Getting Clients Paid with Motions to Compel

We were contacted by a lawyer who had won a significant Texas judgment against a local businessman. The judgment was issued in favor of a California doctor following a dispute over a business loan. This case demonstrates the value of a motion to compel.

Unfortunately, the lawyer who won the case had very little experience collecting judgments and he had already tried and failed to collect this one. After we were hired, we contacted the attorney for the judgment debtor and suggested a reasonable solution that was in everyone’s best interest. However, the other side was similarly unskilled in post-judgment remedies so they rejected our proposal and offered to pay our client zero.

Faced with a defendant who refused even first-level discussions, we launched a three-pronged attack aimed at making sure our client got paid.

First, we contacted the debtor’s lawyer with our written discovery requests, which our team has developed over the past 20 years to help identify hidden assets and potential weaknesses a debtor’s claims.

We then issued third-party discovery requests targeting the Texas companies where the local businessman held an interest.

Finally, we sent subpoena notices to two of the debtor’s family members seeking information about his business dealings because we believed they had direct knowledge of his business dealings.

We were met with resistance once again when the defendant’s third-party business affiliates never responded to our discovery requests and the debtor’s counsel provided wholly insufficient answers.

Undaunted, we then filed a series of motions to compel against both the debtor individually and his third-party business partners. The day the judge was set to decide the issues, the debtor agreed to resolve the case while we were sitting in the courtroom by paying our doctor client the $150,000 he was owed.

This is a good example of the tenacity we bring to each case. Even though our client and his original attorney thought they had no chance of collecting the judgment, our team put enough pressure on the defendant and his business partners to make sure our client was paid while avoiding the time and expense of more advanced post-judgment procedures.

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