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Law Offices of Matthew C. Bishop, Inc.
Serving Napa, Marin and Solano Counties

How do I know if I should sue?

When faced with a legal issue in California, an attorney will encourage a consultation, either by phone or in-person, not to convince you that you should sue but to ascertain the nature of the dispute and the strength of your position. To do so, the attorney must obtain necessary facts and evaluate whether it would be prudent and in your best interests to litigate the issue. If your case does not involve a criminal complaint against you, then you are most likely facing an issue that will be handled in a division of the civil courts.

Civil litigation is the process of resolving legal disputes between individuals in a court of law. The person who commences the lawsuit is called the plaintiff. The person sued is called the defendant. However, litigation is not always the best way to resolve disagreements. For example, if you and another person enter into a contract and the other person does not perfectly perform under the contract, you might wonder whether you should sue. There are various ways of resolving disputes before going to court. Some people underestimate the power of simply sending a letter in order to encourage compliance or obtain compensation after they have been wronged.

Consider a recent letter by an attorney for Netflix, which was intended to persuade a business to stop using intellectual property from a Netflix show. As reported by DNA Info, the cease-and-desist letter was aimed at ensuring compliance with Netflix’s demands but the attorney drafted the letter in a manner that allowed them to be firm and fun. The letter ended: “We love our fans more than anything, but you should know that the demogorgon is not always as forgiving. So please don’t make us call your mom.”

The bottom-line is that attorneys know best whether after a more thorough investigation of the facts. In California, attorneys are required to make claims only when they are supported by law and evidence, according to section 128.7 of the California Code of Civil Procedure. Interviews, questions, and requests by an attorney about your case are a necessary and indispensable part of the legal process.

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Law Offices of
Matthew C. Bishop, Inc.

1810 Jefferson Street
Napa, CA 94559
Phone: 707-266-6952
Fax: 707-255-3612
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