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How to win your California Small Claims Court case!

Jan 4th, 2015 | By | Category: Litigation Warrior

Litigation Warrior – Small Claims advisor for non-lawyers!

Small claim advisor and coach CAL


In California, small claims court is now BIG CLAIMS where you can sue for up to $10,000.  The benefits to a small claims case are several:

1.  Quick to file (you can usually get a case filed in 1-2 days)

2.  Low cost (you represent yourself), filing fees are low (typically less than $75)

3.  Case gets heard quickly (not like a 1-3 year civil court case)

4.  Evidence and legal standards may be a bit more relaxed (which means you do not have to worry about some of the issues that raise costs in the typical civil litigation case, such as having to conduct discovery and taking depositions).

ATTORNEY STEVE TIP:  Note, sometimes it makes sense to file a superior court action over a small claims action if you are a Plaintiff.  If you are not sure, you should contact a business, real estate or intellectual property lawyer to help you analyze your case.  Fill out our contact form below and we can provide a free general case review.

5.  You get to play attorney for a day (for some, this leads them to believing they should go to law school)

But where these big stakes are on the line, you owe it to yourself to do all you can to be prepared to WIN.  We can give you low cost FLAT RATE FEE 1-2 hour legal advice to help you (a) understand your case (b) understand the legal issues and (c) help you prepare your evidence and fashion your best legal arguments.  Winning is often not a matter of luck, it is a matter of preparation.

Click on the Video below to hear Attorney Steve’s FREE tips to success in small claims Court!

California small claims court coach

Attorney Steve’s Top 10 things to consider to help you succeed in your business and real estate case in California Small Claims Court

1.  If you are a Plaintiff what are your grounds to sue?  You need to know what you are arguing.  If it is a contract breach, you need to be able to show the offer and the acceptance, and the breach.  You have to know what your claims are under the law.

2.  If you are a defendant, you need to know what your legal defenses are.  You need to find ways to poke holes in the Plaintiff’s evidence and to convince the judge YOU are entitled to prevail.

ATTORNEY STEVE TIP:  If you are a Defendant, sometimes you have counterclaims against the Plaintiff.  It is important to know what your legal rights are.  In some cases, you may be able to remove the small claims court to a Superior Court if yo uhave a valid legal counterclaim that would exceed the $10,000 jurisdictional limits of the small claims court. It is important to investigate this possibility if you are being sued in a small claims court.  We can analyze your case using our service below.

3.  You need to know how to properly serve a Defendant with summons and if you are a Defendant, on what grounds can you challenge service of process to try to help you dismiss your case.

4.  If you are a Plaintiff and the Defendant does not answer the complaint by showing up in Court, you need to understand how to obtain a default judgment and how to collect on your judgement.

5.  It is important to consider evidentiary issues, and how best to present your case to the judge.  Cases are won and lost on evidence, and you need to make sure you have accurate, reliable and admissible evidence that will sway the judge in your favor.

ATTORNEY STEVE TIP:  Don’t just assume that showing up in Court and “telling your side of the story” is going to be sufficient to win.  With some additional digging and effort, you might be able to obtain evidence that will shift the balance of the case in your favor.

6.  It is important to consider your courtroom manners.  How you talk, when you talk, how loud you talk, whether or not it makes sense to interrupt the other parties, etc.  Courtroom etiquette can have an impact on your case outcome.  Another important factor is what you are wearing, and what message you and sending to the judge with your body language.  We can discuss these issues with you.

7.  You should understand that prior to your small claims court case, you will probably have a chance (and actually be required to go into the hall and exchange evidence with the opposing party.  This is a chance to SETTLE YOUR CASE by getting the other party to agree to something in writing so you resolve your dispute BEFORE it goes before the judge.  Many people overlook this important chance to settle the case, and understanding how to pull this over is very important, and can make best sense for both parties to eliminate the uncertainty of a court decision.

8.  You need to be prepped on how to STICK TO THE ISSUE and FOCUS ON THE ISSUES THAT WILL GET YOU TRACTION.  Many litigants, and clients of our civil litigation firm tend to run off on tangents.  We help you practice so that you can STICK TO THE WINNING ARGUMENTS.  In small claims court you do not get a lot of time to tell every fact of your case.  You have to be good at distilling down the issues into bite size pieces to the judge.

9.  You need to come up with a winning theme and be able to tell your story as if to a 6 year old.  Think Johnny Cochrane in his defense of O.J. Simpson, the line “if the glove don’t fit you must acquit” will live on forever as one of the greatest closing lines in legal history.  Your case, although a civil and not a criminal case, deserves the same case theme.  We can help you formulate your winning theme.

10.  The Five P’s.  When I was a baseball player in the Cincinnati Reds organization, my coaches taught me the five P’s of success.  PROPER PLANNING PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE.  We help you get ready to handle your big day up at the plate.  With a legal judgement as high as $10,000 hanging in the balance, can you really afford NOT to get a small claims legal coach on your side?

Amazing Flat rate fee service – Small Claims Court Coach!!!

When you have big stakes on the line, don’t go in alone, follow the Five P’s and do what it takes to win your case.  When you properly prepare you will be less nervous which will help you focus on taking it to the Plaintiff or Defendant in your case.  We offer a flat rate fee service to help you get prepared.  We can help you with the following issues:

1.  Filing the complaint

2.  Service of summons

3.  Claims to raise / defenses to raise

4.  Evidence you will need to prove your case

5.  How to create a case theme that compels the judge you should win

6.  Courtroom étiquette

7. Role playing (practice your pitch to a 10 year business, real estate & IP attorney).  I will give you positive feedback and constructive criticism.  The judge will be judging your performance the same way, practice makes perfect.

8.  Tips on collecting on your judgement

9.  Legal advice on default judgments

10.  Other items pertinent to the special facts of your case

For just $495 we will spend two hours to help you get your case prepared, and give you the tips you need to win your case.  Contact us at (877) 276-5084.  California and Arizona clients and business owners only.  Or leave your phone number using the contact form below.



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We are a business and civil litigation firm with a focus on copyright infringement cases involving illegal movie downloads (torrent cases such as London Has Fallen and Malibu Media defense), software audits (ex. Microsoft audits, SPLA, Autodesk audit notification letter, Siemens PLM defense, SIIA, Adobe and Business Software Alliance defense) and other software vendors threatening piracy and infringement. We also handle cases involving internet law, anti-SLAPP, media law, right of publicity, trademarks & domain name infringement, and we have a niche practice area handling California BRE licensing disputes, accusations, subpoena response, statement of issues and investigations. We have offices in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, San Diego & Phoenix, Arizona and accept federal copyright and trademark cases nationwide. All content on our website is general legal information only and not a substitute for legal advice, and should not be relied upon. Decisions to hire counsel should not be based on advertising alone. Blogs, videos and podcasts are authored by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise noted. We can be reached at (877) 276-5084.

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