Filing a Lawsuit in Bakersfield, California
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If you're considering filing a lawsuit, there are numerous things you need to consider, and it is not a decision to be made lightly. You should not file a lawsuit without seeking the advice of a Bakersfield, California civil litigation attorney first.
When you hire a civil litigation lawyer in Bakersfield, California, they'll be able to give you some very useful advice, particularly in devising a strategy that maximizes your chances of winning your lawsuit. You'll probably also wonder how much this lawsuit is going to cost you, especially if you don't win. This largely depends on the attorney's fee structure. If the attorney charges an hourly rate, you will simply have to pay the lawyer for every hour they work. This can add up to a huge amount of money, very quickly. If they charge on a contingency basis, you do not have to pay any attorney's fees unless you win, and payment comes in the form of the percentage of the judgment. However, if you lose, you might still be responsible for costs, such as court fees, which are incurred no matter what happens to the case.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Bakersfield, California
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Bakersfield, California, you should seek the advice and counsel of a knowledgeable Bakersfield, California attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: In Bakersfield, California, the first step to filing a lawsuit, once you've actually decided to do so (in consultation with your attorney), is writing a complaint. A complaint is simply a list of facts that you allege against the defendant. A court must look at these allegations and determine if they add up to a valid cause of action, assuming they're true. If they do not add up to a cause of action, the case may be dismissed. The complaint also typically ask the court to provide specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving the Defendant: When you have decided that you want to file a lawsuit in Bakersfield, California, and have drafted the complaint, your next major step is to file the complaint with the court, and serve it on the defendant. The defendant must be given at least several weeks' notice that they're being sued, and as much time to review the complaint. This is a matter of basic fairness and due process, and allows the defendant to hire a lawyer and get to work on a defense. The law requires that the defendant be served in a few particular ways. The first choice is to give it to them in person. This has to be done by a person who does not have any direct involvement in the lawsuit. If that isn't possible, the defendant can be served by giving the complaint to another adult member of their household; this is called substituted service.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Bakersfield, California, the defendant has time to respond. They typically do so by drafting an answer to the complaint, in which they deny the plaintiff's allegations, or assert a legal defense. If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they will be in default, and you may be able to get a "default judgment" against them, in which all of your allegations against the defendant are treated as if the defendant admitted them, and you only need to establish that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
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As you can see, it can be a intricate and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Bakersfield, California, and it is, in fact, much more intricate than the basic outline you just read.
You should seek the advice of a knowledgeable litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Bakersfield, California.
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Life in BakersfieldBakersfield, California is a city of over 300,000 people, located in Kern County, roughly at the midpoint between Los Angeles and Fresno. Bakersfield is considered one of the sunniest places in the United States.
Bakersfield, California's economy mostly revolves around oil and agriculture. Its other sectors largely operate in support of those major industries. In fact, Kern County is the most oil-productive county in the U.S. - and is responsible for about 10% of America's domestic oil production. Kern County is also one of the most agriculturally-productive regions in the United States, and is particularly well-suited for growing grapes, citrus fruit, roses, and almonds. Needless to say, Bakersfield is, and will continue to be, a very important part of America's economy.
More recently, however, other industries (such as manufacturing) have moved into Bakersfield, California, thanks to an abundance of inexpensive land.
In addition to the steady economic stimulus provided by industry, Bakersfield, California, has another relatively stable economic lifeline: a large four-year university. California State University, Bakersfield has approximately 7,800 students, from all over California, and the country.
It should go without saying, then, that there is no shortage of Bakersfield, California lawyers. Whatever legal issue you or a loved one might be facing, a Bakersfield, California lawyer can help.