I want to sue my friend for a whopping $100 dollars?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by 63dot, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #1
    Would you sue for $100 dollars, or even $500 dollars, if you and a friend wrote a contract with each other, both signed it, for services rendered on an automobile, if they backed out and decided they didn't want those services?

    Where would you draw the line for small claim's court.
     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #2
    How can you call it breach of contract when neither consideration was given, nor service rendered?? :confused:
     
  3. a456 macrumors 6502a

    a456

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #3
    The law is an ass my friend. You'll regret you even started.
     
  4. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #4
    You didnt render the service of detailing his car so what would your claim be? what are you looking to be awarded? the $100 because there was a contract or the job of detailing the car and the $100
     
  5. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #5
    Guys, we are not talking about me having done the deed and not getting paid, but simply breach of "contract".
     
  6. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #6
    Hope you don't ever end up representing a real client down the road and wind up before the judge whose time you wasted with your little example.

    Surely some of your classes will involve time in the courtroom.
     
  7. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
  8. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #8
    If you do this, can we sue you for wasting public resources and the time of actual professionals?
     
  9. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #9
    I love your footer..."We're law students and we want to get used to the law by suing each other just for the hell of it" :p
     
  10. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #10
    Guys, thank you for your responses.

    The feeling I have is that, yes, it would waste resources.
     
  11. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #11
    Small claims court will hardly give you any idea of how a real court operates. Were I the judge, I'd have you both pay the court costs for wasting the court's time.
     
  12. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #12
    Why do I want to see the process in court?

    Will I see it in law school? Probably not, unless I am rushing to class and accidentally side swipe my professor in the parking lot. :)

    I got called for jury duty before I was a law student, but they don't allow lawyers, law students, or bailiffs most of the time, and as much as I want a legal exception to serve, California won't let me in virtually every scenario.

    I checked every rule and by-law and even consulted a Harvard lawyer and they said I would never get on a jury at this point. Oh well, I can always watch law and order and reruns of JAG. :)

    In California, second year law students, or very exceptional second semester/third trimester first year law students can get certified in their county to practice in a real court under the tutelage of an attorney or judge.

    I guess I will have to wait until third trimester, or first trimester of second year to even be eligible to be certified, and that's the only way I will see the inside of a court and see it work.

    I received a business law degree/labor law, but only on a BA level and the court in California dismissed me on those grounds. I still had a mediocre chance to serve, but now, as a law student, I have virtually no chance.

    There are some states, and a few countries where lawyers, law students, bailiffs, and even judges can serve on a lower court jury.
     
  13. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #13
    Can you not sit in the courtroom on your own free time simply observing?!
     
  14. Mindflux macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
    #14
    100 for a detail is cheap.

    Just sayin. My last job was $225.
     
  15. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #15
    Clearly he has not if he is posing such a question.
    That is because you pose as a major liablity. It's much like pyschology majors who suddenly believe they can solve everyone else's problems because they've taken a few classes.

    Ok, please. Spend your time studying case law. Actors and Actresses aren't going to give you the real deal and Law and Order and JAG isn't quite what you'd see in a real court of law.

    Really, this goes back to focusing on your studies and learning the basics first. I like that you're eager, but I wouldn't let a third trimester or 2nd year come near my case with a 10 foot pole. You can do the research, but I want a real lawyer on my side. There is a reason for school + BAR exams.


    Yes, he can. However, it's been my experience through friends that there simply isn't enough time to do this your first year or two. Perhaps it was that both friends at Chapman were trying to take more classes to finish early, but they seriously had no time. As a matter of fact, it was so demanding that they weren't supposed to work their first year.

    As for the original question. As a law student you should know that wasting resources that people could be using to solve real disputes is stupid. Not to mention, unless you specifically had a no-cancel clause in your contract there is no real breach. In every contract if you would like to claim some sort of damages you need a carveout that specifically states what the penalty would be for canceling the job.
     
  16. CHAOS STEP macrumors 6502

    CHAOS STEP

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Location:
    playing tiddlywinks with Kim Jong-un
    #16



    So you are Law Students and you post this ridiculous 'test scenario' question on a message board for Apple Fans, rather than during an informal Q & A in a Law class.

