Top Products Liability Highlights of the Week

General Motors Seeks to Avoid Products Liability – Courtesy of The Boesch Law Group Blog

Products Liability – Intervention – Settlement – Courtesy of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Doctrinal Collapse in Products Liability: The Empty Shell of Failure to Warn – Courtesy of Cornell Law

Chemical Products Liability & Environmental Litigation – Courtesy of American Conference Institute

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What is a Litigation Attorney?

One kind of attorney many people may have heard of is a Los Angeles litigation lawyer. However, many people may wonder exactly what a litigation lawyer is.

To put it simply, a litigation lawyer is a lawyer that has a practice that deals primarily with lawsuits. The main objective of any litigator, for example a Los Angeles estate litigation attorney, is to win a lawsuit in court. However, sometimes there are other options to actually taking a case to court. One such option is settling a case out of court.

In general, there are two kinds of litigation lawyers. This includes criminal litigation lawyers and civil litigation lawyers. Criminal litigation lawyers may be less well known by the pubic. Criminal litigation lawyers are usually involved in cases that involve a state or the federal government.

Civil litigation lawyers usually represent the parties of a civil lawsuit. Such a lawsuit may involve a dispute between a landlord and tenant. Personal injury lawsuits in which someone who has been injured sues another party that is believed to be at fault are also very common.

However, a civil litigation lawyer can represent the defense in a lawsuit as well. One thing that lawyer may do for the defense in such a case is create counterclaims that accuse the party that brought the lawsuit of some wrong.

Usually, a civil litigation attorney will focus his or her practice on one specific area of civil law. For example, an attorney may specialize in medical malpractice and represent clients that were supposedly harmed by the negligent actions of medical professionals.

There are many reasons why a litigation lawyer may limit his or her practice in such a way. One very important reason is to build up experience in that segment of the law. Civil law can be extremely complex. Novice attorneys are not likely to perform well in kinds of litigation cases they are not familiar with. A wealth of experience in one kind of litigation can also make that attorney attractive to clients that wish to file the same kind of lawsuit.

A litigation attorney may also limit his or her practice to defending businesses. If this is the case, that attorney must have a very strong working knowledge of business law. He or she will represent businesses that are filing lawsuits or defending against lawsuits that develop between parties that conduct business. One common example of such a case is when a lawsuit is filed over a breach of contract by one party.

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Understanding Business Litigation

Running a business is a difficult endeavor, and it cannot be done alone. At times, issues will arise that require expert decisions, and most business owners are not experts in business law. When a legal concern arises, an experienced Los Angeles business litigation attorney must be called upon to provide you with the options available and how best to proceed after choosing an option.

Options before Litigation

Legal matters concerning a business do not necessarily have to go to litigation. An experienced attorney will exhaust all other options before going to litigation. If an initial settlement is not reached, a lawyer need not go immediately to litigation. In many cases, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) may provide the most benefits. ADR can include mediation between the two parties, arbitration involving a neutral third-party, or a combination of the two. ADR takes place in a more relaxed environment than a formal trial. The rules of ADR are not as strict, and it is generally less expensive.

Another option that can be used in some cases is small claims court. This type of court proceeding is for minor lawsuits involving small monetary sums. Small claims courts do not require an attorney present if the cost would be prohibited by the amount of the claim.

Courtroom Proceedings

If a business case goes to litigation, several steps must be followed in order to achieve a successful judicial resolution. Once the initial pleading is filed and the other party has been allowed to respond, the judge will begin to accept motions. The pleadings are the initial claims and counter-claims, while the motions are requests for a judge to take some action pertinent to the case.

After the motions are filed, a pretrial will commence. A pretrial is an effort to make the actual trial run more efficiently and smoothly. The strengths and weaknesses of the parties’ claims can be determined so a course of action can be determined.

The actual trial may be heard by a judge alone, or it may be heard by a jury and presided over by a judge. Trials involving litigation and a Los Angeles business litigation attorney may take months or even years to be heard. Once it begins, the trial may end in an hour, or it may last for several days.

