Filing a lawsuit or defending a lawsuit that someone has filed against you can be an intimidating and stressful experience. However, whether you are involved in a legal matter as an individual or a business, you have legal rights. To protect your rights, you need a civil litigation attorney who has filed cases for and defended cases filed against many clients. You also need a skilled and aggressive legal advocate who has established a solid reputation in Sonoma County and the State of California at your side throughout all your legal proceedings.
Why You Need a Civil Litigation Attorney
Dealing with a civil litigation case can be stressful. Hiring the wrong civil litigation attorney who cannot protect your interests will only add to your anxiety. In addition, civil cases are complicated, which makes it essential to hire an experienced civil litigation attorney. You need a lawyer who is well-versed in handling these types of cases, understands what it takes to win, and can help you achieve a timely, favorable decision.
What to Expect During Civil Litigation
There are various steps you must follow when filing a civil litigation case.
First, you – the plaintiff – must file a lawsuit or complaint with the appropriate court within the applicable deadlines established by law.
After you file the complaint, the opposing party – or the defendant – will file a responsive pleading, known as an answer, or a challenge to the legal sufficiency of the allegations in your complaint, known as a demurrer or an answer to strike. The defendant also may file a cross-complaint against the plaintiff or another party. Once all parties respond, the court will move forward with the case.
During the first part of the case, the parties will go through the discovery phase. Discovery can include submitting written questions to the other party and exchanging documents. The parties also may take the depositions of other parties and witnesses, which involves asking them questions under oath.
The lawyers must attend one or more Case Management Conferences to keep the judge advised of the status of the case and their progress toward readiness for trial.
Once the attorneys complete the discovery phase, the trial will begin. Either you or the defendant may ask for a jury trial, or you can choose to have the judge hear your case.
Types of Civil Litigation Cases
You might be involved in numerous types of civil litigation cases, and our experienced attorneys can help you, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant. We work with our clients and other parties to resolve disputes as quickly as possible and secure a favorable outcome for you.
We handle all types of civil litigation cases, including the following:
- Business litigation: There are many types of business litigation cases. We represent plaintiffs and defendants in breach of contract cases, trust disputes, and more.
- Real estate disputes: We represent clients in real estate disputes related to titles, partitions, and easements.
Civil Litigation, Civil Appeals, and Writs
If you do not agree with the outcome of your civil case, you have options. First, depending on the case’s outcome, you might consider appealing the decision if you do not agree with the judgment and can prove that an error occurred during your case. Under those circumstances, you should consult a civil appeals lawyer to determine whether you have legal grounds for an appeal.
You file a Notice of Appeal with the appropriate California Court of Appeal or federal Court of Appeal, and that court will review the case to see if the trial judge made any errors.
If your case is ineligible for appeal, you may be able to file a petition for writ review. Usually, a writ review is appropriate for decisions that are not final judgments. However, the Court of Appeals denies most writ petitions without a decision.
Some examples of the civil litigation appeals and writs our lawyers have handled include:
London v. Citibank, First District Court of Appeal, case no. A159383.
Type of case: Breach of mortgage modification
Our client obtained modification of his home mortgage. His mortgage was then sold to a new investor and assigned a new servicer. The servicer refused to honor his modification, so London sued. The servicer sought summary judgment which the trial court granted. London retained Evans Kingsbury LLP as appellate counsel and we were able to get the judgment reversed and the case remanded back to the trial court.
Musser v. Provencher (2002) 28 Cal.4th 274, California Supreme Court, Case no. S099938
Type of case: Indemnity
One attorney sought indemnity against another attorney following her settlement of a malpractice claim brought by their mutual client. The Supreme Court held that a claim for equitable Indemnity against co-counsel did not violate public policy.
Atain Specialty Ins. Co. v. JKT, Federal Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case no. 20-16366
Type of case: Insurance coverage
Our client was a small, locally-owned landscaping business insured under a policy issued by Atain. Our client was sued in the Napa County Superior Court for allegedly causing a landslide due to its landscaping activities. Atain denied coverage for the loss and filed a declaratory relief action in the District Court. However, the District Court held that Atain’s policy did not cover land subsidence damages. We appealed, contending that the exclusions under Atain’s policy did not apply. The Ninth Circuit held that the policy excluded damages for land subsidence and upheld the trial court’s decision.
Institute of Imaginal Studies, Inc. v. Institute of Noetic Science, California Court of Appeal, First District, Case no. A146122
Type of case: Breach of contract
The parties entered into a Letter of Intent to build and operate a learning facility, the terms of which IIS sought to enforce. The trial court sustained a demurrer to much of IIS’ complaint, holding that the statute of limitations barred IIS’ claims. Following trial, the court found for IONS. On appeal, IIS contended that IONS misled IIS to its detriment and that the statute of limitations was tolled. The Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s decision.
Kermaninejad v. Kappos, California Court of Appeal, First District, Case no. A146031
Type of case: anti-SLAPP; sanctions
The trial court denied the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion and sanctioned one of the defendants’ attorneys. On appeal, the defendants argued that the trial court improperly relied upon hearsay and opinion testimony from the plaintiffs’ counsel. The Court of Appeal sustained the trial court’s denial of the motion but overturned the trial court’s sanctions order.
Schwede v. Barrett, California Court of Appeal, First District, Case no. A103394
Type of case: Costs and attorneys’ fees
Where both parties obtained their objectives, the trial court did not err when it determined there was no prevailing party for an award of attorneys’ fees. Accordingly, the appellate court affirmed the judgment of the trial court.
How a Civil Litigation Attorney at Evans Kingsbury LLP Can Help
In California, most cases settle before going to trial. So, although courtroom abilities and trial advocacy are very important for a civil litigation attorney, private negotiation and creative resolution skills are just as valuable. We pride ourselves on our ability to thoroughly prepare a case for trial while maintaining a civil relationship with our opponents to facilitate a fair settlement if possible.
Here at Evans Kingsbury LLP, we are not afraid to take on complex matters with sophisticated issues against powerful opponents. We handle real property disputes, breaches of contract, trust disputes, and more to achieve great results for our clients against great odds and powerful interests. We understand you need a civil litigation attorney who will not only present your case in court but also listen to your concerns and help you throughout every step of the civil litigation process. Call our office today at (707) 596-6090 or contact us online and schedule a time to discuss your case with an experienced civil litigation attorney.