Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the course of his 35-year career he was a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms put more mojo in their practice through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations.
Study the statute of limitations for your state. Each claim brought by a plaintiff must be brought within a certain amount of time. For example, a breach of contract claim in New York must be brought within six years from the date of the breach. A lawsuit for defamation brought in Utah must be brought within one year. A prosecutor in Colorado must charge you with misdemeanor theft within 18 months of your alleged shoplifting.
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I have been reading Fight your Ticket about California laws for years and don't know what I would do without it. It has helped me win in court and know just what to ask the cop giving the ticket. It helps research and I recommend these books. Now my grand niece is getting her license and does not live in CA so I picked this up for her. I hope she reads it, it really helps get a handle on interactions with the police when you get stopped.
Industry, CA: Simon Chu and Charley Loh, part-owners and former executives of Chinese appliance manufacturer Gree Electric Appliances and a company that imported, distributed, and sold China-manufactured dehumidifiers to retailers, allegedly knew the dehumidifiers caught fire but failed to report and recall (too expensive) the defects for at least six months. According to the indictment, the two men “deliberately” withheld information about the defective dehumidifiers.
In civil lawsuits, particularly in Small Claims Court, you can get a judgment by the Court for money owed you, but you may have great difficulty collecting the money. There are ways the Court can put pressure on the payee, with garnishment or a lien against the property. In these cases, you must be proactive in getting the court to use its power in any legal means necessary to get someone to pay, But, as they say, "you can't get blood from a turnip."
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The court may be unwilling to enter a default judgment. But you can effectively win your case anyway. You can ask the court to prevent the other party from offering any evidence on the topic. For example, if the party’s defense is that you sent an email agreeing to a change in a contract, but that party destroyed the email, then the judge can prevent the party from arguing that you ever agreed to the change.
Instead of filing an answer within the time specified in the summons, the defendant can choose to dispute the validity of the complaint by filing a demurrer (in the handful of jurisdictions where that is still allowed) or one or more "pre-answer motions," such as a motion to dismiss. It is important that the motion be filed within the time period specified in the summons for an answer. If all of the above motions are denied by the trial court, and the defendant loses on all appeals from such denials (if that option is available), and finally the defendant must file an answer.