Civil litigation (also known as a “lawsuit”) is the legal process whereby disputes are adjudicated in a court of law, either before a jury or a judge. Generally, civil litigation is initiated when the claimant (plaintiff) files a complaint with the appropriate court. The complaint, if accepted, must then be “served” on the responding party, or defendant. Once the defendant has been served with the complaint, he or she has limited time (usually thirty days) to file a response. After the complaint has been answered, the parties have the opportunity to conduct discovery to gather evidence relating to the issues in dispute. This can take the form of written questions, requests to inspect documents or property, depositions, and medical examinations. When the parties have completed discovery, the matter will be set for trial before a judge or jury. Typically, most civil cases settle before trial through private negotiations, mediation or judicial settlement conferences.
The process of civil litigation is complex and technical. There are strict time limits for bringing claims (statute of limitations) to enforce your rights, and virtually every phase of the litigation process is governed by deadlines. Failing to file a case within the statutory period, or missing important deadlines during litigation, can result in the loss of your right to pursue your claim. If you have a serious civil claim that you wish to pursue, or have been served with a complaint, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel.
As an experienced civil litigator, I can assist you with the prosecution or defense of a lawsuit, including the following types of claims:
- Personal injury claims, including but not limited to those arising from car accidents, environmental exposures, dangerous conditions, assault/batteries, etc.
- Real property claims, including unlawful detainers (evictions – representing landlords exclusively), contractual disputes, encroachments/property line issues, and nuisance issues
- Business litigation, including trade secret theft cases, unfair competition, breach of contract, employee theft, copyright infringement, etc.
Please give me a call to discuss your litigation matter, and to set up a free consultation.
Are you interested in starting a new business? I can assist you in selecting the appropriate business form, such as c corporation, subchapter s corporation, limited liability company or partnership. I can also prepare the necessary documents, including articles of incorporation, articles of organization, statements of information, corporate bylaws, operating agreements, and corporate resolutions.
Following corporate formalities, such as holding regular meetings, keeping meeting minutes, and maintaining separate corporate accounts, are important steps to take in preserving the personal liability protection afforded by operating a business through a corporation or LLC. We can assist you with these important details.
Creating a will or trust is an important part of planning for the distribution of your estate and taking care of your loved ones. A will is a document that provides instruction for your executor in the event of your death. It can provide instruction as to the disposition and handling of your remains, funeral arrangements, and the distribution of money and property. Generally, a will needs to go through the probate process when the testator passes away. “Probate” is the process by which the Court approves a will, and provides the legal authority and documents to the executor to carry out the instructions in the will.
Some individuals opt to create a “living” or revocable trust instead (or in addition to) of creating will. A trust is a legal vehicle for holding and distributing your assets upon your death. Creating a trust typically involves two main steps: first, the trust document is created that provides instructions to the trustee. Second, the property and accounts that are intended to become part of the trust are conveyed or titled into the names of the trustees on behalf of the trust.
When creating a will or a trust, most clients usually wish to prepare a Durable Power of Attorney and Advanced Healthcare Directive. A Durable Power of Attorney is a document the grants certain trusted individuals authority to make decisions for you in the invent you are incapacitated or incompetent. An Advanced Healthcare Directive provides instruction to health care providers regarding your wishes in the event of a serious medical event, coma or death.
I can assist you with your estate planning needs, including the preparation of a will, trust, Durable Power of Attorney and Advanced Healthcare Directive.
Occasionally, disputes arise over the disposition of a friend or relative’s estate. Were you anticipating an inheritance from a relative, only to find out that the executor is claiming that a last-minute change cut you out of the picture? Or perhaps you are the beneficiary of a trust, and you have questions or issues with the way the trustee is handling distributions. I am experienced at litigating these matters in probate Court, and can provide you with a free consultation on your case.