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.
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.
This week complete a two-part Blog article dealing with the considerations that counsel and client must consider when deciding whether to demand trial by jury or, by contrast, accede to a judge-only ("bench") trial. This is often a complex decision with no sure right or wrong answer. Last week we discussed the advantages of a jury trial. This week we review some of the key considerations for the other side of this complicated coin: the advantages of opting for a judge-only trial.
Buffington Law Firm's practice areas encompass business litigation, real estate litigation, and trust/estate/elder law litigation. We also handle assault-and-battery lawsuits. Our Firm is experienced in handling jury trials, arbitrations and alternative dispute resolution forums such as mediations. If you believe that you have a meritorious lawsuit within our Firm's practice areas, or if you are being sued, Buffington Law Firm will always offer a free, in-office consultation to discuss your case. The process for this is very straightforward. When you first telephone us, you will speak directly with a qualified attorney who will review the basic nature of your legal problem. So long as it appears that your case is one that falls within our Firm's areas of expertise we will then invite you to make an appointment to come to our office, with relevant documents where applicable, for a free consultation with one of our senior attorneys. In this meeting we will discuss and examine your case in more depth.
In business, real estate, or trust litigation, there is no question but that "job one" for an attorney representing a client is to prepare for trial. As we have discussed in other Blog posts, most cases in fact settle out of court before trial, rather than concluding with trial and a verdict. It is our belief that the very best way to induce the opposing side to settle a case is for the opposition to see that the Firm is diligently and zealously preparing for trial. Naturally, this policy and practice pays big dividends if the case does in fact go all the way to trial. This preparation is equally key for success in mediation or negotiation.
Buffington Law Firm's experienced team of breach of contract attorneys have successfully litigated many claims in which one side has alleged breach of contract. Usually such contract will be a written document. As discussed in last week's Blog article, the threshold question in a breach of contract lawsuit usually must be the question as to whether there existed, in fact, an enforceable contract. California Civil Code Section 1550 delineates the critical elements necessary for an enforceable contract to exist.
Buffington Law Firm's experienced team of breach of contract litigation attorneys have often brought, or defended against, breach of contract claims. Often these claims seem straightforward -- there was an agreement, perhaps even a written agreement, and one side failed to carry out his or her side of the bargain. However, sometimes it is more complicated than that. One of the threshold questions must always be the question as to whether there was actually a contract between the parties.
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.
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.