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Litigation Attorney Orange County
With the amount of cars and automobiles driving around in the State of California there are sure to be accidents. In 2016 there were over 3,000 fatalities in automobile accidents alone and that number is rising year after year. Injuries are more even more numerous. The main injuries from automobile crashes are neck and spine injuries which could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs.
A litigation attorney is one who represents a client in a lawsuit. They might represent the person filing the lawsuit or the person who is being sued. Litigation attorneys, or trial lawyers, collect evidence and present it in court. Even if your case gets settled before trial, the attorney gathers evidence for your defense. Both sides of the lawsuit benefit by reaching a settlement prior to trial. Going to court costs everyone more money and takes longer to resolve the dispute. As a result, the parties often agree to a settlement without a trial.
Whether the case ends in a pre-trial settlement or proceeds to litigation, the attorney’s job is the same. He must manage every phase of the lawsuit before, during, and after the trial date. The outcome of your case rests on having an experienced litigation attorney on your side. Dan Chudleigh has the experience and the record of results to get the best outcome for your civil litigation case.
You might say that civil law is a body of rules that deal with civilians. It has to do with the ways people and businesses function and interact every day. Under criminal law, a person is charged with a criminal act. If the court finds them guilty, they are punished with a term in prison.
People aren’t imprisoned if they violate civil laws. Instead, they pay fines that compensate the party they injured due to their conduct. A civil litigation case begins when one party (the plaintiff) files a claim against the second party (the defendant) with their local court. Whether you are the plaintiff or defendant, you need a civil litigation lawyer to handle your case.
Civil litigation usually occurs between two individuals or businesses. The resulting injury might be physical or mental. The injury might result from an intentional act or from the other person’s negligence. For example, a person might cause a car crash that results in your need for extensive medical treatment. You might file a claim to get compensation for your medical bills.
If a competitor makes false claims about your business, they might cause damage to your business. You might file a civil claim against them to stop them from making public claims against you. You might alsofile a claim for the financial losses they caused. A civil litigation lawyer handles various types of personal and business litigation cases including…
- Personal Injury
- Defamation of Character
- Intellectual Property (Law that protects creations of the human mind, such as inventions)
- Product Liability
- Medical Malpractice
- Real Estate
- Workers’ Compensation
Many civil litigation lawyers limit their practice to a few areas of specialty. Attorney Daniel Chudleigh of Chudleigh Law has extensive experience as a civil litigation lawyer. His areas of specialization include personal injury, estate planning, and business law.
All civil litigation cases follow the same basic process:
- The first party (Plaintiff) files a Complaint – The Plaintiff files a Complaint with the courts. The Complaint identifies all involved parties, describes the matter of dispute and gives an outline of the pertinent legal claims. It further specifies what damages resulted due to the acts or omissions of the Defendant. The plaintiff has strict time guidelines to submit the Complaint.
- The second party (Defendant) responds to the Complaint– The Defendant replies with a response, or Answer, to the allegations. Like the Complaint, the Defendant has strict timelines during which they must file the Answer with the court.
- Pleadings – This term refers to the written legal documents that are filed with the court and those served on the second party during the litigation process. The Complaint is the first pleading, the Answer the second. Other documents considered pleadings are petitions, declarations, and others.
- Discovery– Both parties must share information during the litigation process. Discovery occurs immediately after filing the lawsuit. It often lasts until right before the trial. During the Discovery, parties ask one another to provide evidence, facts, and related documents. The Discovery process also has strict time guidelines imposed. Failing to adhere to them can result in having some types of evidence omitted.
- Settlement Conferences– In some jurisdictions, both parties and their civil litigation lawyers meet in front of a judge. The purpose is to attempt to resolve some or all of the issues in the litigation. It is sometimes used during business litigation. More often, settlement conferences are useful in family law matters.
- Trial– The actual trial might be in front of a jury or a judge. Before the trial begins, both parties submit a Trial Brief. This document lets the court know they are ready to proceed. It offers an outline of the steps taken up to that time. It also provides a list of evidence. Each side presents its evidence during the trial. They also ask questions. The burden of proof is on the Plaintiff. At the end of the trial, each party also presents a closing argument.
