Litigation Lawyers in San Rafael
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 San Rafael, California civil litigation attorney.
Once you have retained an attorney in San Rafael, 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 San Rafael, California
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a San Rafael, California court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in San Rafael, California can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in San Rafael, California civil court is worth your time and effort, you need to file a complaint. The complaint can set the tone, and frame the issues, for the rest of the litigation procedure, which can drag on for months, or even years (and decades, in some cases). This is because the complaint lays out all the allegations against the defendant. It also usually asks the court for particular relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: Once you have drafted your complaint, you need to serve the defendant with it, and file it with the court. San Rafael, California requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a certain way. This is to ensure that the defendant has a good deal of notice that they're being sued, giving them time to find an attorney, and work on how they're going to defend themselves. It is highly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Occasionally, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in San Rafael, California, the defendant has time to respond. The most common response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, usually by denying most of the allegations. They might also move to dismiss the case if they can argue that the complaint is legally flawed. A judge then has to rule on this motion. If the defendant doesn't respond within a certain period of time, they are said to have "defaulted." This allows the court to enter a default judgment, in which the plaintiff essentially automatically wins the lawsuit. Once this happens, the defendant, if they're ever located, can be served with the judgment, and will have very little power to challenge the merits of your case.
How Can A San Rafael, California Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a general picture of what is necessary to file a lawsuit in San Rafael, 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 San Rafael, California, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.