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VA Civil Suit Can I Amend an Answer to a Complaint


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#1 VACivilSuit

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:18 AM

I have been sued. My attorney filed an answer but did not countersue or ask for legal fees to be awarded or file an affirmative defense. Can I still due this?

#2 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:23 AM

Are you still represented by the lawyer? If so, the lawyer will have to file any amended answer for you, if it's still possible to file one. Not knowing the details of your claim and what has happened so far in the lawsuit, I cannot say if you may file an amended answer at this time. It's also not possible to say whether you needed to file a counterclaim, whether legal fees are possible to be awarded in this matter, etc. In other words, it may not be necessary or appropriate to file the amended answer you wish to file. Have you discussed it with your lawyer? If so, what did the lawyer say about it? If not, why not?

#3 VACivilSuit

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:51 AM

I no longer have a lawyer. I was just served with discovery questions etc. I do have a counterclaim and the opposition is filing for awards of legal fees.

#4 adjusterjack

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:29 AM

Check out the VA Civil Remedies and Procedure. You might find your answer in Chapter 7.

http://leg1.state.va.../TOC0800100.HTM

Might help if you provide details about the lawsuit. Who's suing you and why? How much? What's your counterclaim about?

Might get you some helpful comments that way.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#5 pg1067

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:00 AM

I'm not sure the details of the case are particularly important to the question asked. You will have to seek leave from the court to amend your answer and file counterclaims. Leave to do these things is generally granted liberally in the absence of prejudice to the other side. I strongly suspect that the relevant rule(s) can be found via the link provided in the prior response.

#6 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

Good reference by the poster above to the Code of Virginia: CIVIL REMEDIES AND PROCEDURE.

#7 Fallen

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:31 AM

I'd love to know what the "answer" said if it raised no defense.

You don't say what kind of case it is that you believe you're entitled to legal fees just because you're being sued (you said your attorney didn't "... countersue or ask for legal fees to be awarded..."). The law doesn't work that way. And if this is a breach of contract action and your contract calls for winning party being in a position to seek legal fees if each argues the other breached, it wouldn't make any sense whatsoever for your attorney not to be countersuing if you asked him/her to countersue.

Sounds like you're in over your head, and you need a lawyer. This isn't a good DIY project, unless in small claims.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#8 pg1067

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

I'd love to know what the "answer" said if it raised no defense.


The poster didn't say the answer "raised no defense." He/she said that the answer did not include any "affirmative defense." An answer to a complaint typically includes two components: (1) either a general denial of or specific responses to the plaintiff's allegations; and (2) affirmative defenses. An affirmative defense is an allegation that, even if every one of the plaintiff's allegations is true, the plaintiff still loses (e.g., statute of limitations). While it is typical for an answer to include both a general denial or specific responses and affirmative defenses, it is not absolutely necessary to allege affirmative defenses.


you believe you're entitled to legal fees just because you're being sued


Nothing in the original post suggests that the poster believes this, and it isn't relevant to the question asked where he/she is or isn't.


. . . it wouldn't make any sense whatsoever for your attorney not to be countersuing if you asked him/her to countersue.


Which is probably why the poster "no longer [has] a lawyer."




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