Litigation

What is Litigation?

Lawsuits happen. From disputes over contracts, auto accidents, fights over business property, or employment matters, all kinds of disputes end up in Sacramento courts.

My approach to litigation is based upon aggressive representation of my clients’ interests with an eye towards a reasonable outcome as soon as possible.

Litigation can be both costly and time consuming. A civil trial in California can easily take one to two years to finish.

It is always my goal to ensure that my clients’ resources are being used appropriately at each step of the process. I engage early with my clients to determine the risks and rewards of proceeding with a lawsuit. Aggressive defense, mediation, or early settlement are all options depending on the nature of the lawsuit. I will advise you of your best options.

My law firm handles mostly defense work. I represent businesses and individuals in both state and federal court here in Sacramento. I do represent plaintiffs on select cases, depending on the facts and whether these matters can fit into the office schedule.

I am careful not to overbook my litigation calendar. This ensures that each one of my client’s cases receives the appropriate amount of attention.

Plaintiff v. Defendant

In civil lawsuits, the Plaintiff is the party doing the suing. In most cases, the Plaintiff has the burden of proving that they are right and that the other side is wrong. A Plaintiff can sue multiple defendants in the same lawsuit as long as there is some obvious connection amongst the parties.

The Defendant is just the opposite. A defendant is the party being sued by the Plaintiff. A Defendant can choose to attack the Plaintiff’s case to show that it does not have merit. A Defendant can also try to prove “affirmative defenses” to avoid liability. In some cases, the Defendant will want to do both.

Cases We Handle

Lawsuits come in all shapes and sizes. Here is a list of representative cases that we like take on. If you don’t see something listed, please call our office to ask!

  • Breach of Contract

    Contracts are breached every day – sometimes for good reason, and sometimes for no reason at all. Enforcing contract rights is left up to the courts and occasionally private arbitrators. We are prepared to sue to protect your rights or defend frivolous contract lawsuits.

  • Business Disputes

    Businesses are constantly suing and being sued. When informal dispute resolution isn’t working, bring in the pros. There are some problems that only a civil court can effectively resolve. Lawsuits are time consuming and expensive. But when everything is on the line, you need strong advocates like us on your side.

  • Car Accident / Personal Injury

    Accidents happen. If someone is responsible for your accidents, you need to take swift and decisive action to ensure that you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled under the law. Insurance companies aren’t looking after your rights. But we will.

  • Employment Disputes

    Employment disputes are legion in California courts. Not all employers treat their workers appropriately. At the same time, not all employees deserve compensation for perceived lawbreaking. We will help you sort through the noise and craft an effective solution to employment-related legal cases.

  • Judgment Enforcement

    Winning a judgment is just the first step in the long road to recovering money. Many attorneys will tell you that winning a judgment is the easy part. I agree completely. It takes skilled and diligent work to recover money on a judgment. We are prepared to help you through this process.

  • Power Theft

    Local utilities are plagued by power theft. In the rush to find those responsible for stealing power, utilities often file lawsuits against completely innocent property owners and utility users. We will take a strong stand on your behalf and fight civil power theft lawsuits.

What happens if I am being sued?

The most important step to take if you have been sued is to retain a good attorney. Not just any attorney will do. You will need to hire a lawyer that is skilled in trial work. My office can assist you through this challenging process and help you resolve your court case.

Do not ignore a summons or a threat of a lawsuit. Failing to show up to court at the appropriate time can result in a “default judgement.” This is when the other side wins by default. A default judgement can be very difficult to unwind later.

In California cases, a defendant usually just has 30 days to formally respond to the lawsuit. In Federal lawsuits, a defendant usually just has 21 days to formally respond. As you can see, things move quickly in court. Time is the essence once you know that a lawsuit has been filed against you.

Next steps…

If you are being sued, or are thinking that a lawsuit might be the best way to accomplish your legal goals, please contact my office for a consultation.

Remember, if you are served with a lawsuit, you have a very limited amount of time to respond. Don’t wait until the last minute to contact an attorney. Failing to respond will result in grave consequences.

Whether you are a potential Plaintiff in a lawsuit, or whether you were just served with a legal action, it is extremely important to start gathering evidence. Things such as documents, photos, emails, text messages, contracts, and records will all be very important as your case proceeds. In other words, save everything. You never know when you might need something.

We tackle civil litigation all over the State of California

My office would welcome the opportunity to get to know you and your legal matter. You can contact the office today to schedule a consultation.

Litigation Resources

Power Theft

SMUD Collection Defense

Have you recently received a Sacramento Municipal Utility District ("SMUD") bill for substantially more than you usually owe? If SMUD is alleging that you owe them many thousands of dollars out of the blue, this may be the beginning of a serious…
Paperwork

Labor Code 1198.5 Inspection Demand

Labor Code section 1198.5 is an important law that Plaintiff's attorneys often use prior to a lawsuit. In most cases, an employer receiving one of these demand letters is going to be soon on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Read on for more information. What…
United States Courthouse

Sacramento Business Litigation

Let's face it -- not all business transactions turn out the way the parties originally intended. Most disputes can be resolved amicably by thoughtful communication and deliberation. However, some disputes just can't be solved amongst the parties.…
Courthouse

Breach of Contract Lawsuit

Has someone broken a promise that was made to you? That's another way of saying that someone has breached their contractural obligations. If the broken promise is serious enough, you can sue the other side for damages. This is called "breach…
Bankruptcy Court

California Judgements and Bankruptcy

I've written recently about judgement liens and on how to collect on civil judgements. But what happens if the person that owes you money declares bankruptcy? I know quite a lot about this because a large part of my legal practice is based…
Jury

How to Collect a Judgement in California

Congratulations! You have obtained a civil judgement in California. How exactly do you get your money? This is a common question that clients ask me. Here are some tips. 1. Obtaining the judgement is just the first step Money judgements…
Courtroom

What is a judgement lien?

Civil lawsuits in Sacramento can take years from start to finish. On the other hand, a default judgement (where the defendant doesn't appear to defend the action) can occur in just a few months. In either case, a prevailing party in a lawsuit…
Courtroom

Sacramento Court Filing Fee

Filing a lawsuit in a Sacramento court isn't free. There is almost always a filing fee associated with starting a new lawsuit. The filing fee will depend on the court in which you are filing and the type of lawsuit involved. Sacramento Superior…
United States Courthouse

Sacramento Attorney Successfully Defends Client against Serial Northern California ADA-suit filer Jason Singleton

Sacramento - In an important ruling, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled against serial ADA attorney Jason Singleton and his client. Mr. Singleton, infamous in Northern California for his relentless pursuit…
Litigation

The Second Step in a Labor Commissioner Case: The Hearing

Last month I wrote about the first step in a Labor Commissioner case: the Notice of Claim and Conference. Assuming that you are not able to resolve the claim informally at the conference, the Labor Commissioner will then set the matter for…
Litigation

The First Step in a Labor Commissioner Case

Many of my clients receive complaints filed with the Labor Commissioner's office here in Sacramento. These complaints can be costly, both in terms of money and time spent participating in the Labor Commissioner process. Typically an employer's…
Business Law

Ignoring Lawsuits & Default Judgements

From time to time I get a call from a potential client in a tough spot: they ignored a summons to a lawsuit and are surprised that someone was demanding that they pay up. Ignoring a lawsuit is almost never a good idea. When a lawsuit is filed,…
Litigation

What is Discovery?

Discovery is one of the most important areas of civil litigation. Discovery is the process by which each party "discovers" information about the other's legal case. Discovery is intended to provide the parties with relevant information about…