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Please note: The material in these articles, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the posts. The articles should not be considered, nor are they intended to constitute, legal advice. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500.

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Chauvel News:  Lawsuit

What to Do Before for a Business Lawsuit

When a disagreement arises between two businesses, often times both sides have tried communicating with each other for some time before a lawsuit is filed.  The parties may strongly disagree with each other and refuse to resolve the matter informally.  If you feel that a dispute with another business could result in a lawsuit, it is important to keep accurate records related to the matter to help your case during litigation.

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Loan Money the Smart Way

People often loan money to businesses, friends and acquaintances based on a handshake and an understanding that the borrower will repay the loan.  Unfortunately these deals do not always work out.  The borrower may stop making payments.  The parties may have a disagreement about the amount owed or how much should be paid each month.  A borrower may claim the loan was a “gift” and that he or she does not owe anything.  Without a written agreement, these disputes can quickly become a fight about one person’s word over the other.  A promissory note is good way to avoid these disputes before they start.   

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Mediation as a Way to Settle Disputes

Lawsuits can take a long time to resolve, sometimes years depending on a variety of factors.  They can be costly and cause a lot of stress for the parties involved.  Lawsuits can also take away time and resources from businesses involved in a lawsuit due to the time it takes to address the issues that arise as a result of the lawsuit.  Mediation can be an effective way to resolve a lawsuit expeditiously so the parties can move on with their lives and control the outcome of the matter. 

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What to do if a lawyer wants to take your deposition

Depositions are part of the “discovery” process.  For a better understanding of the discovery process, please see our previous litigation posts about lawsuits and discovery.  

A deposition is an out-of-court proceeding in which a lawyers asks questions of a witness under oath and with a court reporter present. 

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Written Discovery – Questions and Answers Once a Lawsuit Starts

Discovery

Either party may engage in “discovery” shortly after a defendant has been served with a lawsuit.  Discovery can be an effective way to learn about the facts of the case and available evidence.  Discovery may occur in several ways:  written discovery, oral discovery (a.k.a. depositions), and physical and mental exams.  This article will discuss written discovery and its purpose.

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Were You Properly Served?

If you have been “served” with a lawsuit, it typically means a person, known as a process server, came to your home or work and personally handed you a copy of the lawsuit (referred to as a “summons and complaint”).  The summons and complaint puts you on notice that you have been sued, informs you that an answer must be filed within 30 days from the date of service and provides you with details about the allegations against you. An answer is your response to the complaint.  If the process server made several attempts to serve you but was unsuccessful, he or she may be allowed to serve an adult who answers the door at your residence.

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What To Do If You Have Been Sued

If you have been sued, you are known as the defendant.  The person or company who brought the lawsuit is the plaintiff.  You have been sued if you have been served with a Summons and Complaint.

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Protect Yourself as a Judgment Debtor

Imagine checking your mail and receiving a legal notice stating you are ordered by the court to pay someone as a result of a settled lawsuit that you did not know existed. Unfortunately this scenario is not uncommon. If the court enters a judgment against you, the law considers you a “judgment debtor.” This means the law states you owe the judgment amount unless you can prove otherwise. You must take immediate steps to protect your rights and prevent the matter from becoming worse.

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