Saturday, April 2, 2011

TNJ.......... Causes of Action..... and a little Strategy.....

Part One

There were 282 Verified Admissions that I put together but there was a catch. I didn't request these to be answered by BG and WF together. I did these Verified Admissions in two sets, one addressed to each of them, for a total of 564 admissions all together. I thought it was important to do it this way because each could have a different perspective on what was done. In fact I was counting on it and I knew that could affect their testimony as well as how the court perceived them.

In actuality there really should be some differences between them because that's just the way we humans are. Dave and I don't agree on everything and BG and WF don't either. These documents should reflect some differences of opinion, even if they were subtle, if they were indeed accurate.

While I have used the term "verified" in regards to these requests, I have not explained it. In this circumstance it means I was requesting this information in the form of sworn statements. It wasn't ok for them to just rattle off answers with little regard for accuracy. They were being required to swear an oath that each and every answer was indeed the truth and the same was true in regards to the interrogatories. I requested them in a verified form as well.

I knew from their previous court documents that BG and WF had no problem swearing under oath to something that was not true but the court didn't know that. These verified responses would be a great vehicle to expose their lack of respect for sworn testimony and for truth, a double whammy so to speak. With evidence to prove their sworn testimony was false, I hoped, once and for all, to impress upon the court that honesty was and is unimportant to BG and WF which is what it was going to take to win my case.

Once the Verified Admissions were completed, I emailed them off to Wendy and my new friend from the big law firm. Both checked my documents for content and did proof reading because I knew, after all that time I spent working on them, my eyes probably wouldn't catch errors like I should. I've learned over the years after a while of working any kind of writings, I begin to read what I expect to be there instead of what is actually there. That's sure not what I needed now after all this work. I did not want my documents to look unprofessional to the court.

While my friends worked on the admission documents, I worked on my request for leave to amend my complaint. The reason for redoing the complaint was so that I could list various causes of action and seek damages.

The farther I got into this lawsuit the more I realized the cost, to both my business and my family, so it was important to amend my complaint to reflect the actions allowed by law. I was very sure BG and WF would be surprised to see the causes of action I listed: Breach of Contract, Fraud, Unjust Enrichment, Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Practices, Unfair Business Practices and Emotional Distress.

In the document I included a brief description of how this case fit the terms for each cause of action so the judge could see why I needed this amendment. For each cause I used the words "but not limited to" so that I could add scenarios as I worked on the case since I knew more realizations could come. Any behavior of theirs that fit the criteria for each one of these causes of actions would be included under the appropriate cause when the time finally came to present that information to the court.

It's important to add that particular behaviors can (and did) fit more than one cause of action. For example the use of Dandy was not only Unjust Enrichment, it would also be considered Unfair Business Practices and a Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Practices. Each has different criteria and charging for Dandy's use fit all of them.

Included in this document Relief was changed to include, not only the return of my horse, but all reasonable attorney's fees (should I find an attorney at some point), court costs and other defense costs associated with the claim, AND "damages as allowed by law for the Causes of Action including the triple damages allowed for both the use of Fraud and the use of Unfair Business Practices to obtain legal ownership of the horse." Now that I could clearly see the real extent of my victimization by BG and WF, I was going to make sure I got what was entitled to me according to the law for each law they broke in trying to keep my horse without providing proper payment.

All of my paperwork for the court was checked over by my helpers as well. The paralegal in my backyard had helped me with the interrogatories but I'd done pretty much everything else myself. Anything of a legal nature she hadn't been involved in creating, she looked over too.

By the time I got all my legal documents back, both women with law experience were telling me my documents looked a lot better than much of what crossed their desks. That was reassuring to hear even if I still didn't have all that much confidence in my abilities as my own lawyer. At least I knew I was getting to understand the duties of a paralegal.

Once everything had been checked over, I got all of my paperwork together to be ready to present to the court. Included in this were not only my request to expand discovery, the actual items I was requesting (request for documents, interrogatories and two sets of admissions), request for leave to amend complaint and the appropriate motions for each and a notice of the motion hearing were also included. In addition there was notice of service documents for both the court and their attorney AND I also included a generic request for discovery as stated in the local court rules. Of course all of this stuff was done in triplicate.

