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Step 1 to Filing a Lawsuit

When a person is harmed, often the only sensible means by which he or she can be made whole is to initiate legal proceedings against the wrongdoer. Under most circumstances, legal proceedings begin once official documents are filed with the Court. There are also many forms of alternative dispute resolution ("ADR") such as mediation or arbitration. ADR is a great tool and should be used when possible, but some defendants will not take a party seriously until a lawsuit has been filed.

The First Steps After Being Sued

Once you have been formally served with a lawsuit, you must file a written response with the Court. Most commonly, you have a mere thirty calendar days to file your written response. See CCP § 420.12. You have less time in an eviction. The clock does not start ticking the moment the lawsuit -- or Summons and Complaint -- is placed in your hand unless it was personally served. If you received it in the mail or from the front secretary of your office, the clock starts ticking on the date service was complete.

Understanding Hearsay

Crime dramas and movies about law often provides clients with a misunderstanding about the word hearsay. As a result, many clients make assumptions about their case, their actions, or the actions of others based on their perceived notion of the word "hearsay". Instead of discussing the situation with an attorney, they draw their own conclusions about the admissibility of certain evidence.

Whether Your Felony Conviction Can Hurt You in a Civil Suit

A common fear among litigants as that their dirty laundry will be aired if they dare to bring a lawsuit – even when they've been wronged. This article explains the court's approach to determining whether a criminal conviction should be admitted in a civil lawsuit.

Talking to Jurors - Defense Litigation

The following is from an article posted and printed by GPSolo, a Publication of the American Bar Association. The original publication of the article can be found online here: GPSolo-- How to Pick and Talk to a Jury: Defense Perspective.


In civil law, good and evil are relative. I don’t mean to say that there are no inherent wrongs. But in a civil trial we are asking the jury to decide how evil or how culpable a defendant is for the damage allegedly done to the plaintiff. And anyone who has seen a children’s movie knows what it is like to see and hear a story from the plaintiff’s perspective. Every hero or heroine is a potential plaintiff injured by an evil defendant.

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