When the trial has finished, a judgment is made. The judgment may result in the clearing of the case, one or both parties being ordered to take specific actions or it may result in damages being awarded.

Appeals

If one party disagrees with the judgment rendered from a business litigation case, the party who disagrees may file an appeal with a higher court. The appellate court will review the facts of the case and may require another trial. However, the appeal may also be found to be without merit, letting the original judgment stand.

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Utilizing a Los Angeles Estate Litigation Lawyer for Estate Planning

Estate planning refers to making arrangements for the disposal of an estate in the event of the owner’s death. The purpose of estate planning is to lessen the uncertainty involved in the process of probate, as well as to reduce estate taxes and other expenses that may be incurred. Estate planning includes making arrangements with regard to finances, personal property, and real estate, as well as designating guardians for beneficiaries in incapacity and minor children.

Estate planning devices include wills, beneficiary designations, trusts, property ownership, powers of appointment, powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, and gifts. If a business is involved, the procedures to be followed regarding its ownership and operation will also be dealt with. Some people may even create a living will with specific final arrangements included. These devices are typically created with the counsel of an estate planning attorney, though some people choose to do so on their own. Complicated estates with multiple assets should always be handled by a professional, Los Angeles estate litigation attorney, however.

When family members of the deceased have disputes about the will or other estate planning devices, the parties involved will go to mediation in hopes of settling the issues. In mediation, all parties involved discuss plans for managing the estate and dividing the assets. Mediation is especially helpful for families with multiple marriages and step siblings, as estate disputes are common in these blended family situations. The goal of mediation is to lessen family conflict and meet financial goals.

If a dispute cannot been settled, full scale estate litigation will become necessary. One or more parties will sue the estate, and the matter will be settled in a court of law. At this point, the party who filed the lawsuit will most likely obtain counsel from an estate litigation attorney. This is an attorney that specializes in estate law and understands all of the intricate aspects of estate planning and its devices.

Choosing a Los Angeles estate litigation attorney is a very important process. The decision made could be the deciding factor in whether or not the case is won. When considering different attorneys for the job, one should take into account characteristics such as experience, reputation, and cost. It is essential that the attorney be well-educated with regard to estate planning and litigation. Finally, the personality of the attorney is also important. One should always choose an attorney with whom he or she feels compatible.

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Why You Need a Personal Injury Litigation Lawyer

Victims don’t elect or volunteer themselves for accidents or injuries. Sometimes, these things just happen, regardless of all the precautions taken. However, when these accidents do happen, it’s important to select a personal injury litigation lawyer who can handle the victims claim immediately, before the statute of limitations runs out.

Although, the victim may think they can handle the claim themselves, they will find that the opposing party will not offer compensation, or they will offer a low settlement amount. For this reason, it is important to retain a personal injury lawyer to insure full compensation. An experienced attorney will have the know how to negotiate with the opposing party, build a claim, and take prompt action. Without a lawyer, victims are taken advantage of, and are subject to their claim becoming jeopardized.

Personal injury lawyers are experienced enough to get the most compensation their victims deserve, and many lawyers services are retained on a “No Win – No Fee” basis. Meaning, they don’t get paid unless compensation is won. However, if the claim is won, the personal injury attorney has the right to claim all fees, and after fees are paid, the victim gets the balance of the reward. Retaining a lawyer as such will guarantee they will fight for the victims lost wages, damages and pain and suffering.

Even though, personal injury litigation lawyers take all the risk, and the victim maintains a stress free recovery, both parties contribute to the end result. It’s the personal injury lawyer’s responsibility to give the victim the best advice regarding their claim, and the victim is responsible to maintain their medical appointments and communicate with their lawyer if changes in their treatment plans occurs; or if they develop any new symptoms.

