In earlier Blog articles we discussed the difficulty in causing the Court to throw out meritless lawsuits before trial. Procedurally, the deck is stacked against the Defense when it comes to forcing the dismissal of meritless lawsuits. A Plaintiff can survive Demurrer merely by alleging facts, even improbable "facts" of dubious veracity. Motions for Summary Judgment are easy to defeat and hard for the moving party to win as a matter of law because defeating the motion requires only a slight controversy concerning key facts. These Motions, particularly Summary Judgment motions, are expensive to bring. So the question becomes: what can best be done to force the earliest feasible and successful conclusion to a meritless, frivolous, or extremely weak lawsuit.
In Part 1 of this Blog article we discussed two common procedures for forcing pretrial dismissal of a lawsuit: the Demurrer and the Motion for Summary Judgment. We saw that the way the law operates plainly "stacks the deck" in favor of the Plaintiff with respect to early dismissal of a lawsuit. This is because of the law as enacted by the California legislature. These laws reflect a strong public policy of allowing plaintiffs, under most circumstances, to have their day in court.
Buffington Law Firm's civil trial attorneys are probably asked this question more than almost any other by clients who have flimsy or groundless lawsuits brought against them: "Why can't I get this frivolous lawsuit thrown out before trial?" The question is, for many cases, understandable. It is far from uncommon that a plaintiff files a lawsuit against a defendant when the lawsuit is weak on the law and even weaker on the facts. When this happens the person being sued needs an attorney and, understandably, demands action. No one wants to be entangled in a lawsuit as a defendant one second longer than necessary.
Buffington Law Firm's business and real estate trial attorneys are often faced with the question as to whether the case should ultimately be decided by a judge or by a jury. In most types of civil trials (probate proceedings being a notable exception) a party is entitled to a trial by jury under most circumstances. Whether to ultimately elect a jury trial is never a simple question. And yet the decision whether to employ a jury can be one of the most far-reaching decisions that lawyer and client can make. In this brief article we will discuss a few of the considerations that should go into making such decision. We make no pretense that this article covers all of the factors involved.
Buffington Law Firm's business and corporate trial attorneys have successfully litigated numerous business litigation cases in which the central issue was the question as to who a corporation's stockholders actually were. At first impression, one might think that there should always be an obvious answer to this question. Surely the person or persons who started the company are the owners. In practice, this question is sometimes far from clear.
A fiduciary relationship could be created under the law, such as a contractual relationship between a principal and an agent, or an administrator and an heir. It could also be created by the relationship of the parties and the transaction that has occurred for example, a business partnership.
Buffington Law Firm's civil litigation attorneys often utilize formal Mediation as a tool to conclude business litigation, real estate litigation, or trust dispute cases. Mediation can be a very cost-effective and efficient way for our clients to achieve their objectives without the cost, stress, and uncertainty of trial.
Experienced business litigation attorneys know that most lawsuits settle. In California, the percentage of civil lawsuits that settle as opposed to going to trial and verdict is usually right around 96% in any given year. This may seem odd to some observers. After all, most plaintiffs believe in their case, or presumably they wouldn't have filed it. Most, or at least many, defendants believe themselves to be blameless - and indeed some of them are. Nonetheless, when a case is filed the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of the case settling rather than going to trial.
Whether you are running a small start-up business or are the CEO of a huge corporation, you must always be prepared to handle certain challenges your company will face. Some are out of your control, which can force you to adapt quickly and fluidly. Others you can prepare for and head off before they get too serious. In 2017, businesses may face some unique new challenges.
Are you concerned that a competitor is utilizing false advertising methods? As a small business owner, you are protected against unfair competition, which includes misleading labels and false advertising. All business owners are protected under a federal law known as the Lanham Act, and California has its own Unfair Competition Law. Learn what constitutes false advertising and some important components of Lanham Act claims.