Filing a Lawsuit in Salem, Oregon

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Litigation Lawyers in Salem

If you are a resident of Salem, Oregon and believe that somebody has committed a legal wrong against you, and have determined that the effort and expense involved in seeking payment is worth it, you may consider filing a lawsuit.

If you wish to file a lawsuit, there are several things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a Salem, Oregon civil litigation attorney.

Once you hire a Salem, Oregon litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Furthermore, your lawyer can inform you on what a lawsuit is likely to cost, both in time and money. Obviously, your lawyer has some control over what it will cost you, based on their fees, and whether they bill an hourly rate, or charge on a contingency rate.

Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Salem, Oregon

Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Salem, Oregon, you should speak with a reputable local attorney in Salem, Oregon. Your legal counsel can make sure you have the best possible chance of winning your case, and help you decide if you should file your lawsuit in the first place.

Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Salem, Oregon court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is usually the initial 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 legitimate 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, 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. Salem, Oregon 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 the Response: The defendant in Salem, Oregon has an chance to respond to the allegations against them. They have several options in how they respond to a lawsuit. They can move to dismiss the case (arguing that, even if everything the complaint alleges is true, they would still not be liable for anything), or they can file with the court, and serve upon the plaintiff an answer. An answer is a point-by-point disposal of every allegation against the defendant. The defendant can admit the allegations, deny them, or claim that they do not have enough information to admit or deny them (which essentially operates as a denial). Usually, the defendant will admit the inconsequential allegations, so they don't have to be litigated (if the lawsuit is about a car accident involving the plaintiff and defendant, they'll probably go ahead and admit that the accident took place), but deny any allegation that could establish liability, if true (they'll deny responsibility for the car accident, for example). If the defendant does not respond by the deadline, they will have a default judgment entered against them, and automatically lose the case.

How Can A Salem, Oregon Tort Lawyer Help?

This simple outline is meant to give you a basic idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Salem, Oregon, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.

Therefore, it's always a good idea to talk with a Salem, Oregon litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.

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Life in Salem

Salem, Oregon is the capital of the state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the scenic Willamette Valley, on the banks of the Willamette River. It is the third-largest city in the state of Oregon, with a population of 155,000.

Salem, OR was first settled by Europeans in 1812, where explorers established it as a trading post. In the 1840s, more permanent settlement came in the form of Christian missionaries. Shortly thereafter, Salem became the capital of the Oregon Territory, and continued to serve in this capacity when Oregon became a state in 1859.

Because it is the state capital, Salem, Oregon's economy is supported heavily by jobs created by the state government, which is the largest employer in Salem. In addition to employing all of the state elected officials in Oregon, from the governor down to state legislators, the government of Oregon, through its many agencies headquartered in Salem, employs a large number of administrative personnel, and other professionals. In particular, the state government employs many Salem, Oregon lawyers.

In Salem, there are also many lawyers in private practice. Salem, Oregon is home to Willamette University School of Law, which is part of the oldest university in the Western United States. Willamette University's law school has graduated hundreds of successful Salem, Oregon lawyers throughout its long history.

If you are facing a legal issue in Salem, Oregon and need assistance, it's highly likely that you'll be able to find a Salem, Oregon attorney who can help you.

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