Professional ethics

I signed a settlement agreement in a case where the opposing counsel was disbarred.

What recourse do I have to waive a settlement reached as a consequence of opposing counsel being disbarred during his overseeing the agreement reached at mediation ?

Nathan’s Answer

The only area of law that might remotely apply is CA Code of Procedure 286.

When an attorney dies, or is removed or suspended, or ceases to act as such, a party to an action, for whom he was acting as attorney, must, before any further proceedings are had against him, be required by the adverse party, by written notice, to appoint another attorney, or to appear in person.

If opposing counsel was disbarred before the mediation, it may be argued that you were obligated to inform the opposing side to appoint another attorney, or to appear in person, before any proceedings were to be held against him, and that the case was stayed until you performed this obligation.

However, a mediation is not an adversarial proceeding you were holding against the other party. It is one where you, I presume, amicably came to a resolution with the other side (that I assume appeared, so therefore whether disbarred counsel was there or not is moot), and signed off on such.

That is why a chorus of counsel is suggesting that this line of argument is moot or irrelevant, and that you should focus more on whether you intend to abide by the agreement, breach the agreement, or go into court to actively seek nullification of the agreement, with the latter two options laden with risk that may or may not be appropriate depending on your situation.

Please follow & like us 🙂


Insurance bill in collections

I used legalzoom, to take care of this all of this and assumed it was all taken care of. The final payment was made through a check at the hospital I wrote the account number for the insurance bill and on the notes section I wrote "final payment for account said account number." I thought legalzoom had taken care of all of this but it is not. Any suggestions as to how I should proceed from here on? My insurance company paid for a portion and I paid for the other portion that the hospital and I had agreed upon.

Nathan’s Answer

Was the agreement reached between you and hospital to share the obligation to pay the unpaid portion memorialized in any way other than the check? Do you have a copy of the check?

The answers to these questions may help an attorney assessing your matter.

Please follow & like us 🙂

Buyer’s rights in property sales

I am the tenant of a property that had a Hoa trustee sale and then a cancelled bank foreclosure in CA. Who gets the rent?

In the past year, the property I rent went through HOA tforeclosure. Within months, a bank foreclosure was scheduled and rescheduled and then the rescheduled date was cancelled. A few days ago, the HOA sent a letter stating that I was to now pay them the rent or they would file a unlawful detainer. I wrote back and stated that they had a junior lien to the bank that would be satisfied when the property was sold at bank foreclosure, not ownership. I received a letter from their lawyer saying that I have to pay the HOA the rent; however, they were not going to file an illegal detainer at this time. Why not? Who owns this property? Who gets paid? I also read that the tenant, could pay the HOA homeowners fees in lieu of rent. Is this true?

Nathan’s Answer

You mention the sale date was cancelled. That means whoever has title still has title. If that is the HOA, rent would be due to them. They may be unsure of whether to proceed with eviction because it is uncertain how long they will be able to hold on to the property, but to avoid money damages or notice to terminate down the road, you may want to negotiate or have an attorney negotiate with the HOA.

Your rent to the HOA and the HOA's mortgage to the bank are on completely separate tracks. Also, keep in mind any new title owner will likely have to assume your lease with the HOA, meaning you will have to continue making payments to the new owner/s as well.

Finally, your lease agreement with the HOA controls.

Please follow & like us 🙂


I was recently denied a loan modification for a 5th time. I am 33 payments behind on my mortgage. I want to keep the property.

Is there any options I can take to help me keep my property. I am in chapter 7 bankruptcy and I am in the process of paying all my debt in full. My debt was not discharged. I will be asking the bank to produce the original note before the property goes into foreclosure.

Nathan’s Answer

You must feel frustrated; please do not be taken in by any loan mod scams by non-attorneys who prey on individuals who may be in a tough spot. Also, when you interview attorneys, make sure to ask what their experience has been in this type of case. If anyone guarantees success, RUN AWAY.

As colleagues have mentioned, produce the note defenses are generally frowned upon by the courts. If you have money to pay all your debts in full, it is curious why the bank has been unable to work with you.

Instead of chasing the note arguments, it would be more realistic to assess whether the bank engaged in any wrongdoing, which a qualified attorney would help you figure out. If that is the case, such wrongdoing could be pointed out to the bank, and their corrective action MIGHT result in them working with you to remedy their wrongs.

If all else fails, you may be looking at having to short sale the property, or exploring a deed in lieu.


Please follow & like us 🙂


What is the statute of limitations in California for a 2nd lender (HELOC) to go after a homeowner after foreclosure?

My home was foreclosed on over 4 yrs ago and I'd like to buy a new home. New lender says the HELOC lender I had on my home that was foreclosed on still shows a balance due on my credit report, even though it shows "charged-off". Last "reported" dated on credit report shows July 2014. Does that lender still have the right to collect? Can I ask them to update the record on my credit report to show zero balance, without the risk of having them start the collection process all over again? If they keep updating the "reported" date every month, when does the statute of limitations begin and end?

Nathan’s Answer

Was the HELOC in any way used to finance the property? If so, it may be considered a purchase money debt that may be ineligible for deficiency relief (meaning they might not be able to come after you).

Keep in mind that even if the statute of limitations runs out, this does not stop a lawsuit from actually being filed. If you are served with a lawsuit, you will likely want to raise the statute of limitations as a defense in your response.

Please follow & like us 🙂

Mental health

Mental health neglect in Jail.