- Appeal– One of the biggest advantages of reaching a settlement is the control over the outcome. The final decision in a trial comes from the judge or jury. When a party isn’t happy with the final decision, they can appeal. They do this by presenting their pleadings in the form of briefs. They also present all of the evidence presented at trial. Although you have the right to appeal, most courts won’t override the previous decision of a judge or jury. That’s another reason to get it right the first time.
The entire litigation might take weeks or months. Some cases last for years. Although civil litigation is usually fought out in the courtroom, the two parties can come to an agreement and settle on it at any point.
Business litigation is used to settle disputes between employers and employees, different businesses, businesses and partners, suppliers, and others who have agreements and/or relationships. Business litigation is a more complex process than other types of litigation due to the range of specialized issues that apply to different situations. Often, unexpected twists and turns throughout the litigation process lead to extensions. The longer, more complex process increases the risk of damages and the cost the business incurs.
Where Business Disputes Arise
While businesses differ in their end goal, most have some common features. Most business owners don’t think about the legal aspect of these operations. But no matter how routine the operation is, there are many legal processes that apply. Every type of transaction you make has the potential to result in conflict.
As a business owner, you provide your employees with insurance. You maintain workers’ compensation. There are contracts with your clients and your suppliers. Sales of products or services to your customers are transactions that are legally protected.
Most of the time, these transactions flow normally. But it only takes one problem, a misunderstanding, or one act to turn into a dispute. You could also be on either side of the argument. Someone else might challenge you about breaking the law. You might pursue a complaint against an employee for violating the rules. These disputes can impact your business for a long time to come. Sometimes the financial impact is the greatest. Damage to your company’s reputation can also affect your company’s position in the industry.
Most companies can’t afford to lose a large-scale business litigation case. That’s why hiring the right litigation lawyer is so important. If you need a business litigation lawyer, contact Chudleigh Law today. Waiting for the dispute to resolve itself could result in a lot more damage. Take the steps you need to protect your business now and for the future.
Why You Should Hire a Business Litigation Lawyer Now!
It doesn’t matter which side of the dispute your business is on. You need to hire a reputable litigation attorney at the first sign of trouble. Chudleigh Law offers a free consultation to discuss your case. Some benefits of calling us now include:
- Getting It Right the First Time: Many solid cases are lost by failing to hire a qualified trial lawyer. Your confidence in your negotiating skills might prevent you from getting legal help. The problem is that the other party might not agree to settle. Waiting until late in the game to hire an attorney is a big mistake. The sooner they are in the loop, the more they know about your case when it goes to trial.
- A Longer Process Means Higher Costs: You want the litigation process to go smoothly and efficiently. When you keep running into legal matters you didn’t expect, it takes longer and adds to the overall costs.
- Preparation Is Integral to a Successful Process: No one enters litigation with the hope of survival. They go into it with the hopes of winning. Being prepared takes time, effort, and skill. A business litigation lawyer has been through this process many times. He knows how to prepare for your case if it goes to trial. You can’t hope for a settlement and see what happens. Without careful preparation from the start, your odds of winning go down significantly.
- To Keep You from Getting Distracted: You put a lot into making your business successful. It needs your attention to stay on track. Keeping your focus on your legal problems will take time and focus away from your business. Hiring a trial attorney you can trust lets you focus on what you do best. It also lets the attorney do what he does best.
How Business Litigation Impacts Employees
Business owners aren’t the only ones who need a litigation lawyer to solve a dispute. Employees are vulnerable to injuries and financial damages too. If you’ve been treated unfairly by your employer, you do have the right to file a claim.
There are several ways a business might violate your rights as an employee. They might dispute the pay they owe you or discriminate against you. Some employers deny workers’ compensation coverage for their employees when they get hurt on the job.
These and other violations can affect your current finances or result in your inability to earn an income. It doesn’t matter if the company has five employees or 500. If they violate your rights, you have the right to hold them accountable.
