By California Trust Litigation Attorney – Ted Hankin
Over the years I have watched many attorney-themed television programs. I understand, given the time allotted, one must take the case and try it to conclusion within the obligatory one hour format. Unfortunately, this perception of a sprint to the finish line is not reality; litigation is more in the nature of an endurance contest in California.
Much of the time involved in a litigated case (let’s take a business case as an example) involves discussion with the attorney to insure that he/she has a complete understanding of the facts, analysis by the attorney to determine what rights have been violated by the actions of the other side, and drafting a complaint.
Once the complaint has been drafted and approved by the client, it then is filed, with an accompanying summons, with the court. After filing, it is sent out for service on the defendant. Once the defendant has been served, the defendant, in California, has thirty days in which to respond. A response can be an answer (the case is then “at issue”) or a demurrer. If a demurrer (everything in the complaint may be assumed to be true, but still doesn’t give the plaintiff a right to the relief sought), the court might set it out three or more months before scheduling a hearing (for oral argument).