Sunday, February 27, 2011

A New Journey............. A Little Theory

Part One

I had a theory about BG and WF's intentions. By now I believed they wanted to get the horse for nothing, or practically nothing anyway. Either it had turned out to be more work than BG had planned or he had put as much into it as he was willing or maybe even a little of both. Either way he didn't want to give up keeping Storm and he figured he didn't have to. Certainly he figured he done enough work he "should" get the horse even if it wasn't the amount he'd agreed to do. When the numbers didn't add up, he concocted numbers thinking he could get away with it.

Because he was offended that I had questioned him about paying the horse off, BG was certainly willing to go to a lawyer. I had no doubt about that. What I doubted was where WF stood in all of this. Everything I had seen suggested WF got what she wanted regardless of what BG thought, felt or needed. If it wasn't important to her personally, it wasn't going to happen. I figured WF wanted the horse but not if it was going to really cost them.

Since that was my belief, I suspected that WF would go along with BG as long as it didn't really cost them anymore than she was prepared to spend. They had probably figured I would be intimidated by the letter from their attorney and that I would just give up because they certainly knew I couldn't afford to retain one myself.

The initial dollars to retain their lawyer had probably not been substantial because the attorney believed the case was cut and dried. The attorney didn't expect to be conducting a court case. Based on what BG and WF had told her, that is how it looked. WF had probably figured it wasn't worth fighting with BG over that amount so she went along with it thinking maybe it would work for them.

Once the case went beyond being a simple black and white thing, the amount of money required was going up but still I suspected that was ok with WF as long as it didn't go up much. As long as the attorney still had no idea of the scope of the case, she would still believe it wasn't going to cost them "that much." It still evidently was within the scope of the amount involved to keep BG happy and within WF's comfort zone so the case had continued.

I suspect they believed they could influence the court the same way they had influenced their attorney. She had been easy to convince that I didn't have a leg to stand on, but then they had not shared everything they knew about the case. They had only shared what they wanted her to know and she'd made her decision based upon that.

I believe they are so used to/comfortable with manipulating the facts to fit their version of things they saw nothing wrong with this approach. It just didn't occur to them that anyone would listen to what I had to say or that it was even important. Had they thought otherwise they would have provided that information to their attorney in the first place. Instead they left her crippled with their distorted version of things. Yet, they believed that was more than adequate and that it would work for them.

If their attorney said it was an easy case even though she had made that call based on misinformation, that meant nothing to them. What mattered what that she had said what they wanted to hear. Then that's what it would be because they were, after all entitled. An easy case meant an easy win and they would have the horse without having to do what they had promised me. What they hadn't counted on was my determination and the fact the court would be prepared for another side to the story and it would expect to give that side a voice as well.

WF might have been prepared to indulge BG some but not enough to interfere with her lifestyle in anyway. Obviously the costs quoted to get the job done were still within that realm. However, I knew the devil was in the details and this case was loaded with them. That was going to affect the case and its costs in a manner that I believed would be beyond what WF would be willing to pay.

I also knew that appearances play a big part in how WF navigates the world. She believes the way to maintain them is to fly under the radar as much as possible and to not make waves. I thought if I could regain possession of the horse in the replevin action, even if there was still a dispute to be settled, the case itself would become more expensive than WF was willing to pay in more ways that just money.

If the court returned the horse to me, even if there was still a court case to be resolved, it would put the spotlight on them. I believed that WF wouldn't like having that kind of attention on her because it could raise questions and might even change people's perceptions of them. I figured that would up the ante for what this case would cost WF.

Because of that I really hoped I'd be able to get possession of the horse at the hearing that was coming up. That had been the whole purpose of requesting an order of replevin. It was imperative to me to put that additional pressure on them because it would alter WF's comfort zone. I knew that could change how she much she was willing to accommodate BG and hopefully speed up this case..

Still I worked at this it like I was going to trial. I knew enough about the process to know that, if the replevin was not successful or if WF didn't respond to it as I expected if it was granted, I would have to provide all my evidence to the opposing counsel and doing that was going to take some time. I figured it wouldn't be until we reached that point that their attorney would really understand the scope of this action and her clients would learn it was going to cost them more than they'd originally expected. Then the most important pressure would be applied. That would be when WF perceived her pocketbook was taking a bigger hit than she was prepared to take.

The odds were that additional pressure probably wasn't going to happen until their attorney saw what my cards were. In the meantime I hoped I would be granted a return of the horse to my custody while the case continued. I knew if that didn't happen, we were probably in this for the long haul and I was really hoping to avoid that.

I believed strongly, right from the beginning of my time with BG, this had been about getting the horse for as little as possible. WF and BG wouldn't pay what the horse was worth to an attorney or to me. It was about getting the horse without cash outlay of any kind and no more effort than necessary. Once the cost incurred for a lawyer pushed beyond that amount WF was willing to incur, I suspected this thing would be over.

To be continued.............

The Replevin Hearing........

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  1. Wow. So they basically wanted the horse for no money, and then didn't want to hold up their end in trade. Mr. Fry would say, "And that's why I hate people!"

  2. I want to say, I work sort of a graveyard shift but I am so addicted to hearing this story that I stay up to hear the next instalment. LOL.
    I also want to say how impressed I am at your portrayal of the others characters. I am also very, very impressed with your successful foray in relaying all the minute details of this case and all the pieces of your life effected with it.

  3. I don't know what's going to happen or in what order. I'm hoping you get possession at the hearing but I'm not so sure. If this goes to trial and their attorney starts charging more than they're willing to pay that would certainly be a good scenario.

    I'll say again that I'm impressed by how prepared you were. Everyone should always keep records and accounting of their business dealings with people. It sure helps if things go wrong as it did in this case.

