Frequently Asked Questions About Hiring An Attorney And Engaging In Litigation in California
How Can Wagenseller Law Firm Help You?
The business litigation attorneys at Wagenseller Law Firm have extensive trial and litigation experience in all types of disputes relating to real property in Los Angeles and Southern California. Our trial lawyers have the experience to aggressively represent our clients throughout the litigation process but also the wisdom to help fashion solutions and settlements. Our goal is to help you reach your goals.
What Is Real Estate Litigation?
Real estate litigation encompasses all of the various disputes that arise in the real estate world. Our attorneys focus on three main areas: (1) disputes among property owners; (2) disputes among partners, members and shareholders; and (3) other disputes relating to real property.
For example, our real estate lawyers handle partnership lawsuits among partners. Partnership litigation in California encompasses disputes among actual ‘partners’ as defined in the law but also partners in a more expansive and colloquial sense—members of a limited liability company, shareholders in a corporation, or even just ‘partners’ based on a handshake or course of conduct. In fact, in today’s world, a general partnership or a limited partnership is used less and less. Most real estate projects are formed using a limited liability company (LLC). If you have a business relationship with others and a problem has arisen, Wagenseller Law Firm can help you resolve your issues.
Another large practice area we handle is disputes among co-owners. Also often called Tenant’s-In-Common, co-owners of real estate often include family members (siblings, parents and adult children) and boyfriends and girlfriends. California law does not require that co-owners of real estate remain partners in the real estate against their will. Co-owners are therefore entitled to a process called partition to force the division or sale of property among co-owners. We have numerous articles on the partition process or you can call us for more information on partition lawsuits in Los Angeles and throughout California.
Most real estate relationships are governed by contracts. These contracts most commonly include a purchase and sale agreement or a lease. Our real estate attorneys handle numerous breach of contract lawsuits relating to the purchase and sale of property. These cases often include breach of contract and specific performance causes of action. While breach of contract entitles the prevailing party to attorneys’ fees, specific performance allows a party to compel the completion of the deal. In other words, specific performance seeks an order forcing the other party to sell the property. Other common breach of contract actions include a breach of option agreement or a problem between a commercial landlord and tenant.
Real estate litigation in Los Angeles and throughout California is a complex area. Other issues which arise relating to property are quiet title, real estate fraud, resulting trust, boundary disputes among neighbors, prescriptive easements, adverse possession and more. The trial attorneys at Wagenseller Law Firm have extensive experience with every type of real estate lawsuit and are well-versed in California law relating to real property disputes.
How Can Our Experienced Attorneys Help You?
Many lawyers are eager to file a lawsuit or jump into litigation without first evaluating the situation. Our first step is always to gather all of the evidence together and review the applicable law. We then prepare a case analysis. You should always ask for an analysis of your situation from the very beginning. Without an understanding of the issues and a road map of how the litigation should unfold, you never know whether you are heading in the right direction.
What Do I Do If I Get Served With A Summons And Complaint (Lawsuit)?
If you have been served with a Summons and Complaint, there are certain deadlines that start to run. You should immediately contact experienced litigation lawyers to help you deal with the lawsuit. If you ignore it or fail to appear in court, the court may enter a default judgment against you. In other words, you will lost automatically.
You also want to give your lawyer time to investigate your case and discuss it with you, so don’t wait until the last minute before the deadline expires before hiring a lawyer.
Do not discuss the case with the opposing lawyer or with anyone before consulting your own lawyer. It is penny-wise and pound-foolish to attempt to deal with an opposing lawyer on your own.
How Can Your Case Be Resolved?
Another common problem in lawsuits is that attorneys have a vested interest in continuing the litigation. This is what they do for a living and litigation is how they make money. However, litigation is only the process, not the intended goal.
At Wagenseller Law Firm we want to examine the potential for settlement at every step of the representation. In some cases litigation just cannot be avoided. However, in most cases all of the parties in the litigation would benefit from talking about settlement before the attorneys’ fees mount. Our lawyers always do a cost-benefit analysis of the cases. Litigation is time-consuming and expensive. Settlement may allow the parties to resolve their dispute in a more cost-efficient manner and in a much quicker amount of time.
How Much Does An Attorney Cost?
The cost of litigation is always one of the big unknowns in litigation. At Wagenseller Law Firm we bill hourly and, as part of our analysis, we try to estimate what the cost of litigation will be. However, a lot of different factors can affect the cost. If the parties and attorneys are reasonable, a solution can be worked out quickly and efficiently. However, factors that can escalate the costs include (1) an uneducated or unexperienced lawyer who is more interested in fighting and litigating than finding a solution; (2) an emotional opponent who feels betrayed or is just angry and wants to fight; or (3) an aggressive lawyer who knows what he or she is doing but is intent on fighting. The farther a case proceeds, the more expensive the attorneys’ fees will be. There is no way at the onset of a case to determine how much fighting a case will entail.
We have repeatedly seen clients who chose the lawyer with the lower hourly rate and less experience. The hourly rate, however, is only one part of the equation. The other is hours billed. Oftentimes the attorney with the lower hourly rate ends up billing more hours to handle the case and does not end up being any less expensive. Even worse the attorney with the lower hourly rate is not an effective advocate or finds himself or herself out of his or her league. These clients often come back to us later in the process.
The trial attorneys at Wagenseller Law Firm are not the cheapest attorneys you can find. However, our extensive experience and knowledge can help you get the result you seek.
What Is Your Next Step?
If you are facing a real estate dispute, give us a call. We can determine whether we are a good fit and how we can help you.