The Pinkerton National Detective Agency is a staple of Western fiction, reflecting its real role in the American Old West. (It was acquired in 1999 by Swedish security company Securitas AB.) However, the company asked Take-Two to pay royalties for the right to mention its agents in the latest Red Dead Redemption installment. After Take-Two’s lawsuit, Pinkerton also claimed Rockstar was damaging its reputation by portraying agents as “violent villains” and letting players kill them.
Identify evidence and witnesses. The parties in a lawsuit have the right to request copies of documents in each other’s possession or control in a process called “discovery.” In discovery, you can also request that the other party answer questions, either orally or in writing. If you request a document and the other side claims not to have it, research whether or not they have destroyed it.
One of the first steps that a criminal attorney will take is to request the discovery, or evidence, that the District Attorney plans to use against you. The attorney will then review that discovery to determine the strengths and weaknesses in the evidence against you and the merits of the overall case, and will then determine the risks associated with various defense strategies. Once this analysis is completed, the criminal lawyer will then discuss all of this information with you to determine which next steps to take.
The Las Vegas Municipal Court Mental Health Court is designed to help people with mental illness who are struggling to stay out of the criminal justice system. To qualify for the program participants must be diagnosed with a mental illness such as, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder.
Prepare to defend court victories politically: Winning in court often isn’t enough, as opponents can mount attempts through legislatures or at the ballot to reverse good decisions and otherwise try to delegitimize the win. State constitutional amendments nullified court victories in Hawaii in the 1990s and stripped away the freedom to marry in California in 2008. Advocates should be completely prepared to fight back against efforts to overturn the rulings, and should also work post-victory to allay concerns, refute falsehoods, and solidify support so as to leverage the win. In Massachusetts, for example, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court victory on the freedom to marry was immediately followed by attempts in the legislature to pass a constitutional amendment repealing the freedom to marry. Without the strong leadership of MassEquality, supported by national groups and funders, and many months of public education work and organizing across the state, the nation’s first marriage state could have been a short-lived triumph. Similarly, in New Mexico in 2013, we prepared for an eventual state Supreme Court ruling on marriage by launching one of our joint campaigns, New Mexico United for Marriage, focused singularly on protecting the ruling, organizing in the legislature, and directing state-wide attention to the joy brought on by the freedom to marry.
Lawsuits can become additionally complicated as more parties become involved (see joinder). Within a "single" lawsuit, there can be any number of claims and defenses (all based on numerous laws) between any number of plaintiffs or defendants. Each of these participants can bring any number of cross claims and counterclaims against each other, and even bring additional parties into the suit on either side after it progresses. In reality however, courts typically have some power to sever claims and parties into separate actions if it is more efficient to do so. A court can do this if there is not a sufficient overlap of factual issues between the various associates, separating the issues into different lawsuits.