Tuesday, April 5, 2011

TNJ......... The Discovery Motions Hearing........

Part One

Dave and I arrived at the courthouse in time for a 1 pm hearing only to find start time for that hearing was 1:30 pm. I thought the court had changed the time but looking back over my records I realized it was my nerves that got things confused. I am not a patient person and the last thing I needed was an extra half hour to sit in the court house lobby and stew about things to come but I'd set myself up for just that.

I must have made a half dozen trips to the bathroom before the courtroom was unlocked. Between thinking I was going to vomit, my intestinal tract churning and my bladder contracting, I felt like I was meeting myself coming and going out of the ladies' restroom. At least when I was worried about my bodily functions I didn't have time to worry about the court case so maybe the distraction was good.

As the time seemed to crawl I wondered how long it would take us to get called once court was in session. I knew from the last time there would be a number of cases on the docket for the day. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what order or preference cases received and I was dreading just the thought of having to sit in the court room and do more waiting.

Looking back, it probably would have been good experience for me to get to see how other cases were handled but, just as the time before, this time my case was the first one called. The opposing counsel was not present and I was thinking I would be home free with no opposition to my motions. It seemed from everything I understood if they didn't show, then I should get what I asked for but that's not what happened in this case.

The judge asked me what opposing counsel had to say about my requests. I told him she seemed to be very upset about the requests for admissions but I assured the judge, "Each is just a simple statement, your Honor, so there will be no confusion. They should only require a yes or no answer."

I paused looking for some kind of sign he understood what I was saying. The judge was looking through the paperwork but his face told me nothing so I proceeded, " Your Honor, I have thirty horses. With the defendants only using vague numbers some of them need to get eliminated or we'll never get through this mess. These admissions are designed to do that and to simplify other things. If I am ever going to have a chance at proving he did not do the work he claims, I need these admissions."

As I was talking, I could see the judge still flipping through my documents. He had acknowledged my saying I had thirty horses by raising up his head and making eye contact with me. I could tell from his expression knowing that number made an impact on him. There was definitely some kind of realization washing over him as he stated, "I can see where these would be useful. I'll allow them."

"Your Honor, what about my other requests for documents and the interrogatories." I continued.

"You need to work that out with opposing counsel," he informed me. My heart sank hearing those words. If I'd thought opposing counsel would give those things to me I never would have asked the court's permission to get them. I was flustered but not stopped.

"Your Honor, opposing counsel was concerned specifically about items 277 and 278 on the admissions. I clearly see that I should have worded them differently. Can I fix that or am I stuck?" I knew each needed to be modified saying "BG received the email stating ......." leading into what I'd already said. With that I would have the information I was looking for. Those were important pieces I didn't want to lose.

As the judge continued looking over documents, he said I should work that out with their attorney as well barely looking at me.

"Your Honor, what about amending my complaint then? I really need to fix what I did in my original paperwork." I implored.

"Yes, I will grant that BUT I don't want this to be a recurring pattern. Do you understand?" he chided.

"Yes, your Honor, I do understand. This will be the last time I make this request. I worked very hard on my research to be sure I have it right this time. I appreciate the court giving me the opportunity to fix this. I will be more diligent in the future, I promise."

With that it was over, other than me providing the motions to be signed with the appropriate corrections. Once they were signed and sealed I was given copies for my records. To be honest I don't remember if I got documents for opposing counsel or if they stayed there at the court for them to pick them up.

All I remember is it was over and I felt defeated and elated at the same time. While I didn't get everything I asked for, getting those admissions granted was a big deal to my case. I knew no matter what their answers were those admissions would box BG and WF into the corner they'd built with their lies.

I really wasn't sure why the admissions had appeared so threatening to the opposing counsel when she knew nothing about horses or even really the case from what I could tell. She had raised such a big stink about them I knew there was something about them was important to her. I just didn't know what it was I guess I would have to wait and see what that was about.

One thing was clear. Even if I didn't get one more of my discovery requests granted, I still had a very viable case. For the first time in this lawsuit I knew I had applied real pressure to the defendants. They now had dramatic proof that I was not going to lay down and take whatever they shoved my way. They may not know it yet, but I knew this was just the beginning of their nightmares.

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

a Questionable Meeting.....

This picture is another one of Image. He was five days old when this picture was taken and boy did he win the hearts of everyone present at that photo shoot including the photographer and his wife who are rarely affected by the horses they photograph.

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  1. Wow what an amazing baby. He definitely had presence. I can't even imagine how hard out must have been when you lost him.

  2. I'm glad the judge allowed you the use of your admissions. It's too bad he didn't seem to understand the reason you asked the court for the other sides records. Can't wait for the next entry!

  3. Your admissions are basically the whole court case in a nutshell- following in a deducing linear manner, you did literally pin them in the corner. No wonder the judge left the other stuff up between you and opposing counsel; at that point he could tell that he WAS holding the court case right there.

