Civil Litigation Attorney

Civil Litigation Attorney

Because of our hands-on business experience and education, TVA attorneys possess a unique skill-set that helps individuals resolve their disputes efficiently and cost-effectively.

TVA attorneys have extensive experience in all facets of the litigation process, from forensic investigation and complex document review to discovery and law and motion practice to trial representation. TVA attorneys routinely litigate cases in federal and state trial courts.

What is a Complex Civil Litigation Case?

While many businesses will inevitably have to face litigation issues at some point, the majority of the most common legal issues are relatively mild. Issues such as vendor disputes and real estate lawsuits can typically be handled by an experienced business lawyer with no change in the outcome—but when it comes to complex litigation, there is generally much more expertise required. 

While any lawsuit can get rather complicated, California has specific rules in place to govern what is considered a complex civil litigation case. Rule 3.400 of the California Rules of Court defines a complex case as “an action that requires exceptional judicial management to avoid placing unnecessary burdens on the court or the litigants and to expedite the case, keep costs reasonable, and promote effective decision making by the court, the parties, and the counsel.”

Complex civil litigation cases can include claims involving mass torts, claims involving class actions, claims with numerous pretrial motions, and more. Any sort of claim that involves multiple parties, multiple attorneys, plaintiffs that are geographically scattered, expert witnesses, complicated testimony issues, or extensive discovery can lead to a scenario that requires extreme expertise from your law team.

With our hands-on business experience and education, we possess a unique set of skills that allow us to take on complex civil litigation cases with confidence, ensuring your disputes are handled with expertise and efficiency. From forensic investigation to complex document review, we have often handled cases in both federal and state trial courts throughout California and have the ability to fight for your rights in many situations.

Types of Complex Civil Litigation

Though there are many scenarios in which a case may be considered complex, there are a few well-known types of complex civil litigation cases that will likely sound familiar. Though this list is not all-inclusive, it does cover many of the types of complex civil litigation cases that our clients face.

Antitrust or Trade Regulation Claims

Antitrust laws are designed to prevent companies from forming monopolies, hurting their competitors, or otherwise giving themselves an unfair advantage within a market. An antitrust or trade regulation claim typically occurs if a business deal or business practice had an adverse and unfair impact on the competition. This can occur after a company has engaged in unlawful monopolization, price-fixing, bid-rigging, or other unsavory trade practices that provide the business with an unfair advantage. While these types of claims are often brought forth in a class-action lawsuit, they can also be brought forth by an individual with the right legal representation to stop companies from dominating and deceiving the market.

Construction Defect Claims Involving Many Parties

A construction defect occurs if there is any sort of issue with a building, whether it be cosmetic or structural. The term may refer to patent defects, which will be uncovered during a typical inspection, or latent defects, which may not be discovered for years. Defects are typically caused by the poor quality of construction, manufacturing defects in materials, or general work errors, and they can be quite serious. Ideally, the party that is responsible for the defect, whether it be the manufacturer or the builder, will be held legally responsible for these issues and their impact on your building. You may have the option to file a claim for breach of contract, breach of warranty, or general negligence depending on the scenario. Because there are so many moving parts involved with construction, there are typically multiple parties involved, but holding the right people fully accountable is something your lawyer can assist you with.

Securities Claims or Investment Losses Involving Many Parties

If a publicly-traded company knowingly causes the value of their own shares to go down, resulting in losses for those that have invested in the company, there may be grounds for a securities claim—and if many people were impacted, a class action securities claim may be appropriate. Your lawyer will need the expertise to prove that the company knew their actions would reduce the value of their shares and moved forward anyway for your claim to hold up.

Environmental or Toxic Tort Claims Involving Many Parties

In the event of an environmental or toxic tort claim, the person bringing forth the lawsuit is filing a claim on the basis that they were exposed to a dangerous substance that led to personal harm. These substances could be pesticides, chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, or any other harmful product. Typically, these claims will involve a group of people and become a class action lawsuit so everyone impacted is able to pursue damages for the harm that was caused. Toxic tort claims typically result from exposure to hazards on the job, harm from consuming inadequately researched pharmaceuticals, toxic mold or asbestos knowingly left in the home, or dangerous consumer products such as pesticides. In many cases, it can be difficult to know exactly who the at-fault party is because manufacturing typically involves many different companies—which is why it is best to sue anyone who could have a possible hand in manufacturing and distributing the substance in question.

