Posted on May 14th, 2013
California has adopted the “American rule,” which provides that in a legal action, each party generally must cover its own attorney’s fees—no matter who wins or loses. As a result, business litigation lawyers in OC often must inform their clients that, in some cases, the expense of pursuing a lawsuit may exceed the amount of damages that can be recovered, since attorney’s fees are often not recoverable.
Business Litigation Lawyers in OC Explain How to Recover Attorney’s Fees in a Lawsuit
California Code of Civil Procedure §1021 states: “Except as attorney’s fees are specifically provided for by statute, the measure and mode of compensation of attorneys and counselors at law is left to the agreement, express or implied, of the parties…”. This means that, as a general rule, the prevailing party in a lawsuit may recover his or her attorney’s fees when:
- there is a written contract that contains an attorney’s fees provision, or
- there is a special statute that allows the recovery of attorney’s fees.
Accordingly, your business litigation attorneys in OC will inform you that any written contract should contain an attorney’s fee provision (absent a state statute that provides for the recovery of fees).
Ultimately, the bottom line is that you can recover attorney’s fees after winning your lawsuit, so long as the contract provides for the recovery of such fees or there is a statute that specifically states that the prevailing party is entitled to recover attorney’s fees.
Contact Business Litigation Lawyers in OC
If you need more information about recovering attorney’s fees in a lawsuit, business litigation lawyers in OC Reed Aljian and Justin Daily can answer your questions. Call 949-861-2524 today to schedule an initial consultation.
Posted on May 14th, 2013
If you believe you have been victimized due to unfair business practices, Orange County business attorneys can help. California’s Unfair Competition Law, which can be found at §17200 of the California Business and Professions Code, broadly defines “unfair competition” (unfair business practices and advertising) as any one of the following:
- an unlawful business act or practice
- an unfair business act or practice
- a fraudulent business act or practice
- unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising
What Is the Intent of the Unfair Competition Law?
Orange County business lawyers are aware that the legislature’s intent in passing this law was to protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices, as well as to provide protection for businesses against a competitor’s unfair practices. Fixing market prices, price discrimination, and conspiring to boycott are just some examples of unfair business practices.
Also, if a company’s advertising consists of untrue or misleading claims, then this too constitutes unfair business practices. Available remedies for a violation of California law include injunctions and restitution. In simple terms, this means that a consumer can sue to recover:
- funds paid for deceptively or fraudulently marketed goods or services
- other losses incurred due to the deceptively or fraudulently marketed goods or services
- costs incurred due to unfair practices, and
- attorney’s fees and court costs (in some cases).
The civil penalty for a violation of the law is limited to $2,500 for each violation.
Contact Orange County Business Attorneys Today
California law holds people accountable for unfair business practices. To learn more about what constitutes unfair competition—or if you believe you or your company has been victimized by unfair, unlawful, or fraudulent business practices or false advertising—call the Orange County business attorneys at Daily Aljian LLP today: 949-861-2524.
Posted on May 7th, 2013
California courts routinely address complicated and important business matters concerning local, state, and federal laws. The following are a few frequently asked questions regarding business litigation, answered by our business lawyers in Orange County, CA.
What Is Business Litigation?
Business lawyers in Orange County, CA can tell you that business litigation deals directly with legal issues related to business. While the specific tactics for litigating a business matter will depend on the particular issues in dispute, generally the same procedures will be used as they would for any civil lawsuit. This includes hiring an attorney, attending settlement negotiations, going to trial, and perhaps an appeal following trial.
Are There Any Alternatives to Litigating a Business Dispute?
Yes, as our business lawyers in Orange County, CA know, there are several Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods available to avoid litigating a business dispute. ADR typically involves arbitration or mediation. Arbitration is where a neutral third party (called the arbitrator) acts much like a judge by hearing both sides and rendering a decision. Generally, the arbitrator’s decision is binding on the parties. Mediation, on the other hand, involves a neutral third party (the mediator) who works with both parties to help them come to an agreement to resolve the dispute. Mediation is not binding. Arbitration and mediation are often cheaper and quicker than litigation.
Should I Litigate or Pursue ADR?
Business attorneys in Orange County, CA will inform you that sometimes the issues in dispute are too complicated and contentious for mediation or arbitration. As a result, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to achieve a satisfactory conclusion using ADR. Competent business lawyers in Orange County, CA can assist you in deciding whether ADR or litigation is most appropriate for your situation.
Business lawyers in Orange County, CA provide counsel to California clients when business issues arise. Hiring an experienced attorney to represent you in your business litigation is essential to winning your case. Attorneys Reed Aljian and Justin Daily can provide additional legal information concerning your specific business litigation issue. Call Daily Aljian LLP at 949-861-2524 today to schedule an initial consultation.
Posted on May 7th, 2013
Businesses often enter into contracts with employees, customers, and third-party vendors. However, disputes are common when it comes to business matters, especially when contracts are involved. In fact, as your Orange County business litigation attorneys can tell you, each year thousands of contractual disputes arise across the state of California.
