The Minor’s Compromise process in California is very involved, and includes at least one appearance before a Superior Court judge. In each county, local rules put local spin on the process, but all appear to require several forms to be correctly completed prior to a judge ever looking at the proposed Minor’s Compromise. As a practicing attorney a year ago, I would not have been comfortable completing the initial process — let alone appearing before a judge — for my own kids without the help of another attorney who knows the ins and outs of this process. Today, I am proud to say that Minor’s Compromise is one of my primary areas of responsibility at Batta|Fulkerson Law Group.
Each time a child or the parents of a child involved in a car, dog bite, or premise liability incident/accident comes into our office, we focus intently on the legal rights and medical needs of that child. First, we ensure that the child is receiving the best possible care. Then, we make sure that the child has completed all necessary treatment, and has made the best and most complete recovery possible, then we work closely with the parent to negotiate the best settlement or present the best case to a jury. In all the cases I have seen completed at the firm, I have never seen a child left without some form of monetary recovery after all medical payments are made. And so, I have been fortunate to have a full desk and a full heart helping little guys and gals protect what they get, and safeguard it for their future.
The first time I started a Minor’s Compromise package for a judge, I thought it would be a simple affair; I’d get to know the kid, learn about her hopes and dreams, fill out a couple forms, submit a package of 5-10 pages, smile at the clerk, make a good impression on the judge, and hightail it back to the office.
It didn’t turn out like that.
The package ended up over 2-inches tall; it was ridiculously detailed; it took hours and days to submit; we waited weeks to receive a hearing date, and the hearing was far more involved than I expected. Oh, and the court required a follow-up memo and filing.
So no one will accuse me of hiding the ball, here are the forms that needed to be submitted in my jurisdiction in this sample case:
- CIV-10 – Application and Order for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem
- MC-350 – Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim or Pending Action or Disposition of Proceeds of Judgment for Minor or Person with a Disability
- MC-351 – Order Approving Compromise of Disputed Claim or Pending Action or Disposition of Proceeds of Judgment for Minor or Person with a Disability
- MC-355 – Order to Deposit Money into Blocked Account
- MC-356 – Receipt and Acknowledgement of Order for the Deposit of Money into Blocked Account
The process and forms might look simple; they looked simple to me. They are not. One form alone (MC-350) required 4 different attachments, and ended up being almost 100 pages long.
If you are involved in a car accident, I strongly advise that you speak with an attorney. If not me, someone. Just have a conversation. I will never again attempt to stand up to an insurance company without an attorney representing me. If you have a child who was involved in a car accident, call me, or call another attorney right away. You (your child!) might not need an attorney’s counsel, but then again, you (your child!) might.
In my experience, you probably need attorney.
And so does your child.
Dave Cain is an attorney with <link> Batta|Fulkerson Law Group. Dave focuses on child advocacy, aviation, and personal injury law. Batta|Fulkerson Law Group is a leading personal injury law firm representing clients in matters ranging from dog bites to wrongful death. Call Dave Cain today for a free initial consultation: 619-804-1981.
Standard disclaimer: This article is not intended to be nor should it be construed as legal counsel. Rules vary by jurisdiction, and you should consult an attorney regrading the facts of your case and any potential causes of action you may or may not have. It’s just an article; we are trying to help. :o)