    Aside from the fact that you should be relatively versed regarding basic contractual wording construction and the law governing same within your state, common sense should answer your question.

    Please don't practise contract law.
     
  17. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #17
    If you didn't spend any money after signing the contract, no harm no foul.

    However, if you went out and bought $50 in supplies due to him signing the contract.

    The breach may have caused you to lose $50.

    But spending $250 to collect $50, with no guarantee of payment is rather silly.

    Of course there is also him asking you to return the items with the return window, if you never even try -- I'm quite sure he is smart enough to have the case tossed out due to your failure to minimize your own losses.

    If your only loss was the cost of the paper or napkin. :rolleyes:
     
  18. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #18
    I was going to suggest this too.

    I took some Criminal Justice classes as electives (I had some vague idea of becoming a lawyer) and that was a requirement for the class. We had to go in and watch a case.
     
  19. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #19
    California is an unusual state in how they train their lawyers. After my law related BA degree in labor law, I worked for the California Bar. California law students are often required some time as co-counsel in small criminal and civil cases. Other states require passing the bar first before even being considered as a co-counsel. In a few common law states, and in most common law countries, and most civil law countries, only trial lawyers to be get any time in a courtroom. Other lawyers in non litigating circumstances train to be a solicitor, or attorney solicitor, or lawyer solicitor.

    In California, unlike many states, we have a program called Certified Law Student, where a law student, usually in their second year, puts in so many hours of court time, but only as co-counsel. It is an requirement that the responsible counsel in charge is a lawyer who has passed the California bar. Lawyers from other states are not even allowed to oversee a Certified Law Student in California.

    A large percentage of California law students may jump through the hoops of the California Bar regulations but prefer to practice elsewhere where the bar is far easier to pass, and retain membership. Retaining membership, as witnessed at a conference recently in Monterey County and San Diego, has been a huge bone of contention for lawyers who passed the bar, but want to continue to practice in California.

    Personally, I think anybody who passes the bar in California should be a lawyer for life without any additional educational and oppressive "fees" to stay in good standing with that state's bar. I had enough lawyers yell at me, as if I personally made the rules up, dissing the continuing "education" and "fees" California lawyers have to put up with.

    Those of you from other states are fortunate and most criticisms from lawyers and law professors of how the California Bar handles their matters are ones I find valid. :)
     
  20. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #20
    So should I want people on a jury to know absolutely nothing about the law? If you were being tried, would you want 12 law students who understand guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and due process (case re: Winship), or be tried by a group of 12 people who are given three handouts on Cal Crim and expected to learn it in one day?

    The largest amount of criminal and civil cases nationwide which are kicked over to appeals court are due to jurors not understanding and interpreting the jury instructions or ruling as triers of fact with a interpretation of the law. Judges, as versed as they are in law, often fail to get the law across to jurors.
     
  21. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #21

    You do know that those "oppressive fees" will likely be paid by which ever firm you go to work for right? Most professionals are required to have a minimum amount of continuing education each year, why should attorneys be any different? If anything bothers me its attorneys that bill $250-$1000 an hour (is anyones time really worth $16.67 per minute?) for their time whining about having to spend x amount of hours every three years continuing their education and ethics training. For god's sake, go get some "live education" down in San Diego for a weekend or something, its not like you have to listen to those boring MCLE tapes. Better yet, speak for two hours at one of those seminars and multiply your time speaking by 4, its pretty damn easy, even for busy attorneys, to put in 25 hours every three years. 25 hours every three years is certainly better than the 80 hours every two years that CPA's have to put in! Now I'm not saying everything you hear from having to continue your legal education will be valuable knowledge that you've never heard before, but thinking that there should be absolute no continuing education for attorneys and no bar fees is a little ridiculous. Its good to refresh on your ethics knowledge and other training every few years.

    And wait, attorney's whining about oppressive fees? Give me a break.
     
