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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Motion for Summary Judgment Was Filed Before a Defendant Answered the Complaint

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: Ohio

    Confused on how to proceed. Ex-attorney(he has been suspended from practice) is suing my current attorney and myself on a contingency fee agreement. I am handling this case as pro se as I cannot afford a lawyer. I put in a motion to arbitrate or a stay pending the outcome of the contingency fee case. The arbitration was granted, but was appealed and sent back to the court. My other part of the motion to stay pending the outcome of the contingency fee case has never been addressed yet and we just keep having status conferences to update the status on that contingency fee case. However, Plaintiff(ex-attorney), filed for summary judgment and I haven't even answered the complaint yet. I thought we were waiting on my other case to finish to start this one as I have confidential information that I will need to disclose to defend myself against the attorney. How do I address this? I feel as though his motion is moot, but I still think I have to address it. In Ohio, it is well settled that the attorney is only allowed a quatum meruit recovery, but the case is still active and no one can determine if there will even be an award let alone if so, what he is entitled to. This ex-attorney throws out everything he can, so I am also worried if I respond to a summary judgement, will he try to file a motion that shows I waived my right to answer or something. I don't want to lose by default.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,421

    Default Re: Stay Has Not Been Ruled On, So No Answer Given Yet. Plaintiff Filed for Sj

    You didn't answer the complaint yet? You should have answered the complaint and then filed a motion to arbitrate AND a stay. Not or. If you stated or, then you were not granted a stay due to the use of the wrong word. Also what does your fee agreement state regarding if you change attorneys? Why was your attorney suspended from practice and when?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Stay Has Not Been Ruled On, So No Answer Given Yet. Plaintiff Filed for Sj

    I did not answer the complaint yet. I did use the word, or. Plaintiff though, filed his own motion to stay pending the outcome of the appeal and to set new deadlines when I return to the case(initially ordered to arbitration) and the motion to stay was granted. Plaintiff wanted to stay the case for his claims against my current lawyer until I joined the case again and was ordered to answer, etc. The status conference was going to address these issues, but Plaintiff needed a continuance and filed for SJ before the status conference. The fee agreement did set an hourly fee if I breached the contract, but Plaintiff admits he refused to perform anymore work due. He breached first. Improper handling of funds is reason for suspension and currently under investigation for forgery and stealing an entire settlement award(after client pressed charges, he is also suing that client claiming more was owed).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,797

    Default Re: Stay Has Not Been Ruled On, So No Answer Given Yet. Plaintiff Filed for Sj

    You're in way over your head without an attorney.

    You don't even know the basics.

    Basic 1 - When you are served with a complaint you file an answer.

    Basic 2 - When you are served with a motion for summary judgment you file a response explaining why the motion should not be granted.

    Basic 3 - Going up against a lawyer without one of your own is like taking a rubber knife to a gunfight. You'll be the one on the ground bleeding.

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