Litigation Lawyers in Rancho Palos Verdes
If you live in , California, and believe that you have sustained some form of legal wrong, you may wish to file a lawsuit against the individual who allegedly wronged you.
If you think that you may want to file a lawsuit, you should not make this decision easily, 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 Rancho Palos Verdes, California civil litigation attorney.
Once you have retained an attorney in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, he or she will be able to help you devise a strategy on how to proceed, which will hopefully maximize your chances of success in your lawsuit. Your lawyer can also provide you a rough idea of how much the lawsuit is likely to cost, taking into account court fees, expert witness fees, and other costs.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Rancho Palos Verdes, California court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Rancho Palos Verdes, California can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting The Complaint: In Rancho Palos Verdes, California, the initial 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 decide if they add up to a legitimate 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 usually ask the court to provide specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: Once you, or your lawyer, have drafted a complaint, the defendant must be served with it, so they have notice that they're being sued, and are given time to prepare a defense. Rancho Palos Verdes, California has specific rules governing how a complaint must be served, for the service to be valid. Personal service (having someone give the documents directly to the defendant) is preferred. However, some courts will also accept service by mail in limited circumstances, or service upon an adult member of the defendant's household.
Await Defendant's Response: In Rancho Palos Verdes, California, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two usually) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most common response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, usually denying most or all of the allegations) or a motion to dismiss (where the contend that, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, those facts would not establish liability). If the defendant does nothing, and fails to respond, they run the risk of having a default judgment entered against them. This usually means that the court automatically rules against them, treating the plaintiff as if they won the lawsuit. This gives the plaintiff a judgment against the defendant, which they can seek to collect using all legal means.
How Can A Rancho Palos Verdes, California Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a general picture of what is necessary to file a lawsuit in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.