Deal or No Deal

Monday, December 10, 2018

Volunteer secures safety deposit!

When needed, our volunteers can be masters of both litigation and negotiation.

Carlena recently moved out of her apartment, expecting the return of her $1,500 security deposit. On a fixed income of just over $700 per month, she was relying on the deposit to pay for some upcoming expenses. Despite calling, texting, and sending letters, Carlena could not get her landlord to cooperate.

CVLS interviewed Carlena and asked volunteer attorney, Mark Liston to take her case. Mark got to work immediately, contacting the landlord and requesting the return of Carlena’s security deposit. The landlord responded that Carlena had damaged the unit, and threatened to countersue for the costs of repair.

Mark refused to back down, pointing out that the landlord had failed to provide an itemization of the damages to the unit, as required by law. He warned the landlord that Carlena was entitled to double her security deposit and attorneys’ fees!

After more back and forth, the landlord and Carlena settled their dispute with Mark’s help. Carlena received the full amount of her security deposit, and both sides were satisfied.

Although Mark felt this was a good deal for Carlena, some attorneys would have pushed harder and tried to get more—for their own egos. Mark understood that his duty is to his client. He negotiated the settlement that Carlena wanted.