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What is a tentative ruling?

Before a motion is heard, some judges will issue a tentative ruling, which sets forth the judge’s analysis and intended ruling, based upon his review of the briefs that were submitted in support of the parties’ positions. A tentative ruling narrows the issues to be argued at the time of the hearing and even eliminates the need for a hearing if all parties agree to allow the tentative ruling to become the final ruling. Of those judges who issue tentative rulings, some provide them in written form at the time of the hearing but it is becoming more popular for judges to post them on the court’s website a day or two before the hearing. Parties can learn a great deal about the law and about their particular
judge by researching tentative rulings. An archive of tentative rulings can be found at Bench Reporter is a searchable database of tentative rulings from Superior Courts all over California.

How much does a lawsuit cost?

Assuming you are paying your lawyer an hourly fee, this question is impossible to answer because litigation is always, at least partially, a function of what your opposition does. An attorney can give you an estimated litigation budget but it will always be somewhat speculative as nobody can predict the twists and turns to come. Because there are often several parties and several attorneys involved in each case, there are too many variables to allow a reliable prediction of how long the litigation last or how much it will cost. If, however, your attorney agrees to take your case on a contingency fee, it is a little easier to predict what the cost will be. Typically, a firm will take between 33% and 45% of any recovery. The percentage may fluctuate, depending on when the case settles before trial – and when. Be sure to discuss the fee schedule with your attorney.

Above and beyond the amount of money paid to your attorney for his or her time, a client is typically responsible to pay costs. Costs may be advanced by your attorney, but they are usually the responsibility of the client in the end. Costs usually include court filing fees, expert witness fees, messenger fees, travel expenses, court reporter fees, postage, copy / fax charges, and other things related to the handling of your matter.

What is discovery?

Discovery is a phase of litigation during which the parties are entitled to employ various methods for obtaining information, documents, and things from each other as well as from non-parties. During discovery, the parties can also require each other to commit to a position on various factual and / or legal matters. Discovery enables the parties to learn about the facts of the case and perform an evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of the arguments and claims at issue. Discovery prepares the parties for trial and can also reveal things about the case that can bring the parties closer together with respect to their expectations and corresponding settlement demands.

What if a party refuses to cooperate in the discovery process?

It is not uncommon for the parties to have a dispute regarding discovery. When this happens, the attorneys are required to make good faith efforts to discuss and resolve their disputes. If this does not work, either party may file a motion seeking intervention from the court. Almost all discovery disputes can be resolved by reasonable and fair attorneys. Accordingly, the filing of a discovery motion can cause the judge to see one or both sides as unreasonable. Many discovery disputes are resolved after a discovery motion is filed but before the hearing takes place. If a discovery motion is actually ruled upon, the court can order one or more parties to pay monetary sanctions.

Should I form a corporation or an LLC?

For most businesses, the distinction between operating as one or the other is minimal. The factors which are most likely to impact such a decision are record keeping requirements, tax consequences, and the need for flexibility in both ownership and profit allocation. You should consult with an attorney to make a proper determination in light of your specific circumstances. We have formed hundreds of entities for all kinds of business ventures. Click here for more information about our business law practice.

Why should I hire your firm to represent me?

Collectively, our team has nearly six decades of experience representing businesses and individuals in matters of all kinds.  We pride ourselves in offering efficient and personalized solutions for our clients that are also cost-effective. Should you choose to hire our firm, rest assured that we will do everything possible to achieve your objectives. For more reasons why you should consider working with our firm, click here.

What does alter ego mean?

Alter ego refers to an individual which, in the eyes of the law, is also a business entity owned/operated by the individual.  Practically speaking, a plaintiff who sues a corporation will sometimes look to have the corporation’s owner declared the alter ego of the corporation.  This is usually because the corporation is without the means to satisfy a claim or judgment.  The term “pierce the corporate veil” is used in the same context.  A court will pierce the corporate veil or find alter ego when the business in question is not operated with adherence to formalities required by law.

The term “enterprise liability” is sometimes used to describe two or more businesses which are alter egos of one another.

We have successfully defended and prosecuted alter ego actions through trial and in post-judgment collections.

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