I am a lawyer in Arizona that represents people against Midland Funding, LLC in lawsuits. So this blog post may appear somewhat self serving. A lot of people who get sued by Midland Funding, LLC go to battle alone without the help of a lawyer. This is understandable. In many Midland Funding cases the amount in dispute is less than $10,000 and many attorneys want big bucks to take on any type civil litigation case.
And while it is understandable that you may need or want to take on this battle with Midland on your own – the chances of you winning your case on your own are not that great. Again. I know that sounds really self-serving coming from the lawyer who makes money by representing people in Midland Funding cases, but based upon my experience in dealing with these types of cases every day of the week, it is the truth.
Here are a few landmines the people encounter in their lawsuit with Midland Funding, LLC that can have really blow up your case:
1. Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure – Not “Mere Suggestions”
A while back I was presenting oral argument on a case here in Arizona and the opposing attorney got up to argue a point. This attorney had failed to abide by a specific Rule of Civil Procedure to which the judge scolded him by saying “The Rules of Civil Procedure are not mere suggestions! They must be followed.”
In all civil cases in Arizona such as a Midland Funding lawsuit, there are rules that govern the proceedings. These are known as the Rules of Civil Procedure. Each state has their own Rules but they are generally very similar from state to state. These Rules provide information on things like deadlines and the type of documents that must be filed with the court as the case proceeds. If you ignore them – or worse are simply unaware of them – your case could end before it even really gets started.
This is not to say that you can’t read up on the rules and navigate your way through them. It will, however, take much study time and even then there are potholes that trip up even experienced lawyers.
2. Failing to Object
In any lawsuit filed by Midland it bears the burden of proving its case. However that does not mean you can sit back and just wait and see what happens. If you are in trial against Midland Funding and they do something that violates the Rules of Evidence or the Rules of Civil Procedure you have to object. It is not the judge’s job to make sure that Midland follows the rules. You have to raise an objection for the judge to rule on. If you sit on your hands and say nothing then that is likely what will happen – nothing.
Worse yet, if you go to trial and lose and want to appeal your case, if you didn’t object to certain evidence then you will likely have waived your right to raise the issue on appeal. Knowing when and how to object is not only a skill but requires a strong background and understanding of the Arizona Rules of Evidence.
3. Waiting for Your Day in Court
Many people I work with have never been involved in a civil lawsuit before. And this is generally a good thing. But the problem is many people’s exposure to the legal system is based on what they have seen in movies or worse – what they saw on the latest episode of Judge Judy.
As I mentioned above, there are strict rules that govern civil trials in Arizona. Many think that all they need to do is wait for the day of trial and then stand there and tell their side of the story. Those who take this approach often find that their day of trial never comes because the case was decided on a Motion for Summary Judgment.
You must be involved in your Midland Funding case from the first day to the last. You cannot sit back and wait for trial thinking that “justice will prevail” once you get in front of a judge. There is written discovery, possibly depositions, disclosures, and other pre-trial meetings that will take place that you must be aware of if you want any chance at all in winning your case.
My intent with this post is not to demoralize you as you face your battle with Midland. But I want people to have a good idea of what they are getting into when they decide to represent themselves in their Midland Funding lawsuit. Too many people come to me after a judgment has already been entered and then want the problem fixed. However, once a judgment has been entered it is much more difficult to get it set aside than it would have been to win it in the first place.
If you can put the money together to hire a lawyer in your fight against Midland Funding it will be money well spent. Some attorney’s like myself who deal with these type of consumer lawsuits all the time will even have discounted fees that can make it somewhat easier to have representation.
There is no guarantee that even with a lawyer you will win your case. But your chances of victory, in my experience, are much, much better.