Your Orange County business litigation attorneys can advise you that a contract consists of an agreement between two or more parties (which may be oral or written) that contains at least one promise in exchange for another. California law generally requires an offer, acceptance, and consideration. A breach occurs when one party does not live up to his or her end of the contract. For example, where the obligation of the contract is to pay for certain services, a breach would consist of nonpayment.
What Must Your Lawsuit Establish?
Your Orange County business litigation lawyers can inform you that a breach of contract lawsuit must establish the following:
- a contract
- plaintiff’s performance of the contract (or a reason why the plaintiff did not perform)
- defendant’s breach of the contract, and
- damages to the plaintiff arising from the breach of contract.
When it comes to damages, your Orange County business litigation lawyers will tell you that recovery for pain and suffering is generally not allowed for the breach of a contract. Even though a broken contract may cause substantial distress, the law only deals with the economics of the situation, and the plaintiff is limited to the “benefit of the bargain” that would have been obtained if the contract had been performed.
We Can Help
Breach of contract lawsuits are the most common business litigation cause of action in California. If you or your business has suffered financial harm due to a breach of contract, Orange County business litigation attorneys can provide assistance in both bringing and defending breach of contract claims. Call Reed Aljian and Justin Daily at 949-861-2524 today to learn more about our legal services and how we can help you.
Posted on April 26th, 2013
If you have been fired without proper cause, the process of filing a lawsuit and seeking redress can be stressful and difficult if you do not have someone on your side. Your dedicated Orange County wrongful termination attorney will fight for you.
Once you decide to file an allegation of wrongful termination, discrimination, or any other illegal practice of employment, the defendant, your ex-employer, will immediately begin to defend themselves. They will commence with an informal process of discovery to find out anything they can about you and your claim. One technique that they may use is interfering with witness interviews.
Interfere with Witness Interviews
Being able to interview witnesses is one of the most critical aspects of the informal discovery process. The Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers prevents your Orange County wrongful termination attorney from making contact with officers, directors, managing agents, or anyone whose actions may bind the employer. All other witnesses are open to you and your attorney.
Your ex-employer may, however, try to stop you from interviewing certain individuals. They may ask witnesses not to speak with you, or to only speak with you when your former employer’s lawyer is present. This may be very effective when it comes to interfering with your witnesses, as witnesses can be afraid of losing their jobs if they defy their employer, or of risking a business relationship they may have with your former employer.
Posted on April 22nd, 2013
Your Employer Can Read Your Emails and Search Your Computer
To defend against an employment lawsuit, it is well within your employer’s rights to read your emails and review your Internet presence. In fact, as any employment lawyer in Orange County can tell you, it is expected that your employer will do these things.
Your Emails Are Fair Game
Your employer will immediately search your computer and all of your e-mails once you file a claim if:
- the employer has a properly drafted and disseminated electronic communications policy that authorizes the employer to access the employees’ email, and
- the employer has notified employees about electronic surveillance, if there are any laws requiring the employer to do so.
If there is no enforceable electronic communications policy in place, or your employer has not complied with any applicable laws, then your employer could be subject to liability for invasion of privacy if it monitors your electronic communications.
Google, Yahoo, Bing are Also Fair Game
Besides reading your emails, your employer will most likely do a broad Internet search on you. This may or may not be helpful for the employer’s case. In general, your employer will search for any of the following:
- a personal website
- a blog
- a Facebook page, Twitter account, or similar social networking site
- a resume posted on Career builder, Monster, or similar job placement network.
While these things do not always assist an employer in its investigation, any of these may prove useful to the employer as the case unfolds.
What Is the Employer Looking for?
Your employer will be hoping to find:
- a defense (such as previously unknown misconduct by you that, on it is own, would be grounds for termination) and
- potential counter-claims against you.
A skilled employment lawyer in Orange County will tell you to be mentally and emotionally prepared when you file a lawsuit against your former employer. Many of the steps your former employer may take to defend itself can leave you feeling vulnerable.
If you believe you are a victim of an employee rights violation, contact an employment lawyer in Orange County today at 949-861-2524. Reed Aljian and Justin Daily of Daily Aljian LLP can answer your specific employment law questions.
Posted on April 22nd, 2013
In preparing your case, one of the best methods of obtaining information on your employer is by searching on the internet. Your Orange County employment law lawyer will be able to help you find information that could help in building a case against your former employer.
There are three main ways to search your employer:
- With a general internet search on Google, Yahoo, or another popular search engine.
- By searching EDGAR Company Search.
- And by searching your former employer’s website and the website of their attorney.
General searches on a popular search engine are often only hit or miss, but can lead to extremely valuable information about your ex-employee or their attorney.
While not always helpful, an internet search should be conducted on all involved in the case, including any witnesses, the judge, and anyone else that may be involved. While the information discovered could be minimal, it could also be extremely important in building your case.
A search may, for example, yield information regarding similar claims against your former employer or newspaper articles regarding past lawsuits and any statements your former employer may have made regarding the allegations.
