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If you sue a corporation, who do you expect to defend it? It will be an attorney.



I don't know about other states, but in California if you sue a corporation in small claims court, they can NOT send an attorney:

Corporation or other legal entity — A corporation or other legal entity (that is not a natural person) can be represented by a regular employee, an officer, or a director; a partnership can be represented by a partner or regular employee of the partnership. The representative may not be an attorney or person whose only job is to represent the party in small claims court. An attorney may appear to represent a law firms as long as that attorney is a general partner of the law firm or is an officer of the corporation. However, in both instances, all the other members of the partnership and all the other officers of the corporations have to be attorneys as well.[1]

[1] http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/small_claims/basic_info.s...


Apparently this is not uncommon even in normal court.

I sat on a jury in TX where a couple was suing an insurance company, and the insurance company wasn't represented by an attorney. It was really strange, because the first thing the gentleman does is stand up and spend 5 minutes explaining how he isn't an attorney but he regularly represents the insurance company for smaller claims (it was something like $20k IIRC). Then for the remainder of the next hour and a half or so he stumbled around with arguments against the couples slick lawyer. I guess the guy probably lost most of his cases (?) but its worth it to the insurance company to spend a few hundred bucks getting this guy to show up unprepared for an hour or two in the odd chance he could save them $20k every few dozen cases.


So they find someone to send who isn't a lawyer but has a lot of experience in that area of law and is coached by a lawyer.


I think the point of doing this in SCC is that the cost of defending against small-claims is usually greater than the cost of just settling the SCC. Lawyers aren't cheap, and folks going to SCC are banking on them being more expensive than their claim.


Perhaps it would be an officer of the corporation, named in one of the documents on file with the state's Secretary of State or department governing business records. If only the CEO is named, that is the person who has to appear.

I think states usually allow a regular employee of the corporation to appear, though.

Obviously, the small claims court procedures may vary according to jurisdiction, so you'll have to at least check your state's website before running down to the clerk with filings in hand.


Actually, at least where I live the law is that it can not be an attorney.

It must be a regular staff member or manager.

I did not check how many states have a law like that.




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