I have damages of about $50,000NT from a situation I just can’t discuss publicly on the internet. That amount is worth spending the time to recover if I have a strong case. Of course, I think I have a strong case, but I’d like to discuss the matter with a Taipei lawyer to get an informed opinion of whether it’s actually worth pursuing in Taipei. I’m hoping to find a free consultation and someone who will do any necessary Mandarin speaking and legal paperwork for a fee that I can recover if I win and that’s worth gambling to get the $50,000NT payoff. I get too many hits at martindale.com to be able to make an appropriate choice.
You cannot recover attorney fees in Taiwan unless you have a contract in which you and the other party have stipulated that the winning party’s attorney fees are to be paid by the party found to be at fault. Thus, assuming that you have no such contract, you will be paying an attorney some amount of NT$, which may ultimately be more than the NT$ 50,000 you seek to recover.
Yeah, that’s the depressing thing about the legal system, right? That’s why you don’t want to take small claims out of district court–they’re not economical there. I figured if I could get a free initial consultation, then maybe the translation work I asked about would cost much less than full legal representation and the amount I want to recover. In general, I would advise people to get a free initial consultation to see if their case is worth pursuing.
I did go through the huge number of listings at martindale.com. I made a list of firms/lawyers whose areas at least somewhat relate to my problem. The first firm I walked into was totally helpful. The law office made it look like they mostly deal with international issues, so I bu-hao-yisi’ed like a madman and got to talk to a lawyer who pointed me to the right venue and where I would be better off representing myself, and a translator would be provided when making my case to the judge. He said I had a particularly good case because judges are generally sympathetic to my side in this kind of dispute, to that’s encouraging–I can only hope. The lawyer said to come back any time about this issue, so I’m guessing that some firms here don’t mind providing a little pro bono work to non-wealthy individuals. Or maybe I just got lucky.
It would have been nice to get a specific reference to a lawyer or firm that can be helpful with a small claim, so if anyone wants contact info for the firm that I found, just PM me and maybe you can be saved a lot of leg work.