What is the eligibility to sue County jail for mental health abuse and neglect. I got refused mental health counseling and prescribed pills that are harmful when mixed but that also were not for my condition. I believe it was a cheap way out that affected my well being but was told they would help. When release to rehab my psych counselor was in disbelief of what they had me take. Help?

Nathan’s Answer

The quality of county jail medical care in California is suffering due to overcrowding. As a result, lawsuits have been filed by the ACLU in federal court. One lawsuit stems from a county jail failing to abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Another lawsuit stems from wholesale inadequate care by the contracted medical provider, where for example, an inmate's own anti-anxiety medication was taken away. One of the cases has been certified as a class action meaning many similarly situated were potentially harmed by substandard treatment.

It is often said that jails should not release inmates worse off than when they came in. If your well being was in fact harmed, as my colleague above pointed out, it may be prudent to contact the ACLU as well as the local Public Defender and see if they have already investigated the situation at your local jail. They may be coordinating with private counsel already. If they are not, you will need to consult with qualified private counsel yourself.

Bear in mind that to sue any government entity in California, you will be using a different set of rules to figure out when a lawsuit is timely, or if it is barred by the statute of limitations, as statutes of limitations typically run out much faster when going up against the government.

Please follow & like us 🙂

Expunge record of felony

I'm trying to expunge record of felony. Or seek justice due to neglectful treatment of my mental health.

So when I was 18 I got drunk, and I believe drugged because I had klonopin in my blood that I do not remember taking(courts didn't believe me) and also not remembering the night. This is what the police told me. "I walked into a house of someone I know and was putting stuff into baskets I don't know why. But the cops came before I left the house and when confronts with owner I ran to the bathroom. I started crying, the owner asked to come out. I then sat on couch and started talking to him like nothing happened. When they came I remember coming out of blackout in jail while talking to psych counselor ." What should I of got charged with? The people didn't press charges and was my first offense as adult. And I have an prior cases of blackout due to dramatic childhood. Opinion?

Nathan’s Answer

A district attorney's office carefully reviews the police report and reads the police's recommended charges. Then the DA files whatever charges they feel are appropriate. It will be up to them to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of those charges. If that has already happened and you have a criminal record, it would be appropriate, if sufficient time has gone by, to assess whether you qualify for criminal record relief.

You should contact a qualified expungement attorney who can assist you with cleaning up your record, but more importantly, you should make the correct behavior changes which will support you getting this relief. Drinking alcohol with any anti-anxiety medication is bound to intensify the effects of the anti-anxiety medication and cause one to black out or to take actions they may not be in control of. Many DA's, courts and juries will blame the person who put themselves in this situation and it is important to take personal responsibility for one's self in terms of what is being put into one's body, even if it is just alcohol, especially if one is prone to blackouts for whatever reason.

Relief of a criminal record is more difficult for a felony than for a misdemeanor, and the felony may not be wiped entirely clear off the record. However, some relief is better than none, especially for purposes of employment and other privileges of society. If you cannot afford a private attorney, many public defender offices supply this type of relief if you qualify financially.

Please follow & like us 🙂

Medical expenses for personal injury

Do I need to obtain the dollar figure of monies paid by "medical county health care", to answer the defendants request for such.

I am seeking pain and suffering and loss of future income from the defendants in a civil action. In that I am not asking for actual damages, do I need to repay medical? Lastly, do I need to provide the information in the discovery phase referred to as "collateral source payment", on behalf of the defendant. If so, I can amend my complaint and offer to settle with medical, if it is mandatory. I just need to know what my obligations are...Thanks in advanced...

Nathan’s Answer

Personal injury cases are made that much more complex by medical lienholders' rights. A provider may be entitled to a percentage of the recovery you obtain, if any. Those percentages are negotiable and it would be wise to have an attorney on your side to maximize the likelihood of an appropriate recovery.

Please follow & like us 🙂

Sue the government

Who can help me sue the government.

Unbeknown to me I was forced into a dual choice health plan. I walked around with a bad squamous cell carcinoma on my leg for three months, because during the transition the doctor I'd been seeing was no longer my provider! It wasn't enough that the hospital/doctor who during a stomach surgery cut two nerves that have affected me for years and continues (swept under the rug this dirty secret), but 10 years on Coumadin for nothing (also swept under the rug) and many side effects and now this forced health plan. I am in pain every day my life ruined. Who can help me, should I not be compensated for 21 years of suffering. This forced health plan is a joke. I'm being treated like a third class citizen and I've had more than enough. I wish I could find help filing a law suit against the state.

Nathan’s Answer

Most personal injury attorneys will take the case on contingency if the facts are appropriate for a lawsuit. If any physician fell below the standard of care during your surgery, or in prescribing coumadin, and you suffered damages because of it, you may be able to achieve recovery if your lawsuit is timely. As a colleague above has mentioned, the "state" does not appear to be a party to your complaint without more facts.

Please follow & like us 🙂


Is there any penalties for filing skeletal bankruptcy (bare bones)and not completing the filing in the 14 days allowed ?

Since the case will be dismissed because of that, do the creditor still need to request to lift the automatic stay,or the dismissal is automatically lifting it?

Nathan’s Answer

The stay won't exist after the bankruptcy case is dismissed. There won't be a penalty for filing a bankruptcy and not following through - you received temporary protection - keep in mind you may not be able to file another bankruptcy for a period of 180 days due to this one not being completed - please check with a Bankruptcy attorney.

Please follow & like us 🙂