  4. Leah, situations like this could sure lead to that kind of feeling. I know it will affect my trust in the future.

    Nicole, I'm glad you're able to follow. Sometimes I'm afraid I get into too much detail but it's really the only way I know how to tell the story.

    Arlene, I think I wasn't as prepared as I needed to be but I will explain how I came up with the information I did.

  5. Well WF is more the norm than the exception. I could name a lot of names of people who were willing to pay a little thinking they were going to get a lot and thought the other party was a pushover. When the attorney bills start piling up and that windfall doesn't look like it's going to just fall in their laps, they have no qualms about settling as quickly as possible.

    Seems you knew BG and WF a whole lot better than they knew you! LOL

  6. Wow I'm a bit like the others really interested to here how this story all pans out. How did you cope with the stress of it all. It makes me stressed for you. stay strong

  7. Attorney fees can add up fast, so I'm sure you were spot on about WF weighing the cost/effect/gain aspect of it. I hope you got him back during the process because it does seem like it could drag out for a while.

  8. I'm waiting on the edge of my seat to read what happens next!

    About WF- it's amazing the depths some people will go to out of pure greed.

  9. Yes, it seems that people want something for nothing! what a mess. Good for you to keep hanging in there!
    I left you a "Stylish Award" on my blog! I enjoy reading your stories on your blog! Brenda

  10. Wow sounds like you had them right where you wanted them!

  11. wow, what a non-stop nightmare this has turned out to be. people suck.

  12. BECG, I suppose you're right there are lots of people willing to get by on paying as little as possible. I hope there are not a lot of them, however, willing to go to such lengths to do so. There's a lot more I'm not posting that speaks to the dishonesty of these two people some of which I think will be more clear as we go along.

    I'm not so sure I knew them any better in the start. I just got wise quicker, I think. Once that accounting sheet came, it was all pretty clear for me.

    sally, the stress was huge. I put pretty much all of my life on hold to deal with this thing BUT I started off each day with a ride on my horse. Once I did that, I could get through the day and all this garbage. Without that distraction, I don't know what I would have done.

    Linda, there was a good chance the lawsuit would drag out, that's for sure. The thing blew up in January and was settled in September. That felt like forever. I can't even imagine what it would have been like had it gone on even longer.

    smazourek, WF was not the only greedy one here. The story will reveal others.

    Brenda, thanks for the award.

    Crystal, I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that at this point. I did, however, have a better grasp of the reality of the situation than they did.

    jme, it was a nightmare, that's for sure but I try not to think that their behavior is reflective of all people. That would be giving them a victory I am not willing to give. I refuse to let their greed influence my beliefs about humanity.

  13. I had to research the meaning of replevin as I'm more familiar with criminal than civil actions but it sure seems to apply to your case. Good for you for continuing to prepare for the possible eventuality of a court case. I'm such a procrastinator that I'd probably have to hustle at the last minute and then lose by virtue of lack of evidence.

  14. What a lot of people don't understand is how EXPENSIVE it is to bring legal action. I suspect MiKael paid a couple of thousand dollars just in filing fees and process servers and copies and research and stuff. And that's without having to hire a lawyer.

    I've got a &#)@*% of an ex-client that owes me a lot of money. But he's on the other coast and while our contract says I can bring action against him in CA, it's still unlikely I will make money out of suing him. It's much more likely it will cost me money to bring suit.

  15. Oh I dont know how you did it, I know you had to (and I would like to think that I could do it too If it came down to it) but it still takes courage to stand up for yourself and your animals :)

  16. Ms Martyr, I'd never heard that term before the District Court Clerk told me that's what I needed. I guess she got to that based on my first set of paperwork which was very much pointed at getting custody of my horse back and that was really the only focus of my paperwork. There were things I wanted to fix because I didn't address anything else in that first paperwork. I was able to change things. Don't know if I would seek a replevin again, I guess it would depend on the circumstances. Although the equine attorneys I spoke to all thought a replevin as was a good move. So I guess I did good. LOL

    I tend to leave things to the last minute myself but this whole things was just tooooooo big for that so I didn't let things slide because I was too afraid I'd miss something.

    Laura, you're right about costs. Although filing fees in district court were not that bad. Just copies alone what I went through in ink and paper was amazing.

    I guess the question of whether it's worth it or not really depends on if the other side has assests so you can recoup your expenses. That was definitely in play in this case and I'll be talking about that.

    I would think in your situation the amount you can reclaim would be a factor and how much pressure a lawsuit out of state would cause them. For the party out of state, costs could go through the roof, that in itself could be a good reason to settle early. LOL See how my mind works now after this thing, I now see the angles every which way.

  17. I could drive up the costs for him, but honestly, he's not that worth it and I was careful about the amount of work I did for him w/o payment. It's mostly he signed one of our 3 month contracts so contractually he's on the hook for the $$, but he took his ball and went home one month into it. Because I did everything I said I would but that wasn't what he wanted (spammers, eh?).

    I find the law fascinating. Our company does some legal consulting (partner has done expert witnessing multiple times) and a lot of the email world is still developing its case law. So I have read a lot of court docs and done some "I am not a lawyer" analysis of the implications.

    On some levels I think it's bad that the legal system is so focused on PROCESS and less about truth, but on the other hand I am not sure it can't do what it needs to do without making sure that process is followed.

    I do find, though, if someone starts screaming "I'ma gonna sue you!!!!" the most effective way to shut them up is to ask them what their cause of action is. They get very quiet and go away.

  18. Laura, LOL, I'll bet that gets their attention. To be honest I didn't even get to that term in the beginning. Now I am quite clear on "cause of action."