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Vivian Hattem Fazio

Vivian Fazio’s Answers

155 total


  • How long does arbitration usually take, in a personal injury case? Should I hire an attorney to represent me?

    Vivian’s Answer

    You should definitely contact an attorney to inform you of all your options, the strengths and weaknesses of your case and to represent you through the process - whether it be making a claim, litigating the case to a settlement or trial or attending non-binding or binding arbitration.

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  • I got served with a petition of a restriction order from my ex. Do I need a lawyer to go to the hearing?

    Vivian’s Answer

    You can defend yourself but will have a better chance of success if you are represented by a an attorney, but that will cost money.
    If a permanent injunction is entered against you, you will be prohibited from having any contact with your ex, going anywhere near him or his home and if you see him when you’re out, you will need to leave wherever you are at the time without having any contact with him.*
    *If the order of protection provides for this, which they typically do.

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  • How do i get out of my equipment lease agreement?

    Vivian’s Answer

    You should hire an attorney to review the lease, provide you with a legal opinion and negotiate the best outcome for you.

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  • Can I sue restaurant for food poisoning?

    Vivian’s Answer

    I hope your daughter is improving. You may have a case worth bringing, but should engage counsel right away to investigate. (Ideally, you should have engaged counsel when she first became ill). If the damages are causally related to the food your daughter consumed at the restaurant, and that can be established, or a strong argument can at least be made based on circumstantial evidence, and the restaurant is insured, or collectible, you’ll have a much easier time finding an attorney willing to take your case. There are potential sources of information that may not have been explored, and an attorney can you assist you with that, as part of his/her investigation into whether you have a case worth pursuing.

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  • Q. Should a lawyer be shopping for lawsuit funding without the client's permission?

    Vivian’s Answer

    What you have described sounds highly unusual and unethical. Having said that, if a client seeks outside funding, an attorney can, with the client’s permission, discuss certain aspects of the case with the company considering the funding.

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  • Is an initial engagement fee of $5000 that is non-refundable, in the state of FL legit?

    Vivian’s Answer

    Yes, there are different types of fee agreements. I return unused portions of my engagement fees, but I know other attorneys who do not. Your question is confusing insofar as you are asking if a $5,000 initial engagement fee can be non-refundable, yet you later state you’ve been charged a $3,000 retainer with a $300 hourly rate. Are you saying the $5000 initial engagement fee is in addition to the $3000 retainer fee? Retainers are non-refundable by definition but attorneys sometimes use the terms “retainer” and “engagement fee” interchangeably. The initial engagement/retainer amounts (if it’s one or the other - not both) and hourly rate are reasonable for a litigation matter. if you are uncomfortable proceeding, talk to your attorney and see what his/her rationale is for the fees and what, if anything, he/she may be able to do to make you more comfortable. You should then consider whether you’re truly ready to proceed with this litigation. Please know that fees and costs add up quickly in litigation, so it’s highly unlikely anything would remain of either a $3000 or $5000 initial fee, from which hourly fees and costs are deducted.

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  • Why would judge rule prior on my motion prior to response?

    Vivian’s Answer

    It appears you are misunderstanding the judge’s ruling and a motion to dismiss vs. a motion for summary judgment. A motion to dismiss can only be directed fo the complaint, the sufficiency of which is determined based upon the allegations in the complaint and the exhibits attached thereto. This is a legal determination based upon the four corners of the complaint, i.e., do the allegations state recognizable claims for relief under the law? If they do, the Motion to Dismiss fails, regardless of whether the allegations are true or not. Summary judgment is a completely different ballgame. Summary judgment motions present record evidence and can be countered with record evidence and affidavits filed in opposition. If genuine issues of material fact remain after all of the evidence presented is considered, the summary judgment motion will be denied. Summary judgment motions cannot be filed or heard until the parties have had an opportunity to conduct discovery. I think what the judge was trying to tell you is that you raised issues outside the complaint, presumably by presenting evidence to counter the complaint, which is improper at this stage. You may, however, present such evidence on a motion for summary judgment or to counter a motion for summary judgment.

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  • Got into a car accident I was not at fault the person hit my car with a company car, but I have no insurance do I get compacete?

    Vivian’s Answer

    If you do not have coverage, which should be confirmed by an attorney, you will not be able to use PIP (Personal Injury Protection) to pay for needed medical care. You will, however, still have potential sources of recovery - other driver’s bodily injury and property damage insurance, assuming he had insurance, the company/owner of the vehicle/their insurance coverage. Seek counsel at your earliest opportunity.

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  • Pro bono attorney

    Vivian’s Answer

    You can go to the Broward County courthouse and do this yourself. There are forms available for you to fill out and personnel at the courthouse that will walk you through the process. You won’t have to pay a dime. I can’t tell you you’ll be successful in your attempt to get a restraining order, but you can certainly try. Best of luck.

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  • What is considered termination for cause in a business contract?

    Vivian’s Answer

    Schedule a consult with an attorney to review the.contract and properly advise you. While there may be a painless “out” for your company, it’s worth it to be sure and avoid any repercussions.

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