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Attorney Actions

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Established Contributor

Attorney Actions

I have a weird question.
 
So when I went in to court to have my hearing to see about having my judgment vacated, the other attorney was there but he was not there for my case.  He had other cases after mine that he was dealing with.  The original creditor never told him to fight this, he just figured he was there so he might as well fight it.
 
My question is, Is this illegal?  Can he represent a client that he isn't representing on this case anymore or because he orginally got the judgment against me can he fight it?  Any help clearing this up would be appreciated.  Thanks.
Message 1 of 10
9 REPLIES 9
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Moderator Emeritus

Re: Attorney Actions

Was the judgment vacated?
 
I was under the impression that the party filed against must respond with x days and their counsel must file an entry of appearence before court stating that they will be representing them.
 
Did you ask the judge when you were given your turn to speak why he was representing them if the client never asked for representation?
 
Did he admit on court records that his former client had not asked for his representation?
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Message 2 of 10
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Established Contributor

Re: Attorney Actions

No, my motion was denied.  The attorney seemed a little confused when he was up there.  He stated this wasn't on this schedule and he had no idea what was going on, but still proceeded to argure anyway.  The judge basically helped out the attorney by asking him the questions he wanted to hear.  I just find it a little unfair that he would fight my motion when he wasn't asked to appear.
Message 3 of 10
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Moderator Emeritus

Re: Attorney Actions

Can you file an appeal to the decision?
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Message 4 of 10
Established Contributor

Re: Attorney Actions

I don't know, the judge basically said they did what they needed.  I guess this attorney is in his court all the time.  I even had to delay my hearing time by 30 minutes to wait for this attorney to show up.  But it's not because he was late, it was because he wasn't there to represent the collection agency.
Message 5 of 10
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Moderator Emeritus

Re: Attorney Actions

I would suggest reading up on your state statutes and calling the clerk to ask about filing an appeal.
 
Most states have a place where you can file a complaint against the judges/courts, it may take that route.
 
I would first find out about filing an appeal.
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Message 6 of 10
Highlighted
Established Contributor

Re: Attorney Actions

If I file an appeal, will it be sent to a different judge or what happens then?  Is it illegal for that attorney to represent a client that didn't tell him to be there?
Message 7 of 10
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Established Contributor

Re: Attorney Actions

When attorneys work for a creditor, it's not usually on a case-by-case basis.  Attorneys in this line of work usually have a contract of some sort to represent that creditor in court collections for a city or a region or a state.  For instance, Capital One has a guy in Arkansas that they use for a good portion of the southeast (AR, TN, GA).  So the attorney did not do anything unethical by representing his client in a matter that he didn't necessarily know about in advance.  An attorney's representation of a client does not necessarily end when the case closes, and depending on the state, it may have been unethical for him to refuse to represent his client when he was already in court for other matters, especially if those other matters were for the same client.  It also sounds like the attorney may not have been properly served with your motion, so you might have been lucky that the judge even listened to the case.
 
Since a motion to vacate is on a case that already existed--and not a new case--the attorney's previous notice of appearance suffices and he would not have to file a new one.
 
You can check with your state's bar association to file a complaint against the judge or the attorney, but this does not sound like anything that needs discipline.
 
What state are you in again?  You can file an appeal (or ask for permission to appeal) at the next court level up, probably the intermediate appellate court in your state.  I think you were unlucky, but motions to vacate are a crap shoot.  Best case scenario would have been that no one showed up to argue against you, but it sounds like with this judge, he might have denied you anyway.
Message 8 of 10
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Established Contributor

Re: Attorney Actions

Jess,
 
Thanks for the advice.  I'm in Nebraska.  The only thing that gets me is that something was missing from the file that would have vacated it for me, but the attorney argued and judge made a couple calls and found the missing info.  If the attorney had not been there then who knows.  Is it even worth pursuing?
Message 9 of 10
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Moderator Emeritus

Re: Attorney Actions

What is your grounds for filing the vacate to begin with? Maybe that would help a little more answering your question about getting it vacated.
 
I mean, if you have a valid reason for the vacate.......then it shouldn't matter if the attorney was there or not.
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Message 10 of 10
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