Employees are often intimidated by their employers. They feel that acting against them will result in more damage to their career. The right business litigation lawyer will stand up to these bullies. They will help you recover damages for the damages inflicted on you. Winning your case is the best way to improve your career going forward.
Probate is the legal process used to “prove” a will is valid after someone dies. When a loved one passes away, the people left behind don’t always agree on the terms of their will. Sometimes a dispute arises between various family members. Other times, it involves someone else from outside the home or family.
A will is an important legal document. It contains the last wishes of the deceased. It should clearly define the deceased’s wishes. It should also follow the state’s probate code to ensure the will is valid. Even small errors can result in huge impacts on how the will is carried out. A professional job of estate planning helps to reduce the risk of disputes later on.
Probate litigation is a legal challenge to a person’s Last Will and Testament. Some reasons a person might consider probate litigation include:
– The person’s mental capacity at the time they crafted it. The law requires a person to have a specified mental capacity to execute a valid will. If someone outside the home or family influences them, the court might invalidate the will.
– The person was under duress. Someone else might persuade the person to change their will. They might use the threat of harm to themselves or someone else. They might threaten to abandon them unless they are included in the will.
– The will is improperly signed. The law requires the person signing the will to know what the document is. They must know that they signed it and appear to be of sound mind.
Sometimes other issues come up that lead to probate litigation. For example, spouses in California have a vested interest in 50% of marital property. If a deceased spouse leaves a will that fails to acknowledge the law, it must be contested in court.
Another issue that arises in probate court is from creditors’ claims. Debts belong to the deceased don’t go away at the time of their death. Creditors must assert their rights to recovery in probate court. Like most of the litigation process, they have a limited amount of time to do so.
If you believe a loved one’s will isn’t valid, talk with a probate litigation attorney. Many factors differ from court-to-court and from state-to-state. The average person lacks a working knowledge of the rules, time limits, procedures, and statutes. Without the guidance of a litigation lawyer, you can lose your rights to challenge a will or trust.
Trust & Estate Litigation
Trusts and estates are often linked together, but they are very different. A person’s estate includes all of the property they owned at the time of their death. A trust is a legal agreement giving a trustee control over a beneficiary’s inheritance. Both are prone to conflicts and disputes. These disputes are settled through trust & estate litigation.
Trust & estate disputes often arise when a lot of money and/or family conflict exists. Sometimes the dispute is between the beneficiaries. Other times the conflict occurs between the beneficiaries and a trustee or executor.
Allegations of undue influence or fraud might lead to trust & estate litigation. Sometimes the beneficiaries disagree about who should act as the trustee. Other challenges include specific financial decisions, including heirship or disinheritance. There’s the chance that the validity of the trust or estate planning document might be in question.
Should Your Hire a Trust and Estate Litigation Attorney?
Are you the beneficiary of a trust or estate? Do you feel the other beneficiaries or the trustee has violated your rights? You need to discuss your rights with a litigation attorney.
Fraud or undue influence in the execution of a will or trust can lead to you being excluded from a trust or will. Your best defense is to talk with a trust & estate litigation lawyer early on.
Executor & Trustee Guidelines
An executor or trustee has a lot of responsibilities and rights. The executor manages the deceased’s affairs and settles the estate. They take care of issues like filing the deceased’s tax returns and initiating court proceedings. They manage both the expenses and affairs related to the estate.
A trustee acts as the legal owner of the assets. They handle tax filings for the trust and distribute assets accordingly. The trustee can also invest the assets of the trust for future beneficiaries.
Proper estate planning should include making careful choices in a trustee or executor. Choose someone who will carry out your wishes. Acting on behalf of a deceased loved one is more complex than most people realize. It often leads to conflicts that end up in trust & estate litigation.
Hiring a Litigation Lawyer
One of the most important factors to consider when hiring a litigation lawyer is their experience. A litigation attorney requires specific knowledge and skills to make them effective. That kind of ability only comes from years of experience.
If you need a litigation lawyer who gets results, contact Chudleigh Law today! Schedule a free consultation with an experienced trial attorney with a history of getting clients great results.
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