    Your apt description of nerves really cracked me up - been there done that in other circumstances lol!

    Anyhow, I love your writing style and actually am so disappointed as I readscroll and get to the end of each post "what?! its done? No More??!!!!" Good job lol!

  4. What a cutie he is. Looks like he's posing and likes his picture taken, guess with a name like Image that's only natural.

    Glad you got through the first phase of court and got the judge to listen to you. Their attorney apparently feels threatened by those items she wanted dismissed. Hmm...

  5. Exciting, that's for sure. You brought us right into the court room with you. Whew!

  6. I meant to comment on your last post that it seemed like the attorney was ticked off to find out this wouldn't be a walk in the park for her.

    RE: you pre-court nerves- I ran track in high school and college. I used to have to pee a minimum of 15 times during every meet. It was exhausting.

  7. I was feeling the nausea reading this , I only had to think I was going to court over my issue a few years ago to throw up(they seetled out of court) How intense that must have beeb . Glad the judge listened to you at least on the admissions

  8. I would have been a nervous wreck, too. But you did good!

  9. I am sure that the opposing attorney had several concerns. One, as a lawyer she could probably see that you weren't taking this laying down, that you were working very hard and had actually prepared a case against them. Two, she was probably beginning to see that her clients weren't the victims they had possibly made themselves out to be. I'm sure it was very stressful for her, especially since she was up against a non-lawyer who was turning up a better case than she, an actual lawyer...embarrassing?! I bet it was, and I love it!

    I can't imagine how nervous you must have been. I know if it were me, I would have been stuttering and stammering like a fool!

  10. Wow what an adorable baby! He sure had presence!!

    Yaa, sounds like you got them where they should be. And you probly dont need any more documents, sounds like everything you needed was in the admissions.

  11. Nicole, Yes, Image definitely had a ton of presence.

    Looking back I think I didn't get the other things because they were not beyond the scope of the local court rules, I think just the admissions were.

    feralwoman, yes, I could pretty strongly support my case with the admissions, I think.

    Waiting to go in was always the hardest part. Even now my stomach cramps thinking of it. Glad I don't have to do that again. LOL

    Here I was worrying that the posts were getting too long. I have been criticized in the past for posts being too lengthy and these are even longer. I try to put the breaks where they make some sense to me so thanks for that input.

    Arlene, he was definitely a camera hound. Quite a horse that one was.

    It was definitely interesting to look at her paperwork and read between the lines.

    Linda, I'm glad you could see it. Was quite the experience.

    smazourek, I thought she sounded ticked off in that paperwork. There was lots to feel threatened about I just thought it was too soon for her to understand it not being a horse person and all.

    I feel for you. Those nerves are a killer. I just to have to run to the bathroom a zillion times when I first began to show too.

    fern, court is intimindating with a lawyer or without. I learned that too. Glad you case worked out.

    While I wanted the other things too, the admissions I knew I needed the most so that was good.

    Tammy, I think it's hard to have that much responsibility and not be nervous. I was definitely relieved when it was over.

    JJ, I imagine you are right about all of that. She had to be figuring out I had a pretty good grasp of my case while she still had no clue. That would be a lot of pressure. And believe me, I loved that part too. Finally pushing back felt awesome.

    Cyrstal, he was a very precious baby. Even today I can picture that photo shoot and Mary Little laughing and giggling as he chased her while Jeff shot the pictures. It was the cutest thing.

    The admissions were definitely crucial but I felt very strongly about getting their tax records too. I was pretty sure the threat of that would get them to back off.

  12. What a great shot of Image. He sure has presence and a flair about him.

    Waiting around can be the hardest part. You are so focused on what can happen or go wrong and it's all over in the blink of an eye it seems. At least the judge allowed you to ammend the original paperwork and kept the admissions. Like you said it helps clear up which horses were relevant to the case and which horses were not. Besides letting those two paint themselves into a corner and display their lack of character.

  13. I would love to have seen the attorney's face when she found out all the admissions were granted. Having no legal knowledge I'm surprised that the judge told you to work certain things out with her. I thought it was the court's job to make those decisions.
    Image is too cute. That tail, those legs, that face!

  14. CNJ, You're so right about how quickly it's over. I think that really adds to the stress level knowing there's little time to figure out what's right to do and it can end before you even get to that point.

    Being allowed to amend the complaint was really important because I got to up the anti by adding more causes of action and damages. The combined total of damages on those causes of action was huge and I do mean HUGE! The fact that fraud and unfair business practices both were triple damages should have really made them sweat.

    It is pretty much routine procedure to allow a pro se to amend a complaint so I knew he really should allow it. It was the admissions I was most worried about but I was prepared to fight for those and very relieved I didn't have to.

    Ms Martyr, me too! I can imagine she was not happy though I'll bet she wasn't totally surprised, just hoping for a better outcome. I was confused about the rest of the items so we headed straight to the law library to figure that part out.