From all of us here at Wolfe Law Group, LLC and ConstructionLawMonitor.com, we would like to wish happy holidays to all. This is the time of year where we look back and reflect on the past twelve months and give thanks to all the good (and bad) that has transpired. Its a time to learn from the successes and the failures of the year and grow wiser and stronger.
In looking ahead, there are good things to come in 2013. Growth and expansion are on the horizon. The promise of new opportunity coupled with the solidification of past relationships makes for a great transition into the new year.
Seth J. Smiley, partner at Wolfe Law Group, LLC and author of ConstructionLawMonitor.com is now a formally trained mediator. New Orleans just hosted the AAAU’s (American Arbitration Association University), Essential Skills for the New Mediator workshop in downtown, hosted by Neil Carmichael.
Why would parties want to mediate a dispute instead of going to court? That answer is easy, yet has many factors. The most important are that mediation is less expensive and much more efficient compared to litigation. But the most important factor is that the parties control their own outcome, rather than a group of strangers (jury).
So if you are in a dispute and are looking for an economical, logical and swift conclusion that is mutually agreeable between you and your adversary, then mediation may be just what you are looking for. Contact the Wolfe Law Group, LLC for more details.
As an attorney in multiple states (California and Louisiana) there are many overlapping rules and theory of law that are transferable from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, there are many local and state wide idiosyncrasies that are not necessarily taught in law school or not easily attainable for pro se or pro per litigants. This post has some helpful tips regarding filing a law suit.
California is a jurisdiction of forms. The State Bar has gone to great lengths to make a form for just about any situation. In that same light there are many that overlap and you nearly need a law degree just to navigate through the long list. The California Courts also have very helpful information regarding the legal process and all of the different procedural devices used by lawyers.
A typical checklist for items needed when you file your civil case are 1) Complaint, 2) Civil Cover Sheet, 3) Summons, and 4) Receipt and Acknowledgement. The complaint is your main document to be filed. This is where the Plaintiff lists out all of the facts and causes of action that related to the allegations being asserted in the suit. The complaint is the lawsuit itself and will be a part of the public record. The Civil Cover Sheet is a mandatory form that needs to accompany any new filing. This tells the clerk what type of case is being filed. Next is the Summons. This document tells the court and the opposition who is being sued and what that person/entity’s legal rights are with regard to an answer. Lastly is a handy little form that I like to include called Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt. This form allows for you to mail serve the Summons and Complaint on your adversary saving time and money. If the defendant does not reply within 20 days, it will be obligated to pay for your service fees. The normal delay to respond to a suit is 30 days.
Once you get your complaint filed you will want to serve your adversary with the documents to complete the process. You can use the Notice form listed above but if that fails then you will have to hire a process server to get the suit to the defendant. Regardless of how you serve them the clerk of court requires proof of service. This too is another form, Proof of Service of Summons. This helpful form has a long check list of methods of possible service. You make sure you followed one of the statutory required methods, file your proof and then your law suit has formally begun. You then must wait for your adversary to answer.
This blog post is a part of the California Civil Procedure Series written by Wolfe Law Group. You should contact an attorney when dealing with procedure issues as there are strict time limitations which need to be followed.
Technology is everywhere. We use it constantly throughout every hour of each day. While it has made our lives easier and more convenient, is it better than a time when we didn’t rely on it so much? Most would agree that yes, it is better, and in many instances that may be true, but in some cases it seems that going back to the basics can be more effective.
A recent article from the American Express Open Forum expresses such an instance. According to the article, “Pen and Paper: Killer Productivity Apps,” studies show that hand-writing notes on paper helps with memory skills and can heighten brain activity. Physically writing things down actually helps us to remember things.
So how can this relate to the construction industry?
To be honest, these tips can be helpful in any industry. If you want to remember something, don’t simply store it in your smartphone or tablet. With the amount of apps and distractions that these devices can hold, your priorities can get cluttered. For contractors and construction workers, project checklists and dates involving project deadlines and lien deadlines are extremely important details that need to be remembered. Write these important notes and dates down, and save them somewhere in which you can be constantly reminded. Simply saving them in technological devices will not always suffice and can easily get overlooked. If deadlines aren’t met or checklists aren’t completed, numerous problems can arise. Stay organized, and write things down to help remember!
For those who must use technology like myself, there are programs like Evernote which allow for storage of all notes and even allow for writing on tablet devices. Evernote is great and I highly recommend and its Evernote Trunk list out all compatible apps where you can find writing applications.
As an attorney in multiple states (California and Louisiana) there are many overlapping rules and theory of law that are transferable from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, there are many local and state wide idiosyncrasies that are not necessarily taught in law school or not easily attainable for pro se or pro per litigants. I felt it appropriate to do this series so that it will help individual litigants, business owners and contractors so that they have a better understanding of only some of the nuances which I have come across.
Topics That I plan to cover include, 1) basic discovery rules, deadlines and concepts; 2) a CA C.C.P. 998 offer of settlement and its impact on litigation, 3) filing and obtaining a default judgment, including CA C.C.P. 1033 declarations and letters of intent, 4) basic filing procedures for a Complaint and subsequent pleadings including proof of mailing forms.
The purpose of this series is to better educate anyone who gets involved in the legal process. There are a number of resources out there but sometimes simple tasks can be daunting in the legal industry. Other times certain jurisdictions emphasize things that are simply overlooked in others. Lastly, California has a vast network of forms that in theory set out to be helpful yet in the end can send one in a fit of confusion. I will attempt to show some helpful way to navigate that stream of information.