An excellent working relationship between the lawyer and victim is vital to a successful case. A lawyer’s experience, communication skills, and expertise will help move the claim quickly. So, it’s imperative that the victim have a list of criteria in place, which will help save time, money, and get the representation they desire and deserve. Although finding the right lawyer may be time consuming; in the end, the time spent will be well worth it.

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The Importance of Business Litigation in Law

If your business has been involved in some kind of wrongdoing and you have been threatened with a lawsuit then it is imperative to contact a business litigation attorney in Los Angeles. Whatever the situation is with your company it is important to have legal representation.

In today’s society we have seen a number of people involved with faulty investments. The person doing the investment might believe that his/her broker has not handled the investments professionally or that the broker has not been ethical. Therefore, the investor might choose to bring business litigation against the broker. This generally breaks down to what is known as “investor fraud.”

Another type of business litigation involves a dispute over intellectual property. This involves an infringement on a patent, trademark, or copyright. If this intellectual property is tampered with then this can be grounds for legal action. In other situations commercial insurance companies might undervalue or deny a fair claim. A business can bring a suit in an effort to recover the amount they prove they are entitled to through business litigation.

When you are searching for an attorney you need to find one that is highly qualified as well a skilled mediator. Business litigation works somewhat differently than other cases. The lawyers for both parties must work with a middle person who will work to settle the case out of court. Generally these type cases involve a lesser degree of issues; often it involves former employees who have claimed they were wrongfully terminated.

A more common type of business litigation involves contract disputes. Since the business contract is a legal, binding document this leaves the actual written text of the contract open to interpretation. Another area where a business litigation attorney is used on a regular basis involves malpractice issues. These generally involve a company or an individual that works in the medical field. An attorney working with professional negligence litigation refers to various types of businesses ranging from legal to real estate.

When business issues happen between a business and an individual (or between two businesses) it is better to attempt resolution. If this is not possible than a strong Los Angeles business litigation attorney can be invaluable in helping you to protect your rights as well as your company’s business interests.

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A Business Lawyer Can Help In Almost Any Legal Situation

Many people have heard of business lawyers but still could not tell you what a business lawyer is or what they do. A Los Angeles business lawyer can help their clients make legal decisions when it comes to any type of business procedure, and also with things such as estate litigation, probate litigation, and testamentary capacity. They can also help inform their clients of how to abide by regulations. These procedures and regulations can range from the formation and establishment of a business, business planning, and even help clients in labor and civil law areas.

One popular case that involved a business lawyer was the Manis et al v. Hassan Yarpezeshkan and Dr. Arthur Laffer case. The heart of this case was entwined around a false promise of a patented battery-less power supply. Plaintiffs were enthused when they decided to invest in what they were told was a company who already had customers like Microsoft and ATT. To spark their enthusiasm the company let them meet Dr. Arthur B. Laffer. This was the final motivating factor that pushed the plaintiffs into their decision of investing in the company. They soon found out the company had completely given them false statements on almost every aspect of the company. The company only had one patent, one simply prototype product, and absolutely no customers. The law suit was settled for about $3,200,00.00.

Another case that involved a business lawyer having to step in and represent clients was in the Andrews v. Kowa Printing Corporation. 35 former employees argued that Kowa Printing Corporation did not pay them for promised vacation time and severance pay. They filed this lawsuit under the Illinois Wage Act but in the end the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the defendants could not be held to answer for the plaintiffs’ claims under the Wage Act.

Within the Imperial Merchant Services, Inc. v. Hunt case the Supreme Court made a decision that business lawyers will always fall back onto for reference. The Supreme Court ruled that the damages in Civil Code sec. 1719 are exclusive. They are exclusive in the fact that a debt collector cannot recover prejudgment interest on damages under Civil Code sec. 3287 when they have already recovered a service charge on a dishonored check.

It is easy to see that a Los Angeles business attorney can become involved in many different types of cases. It almost seems that no matter what details are involved in a case or lawsuit that the need for a business lawyer is almost always necessary.

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