Category Archives: Lawsuits

Premises Liability

How Responsible Are You When Someone Is Injured On Your Property?
How Responsible Are You When Someone Is Injured On Your Property?

Summer is here, and so will be a whole new set of telephone calls to lawyers about injuries that have occurred during vacations in the mountains, at the beaches, and at every other possible destination for exciting, and sometimes perilous activity — including one’s own home. Of course, there will continue to be those calls about injuries that have occurred close to home, like in a park or a corner grocery store. Often, we have to give unfortunate and even surprising news to those callers who have many times experienced severe and permanent injuries.

Just because you have been injured on a property owned by another, whether at home or abroad, and where you may even have been invited to engage in a dangerous activity, like mountain climbing or skateboarding, doesn’t mean that the owner of the property will be liable for an injury you have suffered there. The law has had a great amount of experience with this type of thing, and the courts tend to take the view that threat of a dangerous condition or conduct, and even the injuries that often result, are an integral part of the activity itself. Continue reading Premises Liability

Maybe You Could Compromise And Settle

Is a Lawsuit Really Necessary?

The mere mention of “compromise and settlement,” is often viewed by a Is a lawsuit really necessary?lawyer’s client as a sign of disloyalty, incompetence, or worse. After all, legal disputes are full of feelings of emotion and ideas of honor. But if one looks at the “big picture,” settlement is an option that is too often overlooked. Continue reading Maybe You Could Compromise And Settle

Service of Process, Summons and Subpoena

Generally, it developed in the Law, that when a “Lawsuit,” or other legal action effecting the rights of another was legalcommenced, the Court would issue a written document directed to the  opposition Party, and notifying that Party of the filing of the “suit.”  Not surprising, is the fact that such a “writing,” was called a “Writ.”  In more modern times, the particular “writing” filed for this purpose at the commencement of a lawsuit, such as the one under discussion here, is called a “Summons.”  A “Summons” will be the required amount or “Notice” to another, before that person’s guaranteed Rights may be compromised by a Court-of-Law.  The word “Process,” as used in this context, has a relationship to the concept of “Due Process,” so important in our particular form of American Constitutional Government.  Stated simply:   “Due Process” will literally be:  that amount of “Process” that will be “Due” to a person, before their civil and property rights can be effected.  So, with that in mind, it can be said,  that a “Summons” will be the “Notice” to a party named in a legal action that has been filed, that such “Served” person, will have to approach the Court, and participate in the action; and at least by the filing of a written Responsive Pleading in the Matter; or else a “Default” may be authorized to be taken against the person “Served;” and a Judgment ultimately taken against the “Served” person; and solely according to the urging of the person that filed the action; and, as partly due to the failure of the party served, to properly respond to the pleading that has been served on them.

It will be necessary for the Petitioner to legally “Serve” the Respondent, with the Petition. This is because, before a Court can do anything that would effect the rights of any person, it will be necessary for that “person” to have warning, or “Notice,” of what the Court is considering.   These days, someone who is over the age of 18, and who is not the Petitioner, will have to personally deliver the Petition to the Respondent.  It will then be necessary for the person who actually delivered the Petition, to complete a form, which is called a “Proof of Service,” in which the “process server” swears that the Petition was personally delivered to the Respondent, and at a particular time and place.  After the “Proof of Service” is properly completed, it will be filed with the Court; and a time (30 days) will begin to run, at the end of which, the Respondent is required to have filed his or her Response.  Now, it is possible to avoid someone just showing-up somewhere, to hand the Petition to the person being served; but the person being served would have to cooperate.  In such a case, the Petition would be mailed to the Respondent, along with a document called a ‘Notice of Acknowledgment and Receipt;” which, if signed and mailed back by the person served, would constitute adequate “notice,” and therefore legal “Service of Process.”  There are certain situations which require exceptional procedures (for instance, if the person being served would hide, of otherwise “avoid service”), but those things should need the advice and assistance of Legal Counsel.  The Sheriff can be asked to “serve= the Petition, if the local station is properly approached with a request.  The fees are nominal.  There are also professional “Process Servers@ (also called ‘Attorney Services”) which can be found in telephone books or on the internet.  Attorneys are in touch with, and utilize such professionals, on a regular basis, It will really be best to utilize people who have experience in these areas, and know all of the rules and regulations.`

As distinct from a “Summons,” a “Subpoena” will be a “Process” that is “Served” on a non-party Witness, to “command”  him, her or it, to appear at a stated time and place, to give testimony in a filed legal action.  The “place” is usually a particular Court; but it can also be a law office, or other place where testimony can be taken (like for a “Deposition”).  While a “person” is usually the object of a command to appear (a “Subpoena”), the Subpoena can also describe things (usually documents or other “writings”) that have to be produced at the particular time and place, by a person who is charged with taking care of those documents or other things; and for examination by the person who has issued the Subpoena.

Just Because it Happens on Your Property

Just because it happens on your property, or involves something else you own or control, doesn’t mean that you will be responsible for injury or damage that occurs to someone or something, while on your property.  I’m mainly talking about money damages to be owed by you, from an injury or some other damage. As in any such claim for damages, the person damaged must show that you had a duty to protect them from the particular harm that they suffered, and that such harm was foreseeable if you would fail to do your duty.  In other words, it will have to be shown that you were negligent.  That’s not always so easy because, when it comes to this particular area of the law, which is generally referred to a “premises liability,” it will be necessary to show something else.

A person who owns or otherwise controls a piece of property, must actually know, or be in a position to know, of the dangerous condition that could reasonably cause a particular harm.  The word “cause” is very important; because the injured person will have to show that the dangerous condition actually “caused” the claimed injury; and that there weren’t any other causes.  If other causes are found, responsibility must be shared by all the causes, and in a percentage equal to the influence of each cause.
Law Office of William R. Lively and Associates are located at 23300 Cinema Dr in Valencia.  For more information, please call 661-287-3600 and visit