Examples of Civil Litigation Emergencies

The case:

A woman died leaving a hand-written Will. A dispute arose between her son and daughter as to what each of them was entitled to receive under her Will. While the son was out of the country his lawyer resigned from the case, without notice. On returning home the son faced a request by the daughter to have him held in contempt of court.

The emergency:

The contempt motion was being heard by the court 4 days after the son returned home. He consulted Cusack Legal Services 2 days prior to the motion. The daughter's lawyer refused to postpone the contempt motion to permit the son to prepare properly for it. Documentation was prepared on an urgent basis, and the contempt motion was successfully defended. Cusack Legal Services continued to represent the son through to the successful conclusion of the case.

The case:

In a divorce case, a husband negotiated through his lawyer to have the matrimonial home transferred to him, in return for paying the wife the value of her share of the home; however, he required mortgage financing for which he did not qualify on his own. The husband's father agreed to have his name put on title to the property, and to join with the husband to obtain a new mortgage. The transfer of title was never completed. A different lawyer was hired to handle the new mortgage. He completed that transaction in the mistaken belief that the divorce lawyer had completed the transfer of title to the property into the joint names of the husband and his father. The result was that the Deed remained registered in the names of the husband and wife, while the mortgage was registered in the names of the husband and his father.

The emergency:

The mortgage went into default. The mortgage company sent a Notice of Sale to the husband and his father, and entered into an agreement to sell the property. When the problem was discovered the sale was in danger of falling through, which would have led to multiple lawsuits. On an urgent basis, Cusack Legal Services sought and obtained a court order to correct the title to the property, so that the husband and his father were named in both the Deed and the mortgage and the wife's name was deleted. As a result, the sale was completed and the legal consequences of the mistake were minimized.

The case:

A small organization with national political interests was engaged in a bitter dispute between 2 factions, each of whom were seeking control of the organization and the significant amount of money it held. Cusack Legal Services was retained by one of the factions to represent the interests of its members.

The emergency:

The opposing faction thought it had discovered an opportunity to obtain, on an urgent basis, a court order that would have given it a distinct advantage in the case. They provided only a few hours notice of an urgent court appearance that they had scheduled. Cusack Legal Services immediately prepared responding material and attended at court to argue the motion. Faced with the quick response, the opposing faction's motion collapsed and was abandoned.

The case:

The clients operated a high-technology consulting company. One of the defendants was a senior manager in the clients' business. That manager spent several months secretly diverting business to a new company that he was forming with the other defendants, and then he quit with no notice.

The emergency:

Cusack Legal Services brought a motion on behalf of the clients, without notice to the defendants, seeking an order that would permit them to search the defendants' premises and seize evidence for the lawsuit (an "Anton Piller" order). The motions judge refused the order. On an emergency basis, an appeal was taken to the Divisional Court and the order was obtained. When the search was conducted the clients seized a great deal of evidence that was very helpful at the trial. At the subsequent trial the clients obtained a large damages award.

The case:

A client disputed his lawyer's bill, refused to pay it and changed lawyers. The original lawyer refused to release the client's file until the bill was paid.

The emergency:

The new lawyer brought a motion on a Friday morning, without notice, and obtained an order for the file to be produced to her immediately. She served it on the original lawyer on Friday afternoon. Cusack Legal Services immediately attended at court on the Friday afternoon, without documentation, and convinced the judge to "stay" the order for the weekend. On Monday morning Cusack Legal Services again attended at court, this time with supporting affidavit evidence, and had the original order reversed.

The case:

The clients purchased a new home in anticipation of selling their existing home. Unfortunately the existing home did not sell. The clients wound up with two homes, each of which had two mortgages. The same mortgage company held both the first mortgage on the new home and the second mortgage on the older home. The clients continued trying to sell the older home, but were unsuccessful.

The emergency:

The clients were unable to carry all the mortgage payments, and the mortgages went into default. The mortgage companies served sale notices. The clients were resigned to losing the older home, but wished to keep the newer one — they arranged for a new first mortgage on it and attempted to pay out the existing mortgages. The mortgage company attempted to force the clients to pay both the first mortgage on the new home and the second mortgage on the older home. If the mortgage company had been successful, the clients would have lost both houses. On an urgent motion Cusack Legal Services obtained an order permitting the clients to pay out the existing mortgages on the newer home without paying off the mortgages on the older home. As a result, the clients lost the older home, but were able to keep the newer one.

The case:

A landlord owned a strip-mall in which one of the units was leased to a restaurant. The restaurant went into arrears on its rent, and claimed that it did not have to pay the arrears until the landlord completed a complex accounting with respect to the unit.

The emergency:

When the tenant failed to pay the arrears, the landlord changed the locks and began to search for a new tenant. The restaurant owner brought an urgent motion seeking an order permitting him to re-occupy the unit and resume its business operations. Cusack Legal Services was hired by the landlord and obtained an order that permitted the restaurant owner to re-occupy the unit only if he paid the arrears up to date and made all subsequent rent payments as they fell due. Later, the restaurant owner was evicted for failing to comply with that order.