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Alkalay & Smillie, PLLC

in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Office: (603) 447-8994
Fax: (603) 297-2866

Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

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The Legal Corner: Don’t ignore legal notices

October 22, 2008

If you receive a legal notice of any kind, do not ignore it! Too often clients come to my office after having ignored legal notices for several months only to discover that a default judgment or a final judgment has been entered against them. This can result in a judgment for many thousands of dollars against the defaulting party, without the person ever being able to raise a defense to the issue.

Sometimes, people do not respond to legal notices because they mistakenly believe that they are not targeted in the legal matter. Other times, people ignore legal notices and naively hope that the issues will go away. These issues will not go away, and the longer that a person waits to respond, the more likely a judgment will be entered against that person.

It may seem like common sense to reply when you are given a legal notice to appear in court or otherwise notified of a legal matter that may involve you. However, defaults happen time and time again. A very easy way to avoid such a result is simply to read and respond to the legal notice immediately. Oftentimes, you will need to seek an attorney’s help in responding. However, a person can also respond without the representation of a lawyer. The critical issue is not to allow the legal notice to sit hoping that it will go away.

Of course, this applies to both criminal and civil notices. Sometimes you will simply need to file a document with a court, while at other times you will actually have to appear for a hearing. Ignoring a criminal court date will likely result in a warrant for your arrest; ignoring a civil court date, as discussed above, can result in a default judgment.

Some legal issues are straight forward; others are highly complex. In either case, one of the most important ways that you can protect yourself is simply to respond to all legal notices. Sometimes using common sense is a person’s best defense to a lawsuit.

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

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By: Edward D. Alkalay