Claims Involving Mass Torts

A mass tort claim will typically occur if a company has caused harm to a large group of people, such as when a dangerous product is distributed or a dangerous medicine is manufactured. These are similar to class action lawsuits due to the presence of a group of plaintiffs but have a few key differences. Different attorneys or firms can allege a mass tort claim against the same defendant, unlike with class action suits, and these attorneys are allowed to seek individual damages for each client instead of disbursing the damages to the entire group. This is beneficial, as every client will receive compensation related to their actual damages that resulted from the harm instead of simply divvying up the lump sum that is a result of the class action claim.

Claims Involving Class Actions

In the event of a class action claim, the scenario will be similar to a tort claim, except instead of an individual plaintiff, there will be a large group (or class) of people bringing forth the suit. Typically the defendant will be a large company or corporation that is being accused of providing services negligently or intentionally causing injuries to the group. A few examples of this are if a company has exposed customers to hazardous substances, shipped out a product with defective or faulty parts, or set out to defraud or scam a certain subset of people. A class action suit allows everyone in the class of people to bring forth a single claim and resolve it as a group instead of individually, whether or not they have been directly impacted by the negligence that occurred.

Insurance Coverage Claims Involving Trade Regulations or Class Actions

As with any other industry, the insurance industry is beholden to trade regulation rules that determine how they are able to operate. Historically, insurance companies have been able to skirt these rules by overcharging large numbers of consumers small amounts—making the number too small for an individual to pursue on their own in court. However, if many policyholders have the same issue, a class action lawsuit may be appropriate. This ensures that the consumers that are being defrauded can hold the insurance companies responsible without having to raise their own small, individual claim against a giant corporation.

What are the Stages of Civil Litigation?

Though civil litigation can be extremely complex, it does typically go through concrete stages that make it easier to follow throughout the process. Here are the stages of civil litigation:

1. Pleadings

Every party involved in the lawsuit will file their initial papers (which are called pleadings) that explain each side of the dispute. Litigation officially begins when a complaint is filed with the court by the plaintiff’s attorney and the copy of this complaint is delivered to the defendant. The defendant will have an outlined amount of time to provide an answer to the complaint which contains their side of the dispute and also gives them the opportunity to file a counter-claim. The defendant can also ask for clarifications or corrections, resulting in amended complaints or answers. Once the complaint and answer have been fully fulfilled, the issues are considered fully defined.

2. Discovery

Discovery occurs when each party’s attorneys gather the relevant information from one another and any relevant third parties to the suit. This is where extensive research and review is conducted, as well as any witness interviews and gathering of testimonies. It is typically the longest part of any case, especially in complex civil litigation where there are generally many details that should be covered. This is also when attorneys will conduct depositions with witnesses, defer to expert witnesses, file motions with the court, and negotiate a settlement if they are trying to avoid taking the case to trial.

3. Trial or Settlement

When a case goes to trial, the parties will present the evidence they have gathered and make their arguments for the case. Once both sides are argued, witnesses are called, and evidence is presented, the judge or the jury will make a ruling on the case. However, the case does not have to go to trial if both parties agree on settlement terms instead. This is often more cost-effective and less time consuming but does require both parties to be able to find a satisfactory resolution to the issue without the help of a judge or jury.

Is Litigation the Same as a Lawsuit?

The terms litigation and lawsuit are often used seemingly interchangeably, but they refer to quite different parts of the legal process. Litigation is a word used to describe the proceedings between the two parties surrounding a claim. It will typically be settled by an agreement between the parties but may be decided on by a judge or jury. Litigation begins as soon as a party hires an attorney to represent them against a defendant, and encompasses all of the actions leading up to the lawsuit. An attorney will typically file a demand letter, perform an extensive investigation before the suit is filed, and might even attempt to negotiate with the other party as well to avoid formally filing a lawsuit at all. If the negotiations fail in the litigation stage, the attorney will formally file the complaint with the court, at which case the claim becomes a lawsuit

If you are looking for a civil litigation attorney in Orange County, contact us at (714) 641-1232.

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