California Civil Litigation Law

"Civil" cases are the cases in which private citizens (or companies) sue each other in court.  Civil cases are not about breaking a criminal law.

 

Unlike personal injury cases where a person can hire an attorney on a contingency or "no money upfront", civil litigation cases do require a retainer or an upfront payment to the attorney.

Civil litigation encompasses a broad range of disputes; proving fault or negligence and demonstrating the extent of damages or injury can be challenging, most common civil cases in Los Angeles include:

 

  • General civil cases, usually involving suing someone for money in disputes over things like contracts, damage to property, or someone getting hurt.

  • Family law cases such as divorce, child support, child custody, and adoptions.

  • Landlord/tenant cases

  • Probate cases

  • Juvenile cases

  • Other types of cases like name changes, elder abuse, civil harassment, and many others.

 

Avoid the mistakes commonly made by those who represent themselves in civil litigation courts. Hiring an experienced civil attorney who has experience in the Los Angeles court system is crucial to ensure the best outcome for your civil case.

 

Our civil attorneys in Los Angeles have a proven track record in various civil cases. With offices in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, we cover a broad range of civil cases every day. 

 

Pre-screened civil attorneys stand out from the rest because they have gone through a vetting process where we check experience and verify credentials and education. 

California Code, Civil Code - CIV § 1954.26

(a) 'Proprietor' means any person who, acting as principal or through an agent, is entitled to rent commercial real estate and includes any predecessor in the interest of the proprietor. 

(b) 'Value' shall include any charge or fee for the rental of commercial real property, however denominated, and shall include any security or deposit subject to Section 1950.7. 

(c) 'Public body' has the same definition as specified in Government Code Section 811.2. 

(d) 'Commercial real estate' shall cover any section, part or unit thereof, and any associated facilities, space or services, except as follows: 

(1) Subject to the provisions of Section 1940, any dwelling or dwelling unit.

 

(2) Any accommodation in any residential hotel as specified in Section 50519 of the Health and Safety Code, or comparable accommodation explicitly controlled by a public body in arrangements in which persons are the primary residents of 20% or more of the accommodations. 

(3) Any hotel unit not otherwise defined in paragraph ( 1) or (2) which is situated in a structure with 20 or more units or in which, as of 5 August 1987, 20% or more of the accommodation was occupied by persons as its primary residence if, in either case, the unit was subject to lease controls on 5 August 1987, given that any control exercised thereafter is in compliance with the provisions of paragraph ( 1) or (2). 

(4) Any room or dwelling unit in any mobile home park, as specified in the Health and Safety Code, Section 18214. 

(e) 'Rent' means the rental of real estate and requires a lease or sub-lease. 

(f) 'Commercial rental control' includes any action taken by a public body pursuant to a statute, charter, decree, resolution, administrative regulation or any other legislative act to create, maintain, implement or enforce any control or control system at the price at which, or for the duration of which, commercial real property may be leased or regulated or controlled by a system of controls at the price at which, or for the duration of which, commercial real property may be leased. 

(g) A lessee, sub-tenant, and sub-lessee shall be included in the tenant. 

(h) 'Term' means the duration for which an immovable property is rented or offered for rent and includes any provision for the termination or extension of, or renewal of, such a period, except that nothing in this chapter supersedes the specific provisions of that code or of the Code of Civil Procedure which, on their own, lay down, prescribe, restrict, or specify the term for which an immovable property may be rented. 

(i) 'Impasse notice' means a written notice in which one of the following is stated: 

(1) That the owner has not obtained from the tenant an offer of any lease extension or renewal terms appropriate to the owner, or that the tenant has accepted any offer of lease terms from the owner, and that an impasse has been reached with respect to any lease extension or renewal arrangement. 

(2) That the owner is not prepared to extend the lease or to renew it. 

(j) 'Notice of negotiation' means a written notice from the occupant, in the privacy of the property and in the privacy of the owner's contract, specifying one of the following: 

(1) That the occupant, on the terms laid down in the notice, offers to extend or renew the contract. 

(2) That the tenant solicits an offer from the landlord to extend or renew the lease. 

(k) 'Delivery' means delivery by personal service or by inserting a copy of the notice in the mail, prepaid postage, certified mail, submitted return receipt, forwarded to the party at the address of the lease receipt notice. 

(l) 'Developer' means any person entering into an arrangement with a redevelopment agency to develop specific commercial real estate within the area of a redevelopment project with the intention of gaining possession of that land, even though that person is not the owner of that property at the time of execution of the agreement.

A Standard Civil Litigation Case Life Cycle 

 

Usually, civil litigation is split into various separate steps, including prosecution, pleadings, discovery, pretrial hearings, probable mediation or trial, and even appeal. Usually, the investigation is the longest and most labor-intensive stage of a prosecution. Civil lawyers spend very little time in the courtroom, unlike how they are frequently represented on TV. 

 

Most of a litigator's time is dedicated to the discovery stage, during which depositions, interrogatories, and subpoenas collect information related to the case. Depositions and interrogatories include questions raised in a case to the parties under penalty of perjury, and a subpoena is a warrant by a third party seeking evidence or records. Deposition questions are asked under oath verbally, and written questions are interrogatories. 

 

Not every lawsuit passes through every point, and most do not. The bulk of cases are resolved by the parties' agreement and never enter the courtroom. Even after a jury has begun deliberating or has issued a verdict, parties may settle during a trial. Some elements of the case may be settled, or 'stipulated' by them, leaving others in the judge or jury's hands. 

 

From filing paperwork with the court to initiating the case to its resolution, the whole process can take anything from a couple of months to several years if a case goes all the way to trial.

Introduction To California

Civil Litigation

 

Civil litigation is a legal procedure in which there is no discussion about criminal charges and fines.

 

When two or more parties are involved in such a non-criminal civil dispute, the case is brought to a trial in which the plaintiffs request restitution from the defendants or other damages. 

 

In civil cases, the burden of evidence is less rigorous in contrast to criminal proceedings.

 

Attorneys in civil cases must comply with the preponderance of the standard of proof to win their cases, meaning they must simply show more compelling evidence to a judge or jury than their opposition.

 

While prosecutors must still provide compelling evidence in criminal courts, they must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to prevail. 

 

Role of a Civil Litigation Attorney

A lawyer specializing in civil litigation is known as a "litigator" or a "trial lawyer." A civil litigation attorney's position and duties can be complex and varied.

 

Lawyers working in this area must be able, welcoming confrontation and controversy, to assume opposition positions.

 

They act as the advocate of their client, obliged to fight to obtain the best possible result for them.

 

In this area, attorneys and litigation paralegals often work long hours, especially during a trial. 

 

For a law practice, certain primary legal skills and expertise are crucial, including: 

 

  • Substantive and procedural law awareness 

  • Good expertise in prose and oral lobbying 

  • Analytical and analytical skill for reasoning 

  • Ability to synthesize intricate legal and factual materials 

  • Superior interpersonal competence 

  • Awareness of techniques and tools for legal analysis 

  • Production skills for the customer 

  • Skills for negotiation 

In several associated cases, including pretrial hearings and depositions and arbitration and mediation, litigation lawyers also represent their clients.

 

Both of the above procedures aim to settle the two parties without wasting time and bearing the cost of going to court. 

 

The distinction between arbitration and mediation is that arbitration is supervised by an arbitrator who, before delivering a verdict, listens to all parties present their argument and facts.

 

In contrast, mediation involves a mediator representing both parties and helping them find a mutually agreeable settlement of their dispute. 

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