Disputes happen. They occur between individuals, businesses, and between individuals and businesses. They can be complicated, angry, emotional, and messy. Fortunately, there is recourse for disputes that can't be worked out quietly. Hundreds of thousands of disputes are handled every year in California courts.
If you have a dispute with an individual or business concerning a contract, intellectual property, or employment, or if you or someone you know has been defrauded, you should consider civil litigation to resolve the issue, right what is wrong, and move past it. If you are being sued by someone else, you should seek knowledgeable and experienced attorney representation right away.
At Leet Law, we represent individuals and businesses in San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Palo Alto, and throughout the Bay Area of California in civil litigation matters. We provide aggressive representation for our clients confronted by lawsuits and those seeking a way to resolve conflicts.
Criminal cases involve the prosecution's attempt to prove that someone committed a crime. It's the state or other government entity versus someone who allegedly violated the law. Civil litigation, on the other hand, is a court process used to resolve disputes between individuals or businesses that have some sort of relationship, such as a contract, a property line disagreement, or an accusation of fraud.
There is a broad spectrum of civil litigation cases filed in California courts. At Leet Law, we regularly handle the following types:
- Breaches of contract occur when two parties enter willingly into a contract and one party fails to uphold the terms of the contract. These cases could involve a business partner failing to do what they agreed to, or a vendor violating the terms of a nondisclosure agreement.
- Fraud involves intentional misrepresentation of facts, deceit, or unfair behavior used by one party to take advantage of another. The wronged party in a civil fraud action may be able to receive compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
- Elder abuse under California Civil Code includes financial abuse, physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, isolation, abduction, and other actions that physically, mentally, or financially harm adults 65 years of age and older.
- Intellectual property disputes involve disagreements regarding ownership of protected property of the mind. These include disputes over artistic works, inventions and discoveries, product designs, and processes.
- Employment and labor issues cover a wide range of issues pertaining to unions, discrimination, disclosure of proprietary information, workplace harassment, wage, salary, and overtime disputes, benefits, overtime, non-compete violations, and wrongful termination.
There are seven major steps involved in civil litigation:
- Filing the lawsuit: The plaintiff files a petition with the civil court with jurisdiction and serves notice on the defendant. The petition includes all allegations of wrongdoing by the defendant and any harm suffered by the plaintiff.
- Answer: The defendant files a timely response or answer to the allegations in the petition.
- Discovery: Both parties are allowed to ask questions and request documents from one another to build evidence for their case. These can be written requests and deposition testimony. Parties must comply unless their objection to certain information is sustained by the court.
- Pre-Trial: The discovery process, the finding of facts, and motions regarding the conduct of the trial occur during this phase.
- Trial: After a jury is seated, the plaintiff presents its case to the court in support of the allegations and damages addressed in the petition and the defendant presents its defense against them.
- Judgment: The judge or jury will weigh the evidence and render a judgment or verdict in the matter.
- Appeal: The party may dispute the judgment based on legal issues they raise from the trial. They may elect to file a timely appeal with the California Court of Appeals in an effort to overturn the judgment.
Civil litigation is a long game. Attorneys must investigate and find all evidence supporting your allegations or refuting the other party's allegations, then continue the process through discovery. It's vital that your civil litigation attorneys know not only the right questions to ask but the right way to ask them to obtain the documents, responses, and testimony necessary to build a successful case.
At Leet Law, we play the long game for clients in San Jose and throughout the Bay Area. We are aggressive advocates and skilled litigators in court. We help our clients resolve disputes before the litigation process begins and through the appellate process, if necessary. We don't give up and neither should you. Contact our team today for a consultation.