that extent, the law of the claim on which you were originally sued will specifically allow for recovery of attorney's fees. Attempting to recover as damages your attorney's fees (or the financial losses and damages caused by having had to pay them) in the absence of a statutory provision (or an order of the court) will usually fail.

In the matter you describe, the small claims court may decide that there is no jurisdiction -- that is, that the court could not make an award to you even if it wanted to because the previous court implicitly considered that issue and the failure of the previous court to make such an order as part of the original case may be presumed to stand as an affirmative decision against such a award.

These are difficult, technical, and complicated legal principles, and it is understandable that pro per litigants have great difficulty in effective use of them.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


Postscript: There was no point or benefit to you in complaining to the State regulatory authorities about your opponent's attorney having taken on the case. If that were the standard for professional misconduct, one attorney at least would be disciplined for misconduct in every single case that was ever litigated. In fact, it is the policy of the legal profession that everyone is entitled to counsel, and attorneys are not charged with the sins of their clients. Even rules requiring that attorneys bring claims and suits only in good faith will not be second-guessed by bar authorities on the criteria and basis of the ultimate result. One party or another loses EVERY case.

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