Two of the most high-profile parents charged in the case are TV actress Lori Loughlin, known for her role as Aunt Becky on "Full House," and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, who once made exclusive apparel for Target stores. Authorities allege that they paid $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into USC as rowing recruits, though neither had ever participated in the sport.
Your theory must also be based on the law. For example, if you are accused of deliberately crashing into someone’s car, your theory of the case may be that the victim was negligent when she backed into the road. Unfortunately, the plaintiff’s negligence will not relieve you of liability if you deliberately hit her. Therefore, your “theory of the case” could instead be that you didn’t deliberately hit her but only negligently did, or that she deliberately backed into you.
If you can afford it, find a lawyer who specializes in the area of law that is the subject of the lawsuit. Some attorneys only practice criminal defense, or they specialize in defamation or employment law. You can find an experienced attorney by visiting your state’s bar association website, which runs a referral program. You can search by area of expertise.
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There are numerous motions that either party can file throughout the lawsuit to terminate it "prematurely"—before submission to the judge or jury for final consideration. These motions attempt to persuade the judge, through legal argument and sometimes accompanying evidence, that there is no reasonable way that the other party could legally win and therefore there is no sense in continuing with the trial. Motions for summary judgment, for example, can usually be brought before, after, or during the actual presentation of the case. Motions can also be brought after the close of a trial to undo a jury verdict contrary to law or against the weight of the evidence, or to convince the judge to change the decision or grant a new trial.
There are numerous motions that either party can file throughout the lawsuit to terminate it "prematurely"—before submission to the judge or jury for final consideration. These motions attempt to persuade the judge, through legal argument and sometimes accompanying evidence, that there is no reasonable way that the other party could legally win and therefore there is no sense in continuing with the trial. Motions for summary judgment, for example, can usually be brought before, after, or during the actual presentation of the case. Motions can also be brought after the close of a trial to undo a jury verdict contrary to law or against the weight of the evidence, or to convince the judge to change the decision or grant a new trial.
During document production, you or the other side can request any documents that might have anything to do with the case.[9] These documents may have information you can use to help you win the case. If you discover a "smoking gun" – a document that proves the person or company you're suing is liable for your damages – you can point it out and demand the other side settle. You also may be able to file a motion for summary judgment, arguing that certain facts or issues have been settled based on that piece of evidence.[10]
Particularly in the United States, plaintiffs and defendants who lack financial resources for litigation or other attorney's fees may be able to obtain legal financing. Legal financing companies can provide a cash advance to litigants in return for a share of the ultimate settlement or award. If the case ultimately loses, the litigant does not have to pay any of the money funded back. Legal financing is different from a typical bank loan in that the legal financing company does not look at credit history or employment history. Litigants do not have to repay the cash advance with monthly payments, but do have to fill out an application so that the legal financing company can review the merits of the case.
Unless you are going to Small Claims Court without an attorney, if you are taking this case to court to save money or get a big payoff, it won't happen. A good example is taking a non-compete agreement case to court. After many months, perhaps years, of litigation on whether the non-compete is reasonable and whether the other party breached your non-compete agreement, the only people who win are the attorneys.
Certain types of cases can only be heard by judges. In many cases, however,either party hasthe right to request that the case be heard by a jury. Most people representing themselves will do better in front of a judge than a jury -- jury trials are more complicated for a variety of reasons, and presenting your case to a judge will make your job quite a bit easier. However, if your opponent requests a jury trial, you will have to deal with a jury, whether you want one or not.
A lawsuit may involve dispute resolution of private law issues between individuals, business entities or non-profit organizations. A lawsuit may also enable the state to be treated as if it were a private party in a civil case, as plaintiff, or defendant regarding an injury, or may provide the state with a civil cause of action to enforce certain laws.
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