  22. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #22
    When I worked for a CPA firm that catered to doctors and dentists, many years ago, some of the doctors had to pay $90,000 dollars in malpractice insurance off the top. That's really scary and it certainly has its ramifications as we all know when you or me have to go to a hospital or clinic.

    I just hope professionals, while paying fees and possibly going through continuing education, don't have to get to the point where the fees reach anything near malpractice insurance. One lawyer in his practice, private practice, didn't like paying $4,000 dollars a year to the state bar. Besides rent, utilities, and having at least one employee, it's hard for a small town lawyer, and there are a lot of them, to get off the ground.

    Big city lawyers could charge closer to a grand, but not small, private practice lawyers in small towns and medium cities. When a lot of people think about lawyers, they think of the dream team and their $12 million dollar fee for a year's work, but that's hardly the norm, but it's one of the first things non lawyers bring up, even today, in casual conversation.
     
  23. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #23
    Oh I definetly agree about the malpractice, I hope professional liability insurance never reaches the level that medical malpractice insurance is currently at. I don't think law will have that problem with the amount or cost of MCLE's anytime soon. Although public perception may cause increase ethics MCLE hours for attorneys (even though I wouldn't classify any of the fifty attorneys I work with as unethical).

    $4000 to the state bar sounds a little high for an attorney currently in practice, are you talking about a new attorney that is taking the bar and MPRE? I know bar prep, testing, and first time membership can run will into that range. With the passage rate of California's bar I can see why attorneys that go to school here move out of state, I know many excellent attorneys who took more than a few times to pass the bar. I don't necessarily agree with the quality of the professional education that the MCLE's provide, but I do think some form of continuing education should be required for bar membership, as it is for CPA's and many doctors.

    I've never met an attorney making over the $600 an hour range, only ever heard about the $1000 an hour guys, don't think there are too many at the level currently. The average here in CA definitely seems to be more like $200-$300, probably closer to the $300 end. I've been to a few Civil Lit firms that have had $90+ million dollar suits against and for the government that paid in excess of $20 million in legal fees, thats an unbelievable amount of money. I'd love to get in on that deal, too bad it takes 20+ years of legal experience and 100 hour weeks to even get a case possibly worth a few million in legal fees.
     
  24. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    #24
    You will not be going to court, per se. Small claims is not like Judge "The Revolting" Judy, it is usually very informal. You are not going to get to 'present a case'. The Judge is going to look at the paperwork, ask a question or two, and render an award (if any). If you did not provide any services, then you could try to collect any incurred expenses. That is about it. You might get a small ass-chewing for even bring this forward. If you mention 'law students', the whooping might even be worse. Forget it.
     
  25. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #25
    I will opt for the cheapest workable option for a basic bar prep course for $6000 dollars from bar-bri and take the medium level prep course. One can sign up with many different bar-bri services from the first year to bar passage and spend ultimately well more than $10,000 dollars.

    It's still a pittance for what a medical doctor would have to spend for medical school, internship, and residency, where the latter two can be compared to slave labor. I do know an excellent doctor, who has treated me twice for a terrible stomach related syndrome, and he's a saint. He worked for a non-profit, low cost hospital for decades as a public interest doctor and made very little. Only now, past age 60, did he open his own plastic surgery, lucrative practice and if anyone deserves the money he is now making, more than thirty years out of medical school, it's him. In that non-profit hospital, a full 40% percent of the medical staff are volunteers, so the doctors who do work there do for incredibly low pay compared with their medical school costs, and many years of underpay, already, as interns and residents.

    When I was doing taxes for one doctor, his first year where he made six digits was a $200,000 dollar year net income, after taxes, but he was almost fifty when he first reached anything over $100,000 grand in our rural town of less than 2,000 people. He's kind of like the low paid, bleeding heart doctor from Northern Exposure who made 30K a year being the sole doctor of a village of less than 1,000 residents.

    So I know if I sound like I am complaining, I know many other fields have it much harder, student loan wise and stress wise.

    Just look at the highest earning professionals in California (one of the states where DDS is more lucrative than MD), and the suicide and depression rate among dentists. It is astounding. Certainly a great night to read about doing a Google on.
     

Share This Page