Do I need a contract?
4 attorney answers
As previously stated by the others, you should enter into a written settlement agreement that releases your liability upon your payment of certain funds. If you and the other party cannot agree on terms that you can afford then you may be able to file bankruptcy and erase that small claims debt and lawsuit. If that is something you want to consider then please contact a bankruptcy lawyer. Best of luck to you.
Please note: I am a licensed attorney in California. This response is intended only as general commentary. This response is not legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship.
You don't need one, but you should have one. You will want to have a general release of all claims that waives CCP 1542, which is all future an unknown claims known or unknown. That will protect you against your existing claim and any future ones that come from the same facts. You should also require that the Plaintiff dismiss his claims /with prejudice/, which is just lawyer shorthand for "they can't bring this case again."
If this response is helpful, please mark it as "best" and/or "helpful." It helps me learn what information is the most helpful for Avvo users. This response is for general informational purposes only, and it is not intended to be specific advice to any individual, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. It is based on California law only and does not purport to apply to any other jurisdiction. I am licensed only in the State of California. All cases turn on their own unique facts and law, and need to be carefully considered on their own merits.
If you want to settle a lawsuit, it is prudent to have you and the other side enter into a settlement agreement wherein exchange for releasing you for any known or unknown claims concerning the item at issue, you will pay them a certain sum of dollars.
This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be construed as legal advice for any particular case or client. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney. This posting is not intended to constitute an advertisement nor a solicitation.