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The law is all around us. If we use care in our affairs, we can avoid costly legal entanglements and proceedings.

 

The best solution is to anticipate and avoid legal problems before they arise.

 

We've all heard that an "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Nowhere is this more true than in the legal field. Small mistakes and oversights can result in huge expenses.

 

Failing to enforce your rights in a prompt and timely manner can also increase the risk of harm and financial loss. If in doubt, you should take a moment to consult your attorney.

 

Whenever you are structuring any legal transaction or creating an entity, you can prevent downstream problems by seeking council at the cool point of origin, rather than having to resolve issues in the heat of dispute and litigation.

Lawsuits & Litigation
What You Need to Know

 

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Criminal Law - Discreetly Handled

 

LOC Law

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

If you have been sued or you need to file a lawsuit, there are a few things to think about immediately  

 

Is there a Dispute that may become a Lawsuit?

  • Create a Paper Trail - Gather all materials that relate to the matter in one place and review them to evaluate your situation. Do not communicate with the other parties verbally. Put it in writing to avoid further misunderstandings. Sometimes this is not practical if you have a working relationship or ongoing negotiations. If you do have verbal communications, be sure to confirm those with letters, emails or other writings.
  • Timeline - Create a timeline of events as you can recall them, with names, places, discussions, documents, etc.
  • Admissions may Cost You Later - When you are involved in a dispute, it is better not to make statements or admissions that may imperil any future case. You are entitled to the benefit of the doubt. The legal process will ultimately bring out the facts, and there may be unknown issues and technicalities that weigh in your favor.
  • Preserve Information - This may be a good time to take photographs, gather evidence, and obtain statements from other parties and witnesses that will be much more difficult—if not impossible—to obtain once a lawsuit has been filed.

Has a Lawsuit Been Filed—or Threatened?

  • Do not Delay - or wait until the last minute to take action to protect your rights. It will take time for the attorney to prepare proper legal pleadings.
  • Statute of Limitations - Find out what the Statute of Limitations is for your case. If the proper papers are not filed before it expires, the case may be over before it starts.
  • Time to Answer - Determine when an Answer is due. This can be a matter of hours or days, but is usually not more than 30 days. After that a default judgment can be entered against the Defendant.
  • Evidence - Gather all information that relates to your case: documents, photos, graphics, things, devices, etc. that you have access to.
  • Assembly - The more work you or your staff do to develop your case, the less you will have to pay attorneys and other professionals for.
  • Chronology - Create a timeline of events as you can recall them, with names, places, discussions, documents, etc.
  • Valuation - Where the issue is money, try to estimate how much is involved or at risk.
  • Which Court - Determine if your matter is within the jurisdiction of Small Claims Court. For certain cases, the Federal District Court may be appropriate.
  • Doing it Yourself - If your case is beyond the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court, you are well advised not to attempt to handle your own case. There are thousands of cases and statutes that may affect the outcome, and plenty of legal procedures between the Complaint and the Trial that can overwhelm the uninitiated.
  • Ask for Help - Don't be afraid to discuss the matter with an attorney. They will usually start you off in the right direction. Most are willing to give some guidance without obligation, but they are limited without being retained and having an opportunity to review the entire matter.
  •  
    The material and information on this site is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.
     

    DISCLAIMERS: This site provides an overview of information relating to issues commonly encountered in law, legal proceedings, organizations and business transactions. It is intended to assist visitors in beginning their research and thought processes. This is general information and NOT LEGAL ADVICE and should not be construed or applied to any specific factual situation.

     

    The law varies in different states, cities and jurisdictions. Legal interpretations, decisions and statutes change the law on a daily basis. Once you have a general idea of your legal situation, we strongly urge you to seek actual legal advice from a competent and licensed practitioner in your state or legal jurisdiction. Our jurisdiction and affiliations only include the State of California (Southern California in particular), the United States District Courts, and the United States Supreme Court.

     

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Small Claims Court

 

Small Claims Court handles Civil cases asking for $7,500 or less. It is a special court where disputes are resolved quickly and inexpensively. Rules are simplified and the hearing is informal. There are no lawyers, no rules of evidence, and no juries. You don’t need to be a United States citizen to file or defend a case in Small Claims Court. 

 

 

Internet Law - A Challenge for Entrepreneurs

                   

Unless you can protect your ideas, they will have little commercial value, and they can easily be lost to the masses. Creative people are quick to put their ideas on paper, and these days with the advent of the Internet, even quicker to make them available to the global village—everybody on the planet. This can happen in a matter of seconds and the implications for protection are profound. On a controlled in-house website one can take preliminary steps by providing a copyright warning on each page. But on blogs and services such as Myspace, Twitter and Facebook, once your idea has gone out into the ether, you have pretty much lost it. Just giving notice does not keep people from "borrowing" your ideas, but at least it gives you a basis for a legal claim. Ultimately the value of your intellectual property will help you decide how aggressive you want to be in protecting it. Litigation is costly and time consuming.

          Companies like Microsoft, have their entire multi-billion-dollar stock-in-trade tied up in their intellectual property. To preserve security, and with it, the value of their products, they maintain massive legal teams and armies of investigators who are tracking their property rights 24/7, looking for leaks, counterfeiters and other diversions likely to dilute their market.

          An infringement on your rights may be innocent, with someone picking up your material after it has been wrongfully appropriated and circulated by others. With the torrent of information available on the Internet, it can also be ignorance, where the abuser has the mistaken impression that everything out there is free for the taking. In such cases, the solution can be as simple as you sending a "cease and desist letter" to the offending party. But they may simply disregard this if they see no sense of imminent risk. It generally has a bit more clout if it is sent from your attorney rather than from you.

          For most, the content will not be so unique that infringers will want to incur a lawsuit in order to continue to use it. And they can usually go to the next victim for material to take its place. But, you should date and document the whole affair, and keep a record of your diligence in protecting your rights. If push comes to shove at some future time, and you find yourself in litigation, this information may assist your attorney in making your case.

          With the ever-changing Internet, there are logistic and mechanical questions that are still in flux. As long as the technologies continue to multiply exponentially, it will be hard for the law—cases and codes—to keep pace in any comprehensive way. How, for example, does one recover text that has been stripped of its copyright warning, republished at multiple sites, and stored on- and off-line on multiple servers and backups all over the world? How do you deal with foreign jurisdictions in which your intellectual property has been misappropriated?          This requires a well thought-out intellectual property strategy. As the old saying goes, "if you sleep on your rights, you will lose them."

Secure Copyrights

          Some protection is gained by the mere claiming of copyright: "© XYZ Company, 2010, all rights reserved." But you may also be called upon to document your use and the timing of your creation—even to defend against infringers who may claim that you stole their idea. This is where a formally registered copyright is useful. If you have an extensive or highly valuable work, you will want as much protection as possible.

          A Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies or phono records of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly. The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description; it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine. Copyrights are registered by the United States Library of Congress Copyright Office.

Secure Trademarks

Be First to Market

Preserve Trade Secrets

Defend Your Rights Diligently