Searching yourself and your witnesses is a good way to know both what information the employer’s attorney will have about you and anyone planning on testifying for you. If a witness is missing, or your employer has disappeared, a general internet search may also be helpful.
If you have been wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, or otherwise legally wronged by your employer, the Orange County employment law lawyers at Daily Aljian LLP may be able to help. Call us today at 949-861-2524.
Posted on April 22nd, 2013
Mitigating Damages in Employment Claims
In making an employment claim, you have a duty to mitigate your damages. This means you have an obligation to diligently look for another job. Wrongful termination lawyers in Orange County, CA can advise you how to best go about doing this.
You Must Look for a Similar Job
While you don’t have to pick a new career, accept a demotion, or take a demeaning position, you will forfeit your right to back pay if you refuse a job that is substantially equivalent to the one you were denied. This duty to mitigate damages is rooted in an ancient principle of law, and requires that you mitigate your damages by diligently seeking a similar job. In fact, employers that are charged with unlawful discrimination sometimes attempt to avoid the accrual of back pay liability by unconditionally offering you the job you sought.
Keep Records of Your Job Search
Be sure to keep any evidence that shows you tried to mitigate damages. For example:
- Retain copies of all resumes you submit when looking for a job.
- Keep printouts from any job searches that you conducted on the Internet (for instance, at monster.com or indeed.com).
- Retain copies of emails and letters from headhunters.
- Make printouts of any applications for online jobs that you applied to.
- Keep notes detailing any networking conversations that you have had with potential employers, headhunters, and former coworkers that pertain to your job search.
Likelihood of Success if You Don’t Try to Mitigate Damages
If you have not engaged in mitigation efforts, most wrongful termination lawyers in Orange County, CA won’t take you on as a client. This is because case precedents demonstrate your case will not be successful when you fail to mitigate. For example, there was one case that held that the court could still enter a judgment for the employer plaintiff in a Family Medical Leave Act claim if the plaintiff employee had failed to mitigate his damages by seeking similar employment — even when a jury found in favor of the plaintiff.
If you believe you are a victim of workplace discrimination or another employee rights violation, contact wrongful termination lawyers in Orange County, CA today at 949-861-2524. Reed Aljian and Justin Daily of Daily Aljian LLP can answer your specific employment law questions.
Posted on April 22nd, 2013
An expert Orange County discrimination attorney will never accept an employment discrimination case without first investigating several important factors about the case. These factors include a client’s criminal history, past unsavory behavior, and misrepresentations to the employer.
Criminal History and Past Unsavory Behavior
Defense attorneys will dredge up your criminal history in order to damage the reliability of your testimony. If you were ever fired from a job or have any notable complaints on your work history, the opposing counsel will present this information in court to imply that you are a dishonest, undeserving complainant and strengthen the defense’s case.
Although it is not necessarily fair for complainants to be judged based upon past mistakes like drug or alcohol abuse, you can be sure that the jury will be less likely to rule in your favor if you have an unsavory history.
Misrepresentation to the Employer
Tell your Orange County discrimination attorney if you ever lied to your employer regarding information on your resume, employment application, and/or company agreement. For instance, if you falsely claimed that you were proficient in computer programming and are claiming damages against your employer for discrimination, the jury may think that the ‘discrimination’ is simply a result of your misrepresentation to the company.
When you consult an Orange County discrimination attorney about a potential employment discrimination case, he or she will want to analyze the pros and cons of the case before deciding the best course of action. Consult with a lawyer who will listen closely to your side of the story. Call compassionate attorneys Reed Aljian and Justin Daily at (949) 861-2524.
Posted on April 22nd, 2013
More often than not, plaintiffs are the swaying factor in employment discrimination cases; usually, jury members will base their judgment on how engaging or uninviting a plaintiff is on the stand. That’s why an Orange County discrimination lawyer will evaluate the likelihood of a complainant positively swaying the jury before he or she accepts the complainant’s case.
First Meeting with an Attorney
- People are correct when they say that first impressions are everything.
- Seasoned workplace discrimination lawyers can assess a client’s personality at the first meeting.
- Clients looking to make a positive first impression should be confident and friendly and avoid being excessively aggressive or overbearing.
- Clients should also evaluate the Orange County discrimination lawyer’s personality to determine whether he or she will best represent the case in court.
Ideal Clients in the Courtroom
- If a client makes a favorable impression upon an attorney, he or she will later testify in court.
- Testimony can last for several days, so ideal complainants will use this time to engage the jury and win jurors over.
- Plaintiffs should expect to undergo intense cross-examination from the defense’s attorney and experience stressful situations.
- Clients should stay calm, tell a consistent version of events, and maintain a pleasant demeanor.
- Jurors and attorneys do not like untrustworthy clients; they are drawn to relatable, sympathetic complainants.
- In addition, clients should dress modestly and look tidy.
Overall, plaintiffs who represent themselves well in court tend to win more discrimination cases than unappealing plaintiffs. Hire an Orange County discrimination lawyer who knows how to make a good impression on jurors. Contact Daily Aljian LLP at (949) 861-2524.