Why Googlevoice might help you with your case.

January 14th, 2011  |  Published in Uncategorized

Googlevoice is a powerful free tool from Google that gives you the ability to save and access to voicemails pretty much indefinitely and to easily download and store important voicemails as mp3 files. Moreover, it keeps a history of all your incoming and outgoing calls — pretty much indefinitely as well.  This can be tremendously helpful where you have a voicemail from someone that can help make your case.  For example, I had a client who received a voicemail from his mortgage company the day before they foreclosed on his house. The fact that the mortgage company made a routine call to him the day before the foreclosure helped strengthen his case that it promised him it wouldn’t foreclose while his loan modification application was still pending. His phone company only kept voicemails for a limited time and he had no way of downloading the voicemail. He tried to record it by holding his phone up to an mp3 recorder, but his equipment wasn’t sensitive enough to pick up the voicemail. So all we have now is his statement that he received a voicemail from his mortgage company, which is not nearly as powerful as actually having the voicemail.

The other thing that Googlevoice does, which might not work for everyone, depending on your state laws, is that it gives you the ability to record incoming calls. There are state and federal laws that regulate your ability to record calls so before you do this, make sure that you’re not doing anything illegal. But with that in mind, using the record feature can be enormously helpful – for example, if you’re getting harassed by someone by phone, a debt collector gets abusive on a call, your ex denies you ever spoke to him about changing the pickup time for the kids, etc. These are situations where what was said matters and having a recording of the conversation is going to much more helpful than your testimony about what was said.

Why avoiding the process server won’t make your problem go away

December 12th, 2009  |  Published in Uncategorized

A lawsuit doesn’t officially start against you until you’ve been “served.” This means that you have been given a copy of the complaint (the document explaining why you’re being sued in an official way. For most law suits, someone must first try to give you a copy of the complaint personally. This is called personal service.

Personal service is required because the legal system wants to make sure that a defendant in a lawsuit knows about the lawsuit and has a chance to defend his or herself. Usually, personal service has to be done by a person over 18 who is not involved in the lawsuit. A process server is a person who delivers complaints as a job.

Being served personally does not mean that the person being sued has to accept the complaint directly from the process server. If this was the only way a lawsuit could start, people might be able to duck the lawsuit by ducking the process server. Hiding from the process server may delay the the start, but it won’t stop it.

If the process server tries but can’t find you, then the plaintiff can ask the judge to serve you in a different way — for example, by publishing notice of the lawsuit in a newspaper, posting the complaint at your last known address.

So the bottom line is, you can delay the start of a lawsuit by avoiding the process server, but you can’t stop the suit by hiding from the server.