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I HAVE JUST BEEN SUED IN SAN DIEGO – NOW WHAT?

I HAVE JUST BEEN SUED IN SAN DIEGO – NOW WHAT?

 I HAVE JUST BEEN SUED IN SAN DIEGO – NOW WHAT? Relax. Step back and take a deep breath. Being sued is stressful and unpleasant, but, whether this is a claim for breach of contract, negligence, fraud, or a neighborly dispute over your property boundary, it is simply a new problem that requires your attention. Civil courts resolve personal and business disputes between parties typically where money, property, or injury is at issue. The parties involved in a civil lawsuit can either hire lawyers to represent them or can represent themselves without an attorney, which is known as pro se. The person suing you, the plaintiff, must prove their claims in court. Keep in mind that in California over 90% of lawsuits settle before trial. Copy and read the complaint and summons. The lawsuit you received will include a summons and complaint. You should immediately make a copy or two of the paperwork. Keep the original to give to your lawyer (or for your file if you choose to represent yourself). The summons notifies you that you have been sued and advises you of the time deadline to file your response. The complaint contains the claims being made against you (what you are claimed to have done wrong) and what the plaintiff wants from you, for example, the plaintiff may be suing you for breach of contract and seeking money damages or to stop you from taking certain actions (known as an injunction) or both. You should read the complaint and take notes. You should also begin to compile all of your relevant documents, letters, emails, contracts, bills, photographs,...
HOW DO LAWYERS GET PAID

HOW DO LAWYERS GET PAID

HOW DO LAWYERS GET PAID One of the first objectives in establishing the lawyer–client relationship is defining the terms of payment. Hiring a lawyer or law firm to analyze or resolve your legal issue is always an  option, but often comes with a price tag you may not be willing to pay. From a practical standpoint, it follows that prospective clients should consider and understand the varying types of lawyer  compensation agreements before entering into any legal representation or fee agreement. Generally speaking, there are three broad types of lawyer compensation agreements: hourly fee agreements, continency fee agreements, and flat fee agreements. There are also variations of these agreements prospective clients should also be familiar with. Hourly Fee Agreements Hourly fee agreements are perhaps are the most common  agreements entered into by the lawyer and client.  Under this type of agreement, the lawyer is paid an agreed-upon hourly rate for all legal services rendered on the client’s behalf until the matter is ultimately resolved. Hourly fee agreements are typical in matters involving business and contract disputes, divorce   proceedings, white collar crimes, fraud, and complex criminal cases. The hourly rate for the particular legal  matter is always disclosed and agreed upon by the attorney and client in advance and in writing. Although lawyers’ hourly rates are variable, they are regulated by Bar Association and state  specific laws. Generally, lawyers’ hourly rates are required to be reasonable as compared with other lawyers of similar experience, expertise and practice area. Retainer Agreements Most lawyers that enter into an hourly fee agreement with their clients require an up front payment (a retainer)...
CHOOSING THE RIGHT LAWYER

CHOOSING THE RIGHT LAWYER

CHOOSING THE RIGHT LAWYER The time has come, you have decided to hire a lawyer. Now what? First, you must determine which type of lawyer you will need. In many circumstances this will be self evident. For example, if you have been arrested for the commission of a crime, your search will begin with a criminal lawyer. Or, perhaps you have been injured by another party who you believe is primarily responsible. In this instance your first move would be to contact a personal injury lawyer. Other cases may be more complex and therefore the area of law that your issue may fall under is less obvious. In this scenario, when you are uncertain of which type of lawyer you may need, your best option is to ask a lawyer. If you have ever hired a lawyer to perform any type of legal service on your behalf, or consulted with a lawyer for any reason, you can start there. Most lawyers are equipped to easily identify your legal issue and refer you to another lawyer that either specializes or practices within the specific area of law related to your issue. If you have not hired or consulted with a lawyer in the past, ask a colleague, friend, or relative, chances are you know someone that has. In the event that you are still uncertain of which type of lawyer you may need, your next option is to contact a   general practitioner. This is an attorney that practices several different areas of law but does not specialize in one particular area. A general practitioner can  identify your legal needs...