What Lawsuits and Disneyland Have In Common: The Emotional Costs of a Lawsuit

Whether you came to the decision to look for an attorney because you’ve been served with a lawsuit and have no choice but to defend yourself, or if you have reached an impasse in a dispute and have no choice but to say “see you in court,” what happens after this point is likely a mystery for you. If that’s the case, this is what a lawsuit looks like. But there’s also an emotional part of a lawsuit. Therefore, in addition to the obvious considerations of finding a capable attorney that you like and trust and the financial costs, you should also prepare for the emotional costs of a lawsuit. Since Disneyland’s just up the freeway, I’ll liken it to a day at Disneyland. It’s a Long Process If you’re traveling into town specifically to visit Disneyland with the kids, you expect to get there when the park opens, stay for the parade and fireworks, and even until the park closes. You may expect to do that for 3 days in a row. Why? The Lines are Long If Disneyland … Continue reading

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Trial Preparation – Anatomy of a Lawsuit Part VIII

This series applies to California lawsuits only. For rules regarding your state’s civil litigation procedure, visit the website for your specific state’s judicial branch. This is a very broad overview. Multiple considerations must take place and detailed analysis goes into each step. To recap, we’ve discussed some considerations before filing a lawsuit such as What is the Deadline to File a Lawsuit and Where to File a Lawsuit. We’ve also discussed How to File a Lawsuit, Responding to a Lawsuit, Discovery, and Mediation. Here’s a visual representation of what a lawsuit looks like. This article focuses on the phase within the blue circle. Although the above flow chart depicts trial preparation as a distinctive step before trial, in reality, your attorney is preparing for the trial from the minute s/he meets with you for a consultation. Trial considerations such as jury appeal, your credibility and the credibility of other witnesses, and the evidence available will influence whether an attorney accepts the case and what theories to pursue. Once a lawsuit is filed, each stage in the litigation is meant to prepare for trial: i.e., pleadings, motions, … Continue reading

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Mediation – Anatomy of a Lawsuit Part VII

This series applies to California lawsuits only. For rules regarding your state’s civil litigation procedure, visit the website for your specific state’s judicial branch. This is a very broad overview. Multiple considerations must take place and detailed analysis goes into each step. To recap, we’ve discussed some considerations before filing a lawsuit such as What is the Deadline to File a Lawsuit and Where to File a Lawsuit. We’ve also discussed How to File a Lawsuit, Responding to a Lawsuit, and Discovery. Here’s a visual representation of what a lawsuit looks like. This article focuses on the phase within the blue circle.   Although represented in the above flowchart as happening after the discovery phase, a case may go to mediation before a lawsuit is even filed or litigated (early or pre-litigation), at any other time, or may not go to mediation at all. It is an entirely an optional process aimed at settling the dispute before the parties spend the time and money to prepare for trial. However, if the parties are serious about settling a dispute, discovery gives each side a better sense … Continue reading

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Discovery Phase in Litigation – Anatomy of a Lawsuit Part VI

This series applies to California lawsuits only. For rules regarding your state’s civil litigation procedure, visit the website for your specific state’s judicial branch. This is a very broad overview. Multiple considerations must take place and detailed analysis goes into each step. To recap, we’ve discussed some considerations before filing a lawsuit such as What is the Deadline to File a Lawsuit and Where to File a Lawsuit. We’ve also discussed How to File a Lawsuit and Responding to a Lawsuit. Here’s a visual representation of what a lawsuit looks like. This article focuses on the phase within the blue circle.   Once the initial pleadings are filed in the case and assuming that the case survives the first phase, it will move into the discovery phase. This is a big chunk of the lawsuit and one of the most expensive phases of litigation and has numerous components some of which are: Research and Strategy Litigation is a dynamic process and no two cases are exactly the same. Therefore, research and strategy is an ongoing component of any lawsuit and will take place from the … Continue reading

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Responding to a Lawsuit in California – Anatomy of a Lawsuit Part V

