Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Can a Company Represent Itself in Court?

While individuals can represent themselves in lawsuits, companies cannot unless the amount in dispute is under $5K (small claims court).

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Attorney's Fees

Tuesday's Tip: Attorney's Fees are usually awarded in a lawsuit when allowed by contract, statute, or court rule.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday’s Tip - What is a Civil Action?

A civil action is a lawsuit in which one person or entity (Plaintiff) claims to have been harmed by the actions of another person or entity (Defendant).  In the civil lawsuit, the Plaintiff requests that the court award him relief such as: (i) money; (ii) an injunction either to prevent or require the defendant to do something, and/or (iii) a declaratory judgment which asks the court to determine the parties’ rights under a contract or statute.

Most civil lawsuits start with filing a Complaint. The Complaint is a document that describes what the Plaintiff wants and why.  At the same time the Complaint is filed, the court clerk will issue a Summons. The Summons provides the Defendant with important information including the deadline to respond to the Complaint.

After the Plaintiff has filed the complaint and the clerk issues the summons, the Plaintiff must serve these documents on each person/entity being sued (defendants).  After the Defendants have been served, they typically have 20 days to respond.  If a response is not filed within the required time period, the Plaintiff can request the court to award a default judgment.