I am representing myself in a personal injury case as my lawyer withdrew. I have recieved a mail from the defendant's lawyer that they have not received my responses Supplemental Interrogatories and Demand for Production of Documents, Set Two, and if we they do not receive reponses to those without objection, within the extended time, they will file motion to compel and may request sanctions as provided by law. I am overwhelmed, what should I do? No lawyer has accepted my case yet. What is it they are requesting and if ever can I request extension?
You needed to have filed supplemental responses to previously sent Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents, and it sounds like your 30 days (plus 5 days for mail service) has expired.
This litigation will only get more complicated, so you're best off finding and hiring a new lawyer ASAP. IN the meantime, contact the defendant's lawyer, and ask for an extension of time in which to retain new counsel, and get that extension in writing. This defense lawyer knew your lawyer was withdrawing (which would have required a noticed hearing if you didn't agree to susbstitute in yourself) and may have timed this supplemental discovery to take advantage of that, and judges don't like it when lawyers take advantage of litigants who are "pro per."
Anyway, supplementing your discovery should only help your case, so just get a written extension and get a new lawyer to respond to this discovery request.
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Supplemental Interrogatories and Demand for Production are requests for you to update the previous responses you gave to those requests. If your prior responses are still accurate you need to inform the opposing party that there are no changes.
If you are having difficulty with stage of litigation you should find an attorney immediately to take you case as it only gets more difficult from here.
I am licensed in Nevada but this answer should apply in California as well.
You should have gotten a copy of your file from your Attorney. This would include your medical bills and records, correspondence, and the legal part of your file. This last part would include the initial Complaint (and any amendments thereto), the Defendant(s) Answer(s), and Discovery Requests and Responses. There is information on my blog regarding Discovery at http://vegaslitigator.com/blog/?cat=24. While this addresses Discovery issues in Nevada (pursuant to Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure) most of the principles should apply to the California Rules of Civil Procedure as well.
Obviously, you understand the need to find counsel to represent you in the case. In the meantime, look for documents on Pleading paper (normally it has numbers running down the left side and a caption - the name of the case - on the first page). It's my understanding that California has standard Discovery Requests for car accident cases. When you supply the answers there are rules to making proper responses. For instance, in Nevada, each Interrogatory Question (or Request for Production) must be retyped and followed by its Answer (or /Response).
Hope this helps.
/s Donald Kudler
This letter references some additional (supplementary) interrogatories (written questions) and requests for production of certain documents which you or your former attorney had previously received from the other party's attorney. If you don't have a record as to what these are, I suggest you contact the opposing attorney and ask for an additional set of the materials which you are expected to respond to. You also can request an extension of time to respond.
I suggest that you continue to seek counsel to represent you, as you obviously need help in navigating through the legal system.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within 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. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.