Filing a Lawsuit in Burlingame, California
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If you think that you may want to file a lawsuit, you should not make this decision lightly, and there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account. Obviously, you should never go into a lawsuit without at least consulting a qualified Burlingame, California civil litigation attorney.
The Burlingame, California attorney you end up hiring will be able to advise you on whether you have a good case. If you do, they will also advise you on your best options on how to proceed. Your lawyer can also inform you about what their fees are, and if they have multiple payment options.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Burlingame, California
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any lawsuit in Burlingame, California, you should speak with a local attorney. Your Burlingame, California attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Burlingame, California court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is usually the first step in actually filing a lawsuit. The complaint is the plaintiff's first opportunity to lay out the allegations against the defendant. If a complaint doesn't allege facts that add up to a valid lawsuit (that is, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, the defendant has still not committed a legal wrong that the court can compensate), the case will have to be dismissed. When a case is dismissed for this reason, the court usually gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving The Defendant: Once you and your attorney have written a good complaint, and filed it with the court, it needs to be served on the defendant within a certain period of time. This is required under the law of Burlingame, California to ensure that the defendant actually knows that he's being sued, and has time to find a lawyer and prepare a defense. Generally, the defendant should be served in person. However, when this isn't possible, service by mail is also acceptable in a few instances.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Burlingame, California, the defendant has time to respond. They usually 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 prove that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
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The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the details involved in filing a lawsuit in Burlingame, California.
Therefore, it is essential that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Burlingame, California.