To be honest, I didn't really understand those provision in the local court rules for discovery. I did not realize they were like anything else in the law, they were deliberately vague so they could be interpreted. I had looked high and low for more information and not found it so I typed those things out just the way they were written hoping to cover my bases.

I knew I was running out of time as far as the deadlines for discovery. Since those items didn't have to be approved by the court, I figured I would have at least started the process before I got the more definitive items I requested resolved with the court. I hoped in this manner I would at least get something I needed even if I didn't know what that was. I'd learned from the strategy books that sometimes it's the thing you least expect to be helpful that turns out to be the most helpful after all. Throwing generic requests at them was not a bad plan but I would have been a lot more confident had I understood what those requests meant.

The next step in the process was to go back to the courthouse to file my paperwork and get a hearing set. By now I was getting the idea that timing is everything and I knew I wanted their attorney to only have the amount of time to see these documents before the hearing as is provided by law. I thought I had timed my filing perfectly to get that done but I had forgotten that these types of hearings are always done on Thursdays and the last Thursday of the month, there would be no court.

Here I was taking my paperwork in on the July 22 thinking we would have our hearing on the 29th but because it was the last Thursday of the month, there was going to be no court held. I had a horse show to manage the following week so our hearing was set for the Thursday after the horse show.

Then I double checked with the court clerk to be sure I did not have to notify the opposing counsel immediately that a hearing had been scheduled. I wanted to confirm I could wait because there was a minimum amount of notice required by the court, which did turn out to be the case.

Since I would be at my horse show, I left Dave with the responsibility of putting the opposing counsel's paperwork including notice the hearing had been set in the mail on Aug 4. I hoped they would come in Friday's mail and probably not be looked at until Monday. I was hoping she was finally getting a taste of what she'd been doing to me since the start of this thing..........leaving me with as little time as possible to react to anything they did.

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


This cute little bay colt is Chase, one of Bey Aana's babies which makes him a full brother to Storm. First days. Aana has a reputation as a very sneaky mare around here. Despite careful watching this foal was born without me present.

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  1. Great timing! Can't wait to find out what happens next!

  2. Adorable baby. All the babies have been so cute!

  3. All your babies are adorable. It's been nice seeing them all.

    Sounds like it will be over soon and all your research and paperwork will pay off in the long run to get those two. I think that you've laid a trap for them by doing separate statements, they will not be able to control themselves and keep from lying under oath. Nice work.

  4. Love the timing. I had been wondering if you were going to claim damages as well. Certainly you should be entitiled to them after all.

  5. Mikael I think you missed your calling and should have been an attorney with all your attention to detail! I am on pins and needles waiting to see what is next in this saga. Beautiful baby and as Nicole said all your babies are beautiful!

  6. Nicole, it didn't take me long to figure out her timing was deliberate and since she understood the law better than me I didn't think she should get anymore time than I. As for what happens next, hold on. You're not going to believe it......well, at least I didn't.

    Arlene, that's what I figured about doing them seperate. They were having trouble keeping their facts straight on one set of paperwork for themselves. I could only guess what they'd to with two, but I could hope.

    fern, I really goofed up in how I first filed this by not including damages and I did even understand what a cause of action was. Getting to fix that was huge. I didn't really understand yet how to compute my damages but I was sure beginning to see what the effects were on my business and my family so I had a place to start.

    MM, I can tell you without a doubt, I have no "calling" to be an attorney. The only call I hear is to breed Arabian horses and to help others. I might have been good at this, but I have always been good at anything I do. It's just part of how I do things, thoroughly. After this adventure I can easily say I hope I never have to play with the law again. However, if I must, I will sure be better prepared the second time around.

    All of you thanks for the nice comments on my babies. It's been fun looking back at those times but boy, I am still longing to run my fingers over a newborn.

  7. very cute babies, I have one coming this year.

    I like your idea on timing, sounds like the perfect deal.

  8. Cyrstal, I know you do and so does fern valley. I am counting on all my blogging buddies to post lots of pics and stories so I don't have to do totally without this year. LOL

    Thanks, timing made sense to me. Why give her anymore time that necessary to answer.