In late November 2016, a potential client approached us with a legal problem: his bailbonding business had been sued by two of his surety companies for breach of contract, fraud, negligence, and unfair and deceptive trade practices, and he was at risk for a default judgment.
He was worried and he plenty of reason to be concerned… he had not retained legal counsel nor had he filed any responses to the lawsuit, and in accordance with the rules of civil procedure, the clerk had entered default against him already. He was one step away from a judgment for over $150,000. Not only would a judgment of that magnitude destroy his family business, he and his wife had signed guaranty agreements making them personally liable.
We sat down with him and talked to him about his business practices and the lawsuit. We walked him through his options and he was comfortable enough to retain us.
In December, we were able to persuade the court set aside the entry of default for good cause — service had been made to him at his mother’s house — and more importantly, we were able to answer the complaint and defend the lawsuit for him. We spent the next few months gathering information from our client and exchanging information with others.
When we returned to court for trial In May, through skilled advocacy and a strong understanding of the law, we were able to reduce his liability from $150,000 to $6,900. The fraud charges wer dropped, and the claims for unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence were dismissed by the court. He was more than satisfied with the results and paid off judgment within a week after it had been entered. The plaintiffs are seeking a new trial.
We continue to work with our client to strengthen his business policies and practices, review his contracts, and monitor his operations so that he can avoid another breach of contract and to reduce the risk to his business and family.
Every case is different and results will vary. But If you’ve been sued, don’t ignore the complaint. If you’ve missed a critical deadline, you may still have an opportunity to defend yourself in court. Call Blue LLP and let us help you solve your problem.