Why hire a lawyer if you are facing an unlawful detainer (eviction) action?

You receive a three-day notice to quit or cure for nuisance. You believe you fixed the problem, but the landlord still has you served with legal papers. Should you hire a lawyer? And if so, why? The answer is you probably should, especially if your landlord has an attorney.

Hiring a lawyer levels the playing field. Within five days of being served with legal papers you need to file a “responsive pleading,” such as an answer. An answer contains all the defenses you plan to present in response to your landlord wanting to evict you. You would not be allowed to present a defense that was not pled in the answer. A lawyer would know what defenses to allege, how to allege them, and when to file the answer.

Those are just some of the reasons you would want to hire a lawyer. The other reasons are that you might have a great legal issue that would really help your case, but you might not know about it without expert legal advice. And if you want to negotiate with the landlord’s lawyer or argue something in court, it is better to have someone experienced advocating your position.

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Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Tenant Attorney
1458 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Our offices are conveniently accessible to public transportation.

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