Rancho Palos Verdes, CA asked in Bankruptcy, Personal Injury and Civil Litigation for California

Q: WE'RE PLAINTIFFS IN CIVIL SUPERIOR CASE X 3 YRS AND WANT TO STOP CASE, HOW DO WE MAKE SURE WE WON'T PAY ANYDEFENSE FEES?

We need help with how we should word the motion filed to withdraw vs dismiss or what to call it? What is the best way to go about doing this to be 100% sure we are not responsible for the defendant's attorney fees and can the defense come back and try to sue us after we either withdraw or dismiss...please let us know the proper wording and statues we should be referencing as we try to figure out how to do this. I have read that "prevailing party" may be entitled to attorneys fees and costs, but if we withdraw or dismiss the case (not sure what the difference is between dismiss and withdraw), is there even really a prevailing party at all? Should we say with or without prejudice? (Section 1717 of the Civil Code & Rule 3.1702. Claiming atrny fees) We need to know what are we putting ourselves at risk for if we stop the case

We are good people who really tried to do the right thing, but we cannot keep up against this criminal we are suing and all of her high-powered attorneys any longer.

3 Lawyer Answers
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: you really want to have an attorney contact them to try to get some money and then when they say no, to ask if I can get them to drop/dismiss the case, we would want a release agreeing that each side shall bear their own costs.

if they know you are going to give in, then they may not agree not to sue.

without knowing all the facts it is difficult to give legal advice without hearing everything........it is like asking a doctor for medical advice over the phone

Timothy Denison and Peter Maurice Lively agree with this answer

Theodore Allan Greene
Theodore Allan Greene
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: As the previous attorney said - you should sit down with an attorney who can do a complete evaluation and explain your options. It's basically impossible to give you a complete analysis without knowing more information. Ask an attorney in your area if you can buy an hour of their time for a consultation.

Colby LaVelle
Colby LaVelle
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Oakland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I see you posted this in the Bankruptcy forum, so I will address the Bankruptcy angle. Under Bankruptcy code, there are very specific exceptions to a debt being "dischargeable." The exceptions are listed in the following code/webpage: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/11/523

If there is not a listed exception, the debt would likely be dischargeable. Judgements can be dischargeable, subject to the aforementioned exceptions listed in the code. This is something you should discuss with an attorney, so they may be able to assess your assets, the type of case you are involved in, whether you or partners are personally responsible for debts etc. It is imperative that you speak with an attorney about your options and pros and cons (risks) before filing bankruptcy based on the facts you have presented.

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