This series applies to California lawsuits only. For rules regarding your state’s civil litigation procedure, visit the website for your specific state’s judicial branch. This is a very broad overview. Multiple considerations must take place and detailed analysis goes into each step. You wouldn’t operate on yourself so consult with a lawyer if you have a legal dispute. To recap, we’ve discussed some considerations before filing a lawsuit such as What is the Deadline to File a Lawsuit and Where to File a Lawsuit. We’ve also discussed How to File a Lawsuit. Here’s a quick orientation on filing a lawsuit in California.  This article discusses the actions within the blue circle. How to Respond to a Lawsuit? Get thee to a lawyer – as I mentioned in Part VI, lawsuits are very deadline driven and blowing the deadline to respond to a lawsuit could result in a default judgment against you, which translates to you automatically lose. What is the Deadline for Responding to a Lawsuit in California? Within 30 days after service of the complaint. The clock starts to run the day after … Continue reading

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Filing a Lawsuit in California – Anatomy of a Lawsuit Part IV

This series applies to California lawsuits only. For rules regarding your state’s civil litigation procedure, visit the website for your specific state’s judicial branch. This is a very broad overview. Multiple considerations must take place and detailed analysis goes into each step. Please consult a lawyer for help with your particular case. To recap, we’ve discussed some considerations before filing a lawsuit such as What is the Deadline to File a Lawsuit and Where to File a Lawsuit. I almost always recommend communicating with the other side and working together to find a win-win solution to a problem before going the lawsuit route. Sometimes you can do that yourself but other times you may need a California business lawyer or a civil litigation attorney to step in help you negotiate a solution. If that doesn’t work and you hit an impasse, you may have to file a lawsuit. Be prepared because lawsuits are expensive. Here’s a quick orientation on filing a lawsuit in California.  This article discusses the actions within the blue circle.   How do I sue someone? Hire a … Continue reading

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California Lawsuits – Anatomy of a Lawsuit Part III

This series applies to California lawsuits only. For rules regarding your state’s civil litigation procedure, visit the website for your state’s judicial branch. It’s been while since I wrote a post for the Anatomy of a Lawsuit series but I’m back. So far, we’ve discussed Statutes of Limitations and Where to File a Lawsuit. Today I will give you a broad overview of the trajectory a lawsuit. In the following weeks, I will discuss each part in greater detail. Filing a Lawsuit If you are considering filing a lawsuit or have been served with a summons and complaint and wondering “What to do after being served,” I would be happy to help you navigate through the complicated legal process.  Feel free to contact me here to call (949) 529-0007.   Next up, learn about Filing a Lawsuit in California.  Sign Up for Monthly Updates For Email Newsletters you can trust. Please read our disclaimer.

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Do I need to file in small claims court? – Anatomy of a Lawsuit Part II

This series applies to California lawsuits only. For rules regarding your state’s small claims procedure, visit the website for your state’s judicial branch. So you’ve figured out the Statute of Limitations issue.  Now where to file your lawsuit – small claims or civil court? What is small claims court? Small claims court is a civil court lite to deal with dispute amounts (claims) that are relatively small. The disputes are resolved quickly, informally, without a jury or lawyers.  However, even though you are not allowed to have a lawyer represent you at the small claims hearing, you could get a lawyer’s help before or after the hearing. What is the claim limit in small claims? Individuals – Generally, you may not ask for more than $7,500. Corporations or other entities – Generally, you may not ask for more than $5,000 What are the types of Claims you can file in small claims? Some common types of small claims cases are related to: • Property damage or personal injury from a car accident; • Landlord/tenant security deposits; • Damage to your … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Lawsuit – California Statute of Limitations

This is the first post in a new series called “Anatomy of a Lawsuit” where I will explain the process, some legal terms, and considerations that go into a lawsuit.  Comments and questions are appreciated so that I can provide information that is most useful to readers. We’ll start with “when to file a lawsuit?” Today’s topic is the statute of limitations (SOL), which is a fancy word for deadline to file a lawsuit. It’s a simple equation.  Missing the SOL = you’re SOL. Different types of lawsuits have different deadlines to file a lawsuit (statute of limitations).  If you blow this deadline, you could forever lose your right to sue. Below is a non-exclusive list of the deadlines to file some of the most common types of lawsuits in California.  You should confirm with counsel what category your dispute falls under and whether there are special statutes of limitations that apply to your case. What if I want to sue a public entity such as a city, county, school district, or state university? There are additional requirements for suing … Continue reading

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