Friday, January 12, 2007

And the Games We Play

So I have this case that is going to trial. Actually, by all rights, it should have gone tyo trial on Monday. However, there was the whole issue of one of my two clients being in the hospital with a life threatening condition.

Now in California, we have a discovery cutoffs in unlawful detainer cases, just like in regular cases. In a UD matter, this is usually, barring some sort of agreement, set at five days prior to the trial call. Well that has come and gone.

So the landlord in this case has decided to try and conduct a site inspection. Usually this takes a discovery request. Since discovery is closed, he has tried getting around it by serving what is known as a Civil Code 1954 notice of entry.

Now the Code section 1954 states that a landlord can enter to make needed or agreed to repairs. However, until he served this notice, yesterday, the landlord had never once admitted that any repairs to the rental unit were needed.

Therefoe, I believe, he is trying to end around the Discovery Act. So even though we want the repairs done, I find it highly unlikely that there will be any done, at least competantly, at 4 pm on a Friday afternoon of a three day holiday weekend. This looks more like a pretext to see what they already know and to harass my clients a bit more.

So we are blocking this.

At the same this is going on, the opposing counsel is threatening to have me removed because of conflict of interest. Now this one is interesting. It is based on a letter which was written by someone else who had my client sign it without reading it while she was sick. The opposing party has not acted on this until I was hired on as their attorney, through the VLSP. Then suddenly, it became the controlling document in the case, at least according to their attorney.

Offers are being made and then retracted before I can communicate them (yeah, that 5 whole minutes you gave me to call and track down my client who is in the hospital, receiving treatment, and heavily medicated was certainly an adequate amount of time to get a response), counter-offers rejected by stating that my clients are criminals, and concilliatory talk from opposing counsel about how I am not looking out for my clients interest.

And now, even though I have been trying to get in touch with the plaintiff's attorney, I can't even make the counter offer.

UPDATE: Landlord's attorney did call me back. Angry that I was protesting their entry. Funny how he shut up when he realized that he had gone back on a agreement to copy me on any notice.

Why is it after a week of no one being reasonable, that everyone is starting to get more reasonable. Of course, this is after I did all the trial prep. Grrrr.

No comments: