How to respond to a lawsuit and summons in California:
Updated: Oct 14
So you’ve been served with a lawsuit and summons from a process server, what do you do now!?
Step 1: Call Fry Law Corporation! As most of you know, we love to sue but we also love to defend lawsuits. Having a successful Plaintiff’s attorney defending your case provides well-rounded representation. Most all-defense firms are jaded and have defense-only mindsets. This can cost their clients a lot of money in unnecessary fees and time.
Here’s what we’ll do!
First, we have to look at the claims set forth in the complaint.
Every time a person files a complaint with the Court, they are asking the Court to determine whether or not they have claims. In order to successfully establish a claim, the person suing must adequately allege and be able to prove certain elements. For example, if you are being sued for fraud, the plaintiff must allege and prove that you 1) made a representation that was false at the time you made it; 2) s/he relied on the representation and 3) that reliance on the representation caused some kind of damage.
The first thing a good defense lawyer will look at whether each element of the claim has been alleged and can be established. If the allegations are insufficient, a demurrer may be appropriate (that’s another blog). If the allegations are there but they can’t be proven, a summary judgment motion may be suitable (again, another blog). If there is a controversy over facts, the case will need to go to trial. This is done either by judge or by jury (yet another blog).
If the Plaintiff can successfully allege and prove each and every element, the person being sued is able to raise defenses. For example, if you are being sued for breach of contract, if you can prove that the contract was illegal or otherwise unenforceable, you may raise that as a defense to all claims of damage.
The second thing good lawyers look at is whether these defenses apply. If they do, it may be worth defending.
Having the skill to handle these tasks efficiently makes for a good defense attorney. Great defense attorneys have another ability. That is, weighing factors outside of the claims. For example, in some instances, it will cost more to defend a case than to just make a settlement offer. Sometimes just paying a small amount to prevent incurring legal fees makes sense. Sometimes it doesn’t.
A great lawyer (like Fry Law Corporation) will be able to do what’s right for you and not put revenue ahead of their client’s financial interests.
Call us if you have been served with a lawsuit and need aggressive yet strategic representation.