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If I Did Not Do Anything Wrong Can I Be Sued?

A client sat across the table from me.  As he wrung his hands, he told me he had been sued by his brother.  My client was the executor of his mother's will.  He had not done anything wrong but his brother had sued him.  His brother alleged he breached his duty by accepting a creditor's claim. We reviewed claim and it was a proper claim to be accepted by the executor.  He just looked so defeated and could not understand how he can be sued if he had not done anything wrong.

Anyone with a court filing fee (or qualifying for a fee waiver) can file anything with the Court.  The Court does not make any determination about the merits of a case when it is filed.  I can file a suit alleging you stole my hippo.  I do not have to prove I had a hippo, you were seen around my hippo or what happened to the hippo when the case is filed.  Eventually I will have to prove my case and that is called a trial.  The jury or judge will hear all the evidence and decide if I have proved my case.

If my client ignores the suit, his brother will obtain a default judgment against him.  So, even though my client did not do anything wrong, he still has to defend the himself.  It may seem unfair but that is the way our legal system works.

For my client, his brother's case has no merits.  However, he has to respond to the suit.   If that happens to you, don't ignore the suit.  Remember, just because you are sued does not mean you have done anything wrong but you cannot ignore it.  

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