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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers from Our La Palma Attorney

At the Law Office of James H. Park, we make it a priority to keep you informed and educated about your options when it comes to estate planning, business litigation, and real estate litigation. Here you will find answers to some commonly asked legal questions.

Business Litigation

What are the steps involved in business litigation?
The exact steps that will be necessary for your case will be unique to your situation. However, most cases will involve an initial filing and serving of a complaint to establish the grounds of the case and present it to each party involved. A discovery period will follow, which will involve each party requesting, investigating, and presenting all relevant information. Parties will then attempt to settle a negotiation, or will proceed with mediation, arbitration, or a trial before a judge.

What are alternatives to trial litigation?
Not every case will go to trial. Some cases are settled through negotiation between both parties and their legal counsel. Additionally, parties can come to an agreement through mediation, which is a regulated negotiation meeting led by a neutral third party mediator. Finally, parties can attend arbitration, which mimics a trial before a judge outside of a courtroom with an arbitrator who will recommend a non-binding solution based on all evidence presented.

What is mediation?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process whereby the parties are assisted by a trained and skilled third-party who serves as a mediator. The mediator meets privately with the parties to facilitate confidential communication, reconciliation and negotiation between the parties in order to reach a voluntary and mutually agreeable resolution.

How is mediation different from litigation?
In litigation, the parties retain attorneys whose focus is to prepare a case for trial. Litigation is adversarial. In litigation you never know what the outcome will be until the case is ruled upon. There are no guarantees that anyone will come out as the “victorious party.” In the long run, everyone pays a price in litigation. Often, even the winning party may feel like the loser.

Mediation is based on the principle that people are able to resolve their own disagreements if given the right support. Generally, it is nonadversarial as the parties are not together in the same room and the parties agree that all information will be openly shared in a safe, voluntary and confidential process. Either party can withdraw or choose not to participate at any time. The mediator does not judge who is right or who is wrong, but works with parties to help them arrive at a solution to satisfy their interests. No tape recordings are made and no court reporter is present. The mediator will not reveal any confidential information to anyone. The mediator does not represent either party.

Real Estate Litigation

What can real estate litigation do for me?
With help from our attorneys, we can help you resolve real estate, landlord/tenant, and contract disputes, draft leases and sales agreements, and fight issues of trespassing, encroaching, and land use. Our team can handle a wide range of legal issues relating to both residential and commercial real estate. Contact us to learn more about your specific situation.

Do I have to go to court for a real estate matter?
Legal matters relating to real estate can be settled through negotiation and mediation. Most minor real estate matters such as trespassing and disputes over property lines can be resolved easily without litigation. However, our firm is prepared to guide you through the litigation process if necessary with minimal stress to ensure that your interests are protected.

Estate Planning

True or False: If you have a will, you don’t have to go through probate.
False! All wills must go through probate. For this reason, it is essential to obtain the counsel of an estate planning attorney, even for the most simple of estates. Simple estate planning helps protect the terms you have predetermined through your will, helping it to stand strong through probate. People with estates and properties worth more than $150,000 should always consult with an attorney to give you the best possible protection for your property and for your beneficiaries.

What is the difference between a simple will and a living will?
A simple will entails the terms by which your assets will be divided upon your passing, naming beneficiaries and an executor. A living will helps health care workers determine how to treat you, should you be in a life-threatening situation. Living wills can contain health care directives, quality of life terms, and end-of-life expectations.

How should I determine who to name as my power of attorney?
Recognize first that the person whom you name as power of attorney has extensive control over your end-of-life progression, your finances should you become unable to manage them, and many other major life circumstances. Commonly, the power of attorney is given to a family member, often a spouse or a child, whom you can trust and sign over control of most of your assets. When you name designate someone with a power of attorney, you also determine the circumstances in which they are able to sign for you. Your estate planning attorney can help you determine the extent to which this individual should have jurisdiction.

What is my attorney’s role when I am establishing a trust or writing my will?
Primarily, we act as an interpreter of the law regarding estate planning, probate, wills, trusts, and other elements you may come across when planning for your beneficiaries’ futures. We help you by conducting a thorough inventory of your assets, informing you as to your options when it comes to division and dispersion as well as helping you foresee any tax problems your beneficiaries may encounter.

Ready for your free consult? Call (714) 707-2803

For answers to these questions and more, contact our La Palma real estate planning attorney today. We serve Southern California with attentive legal counsel and representation for all your estate planning needs. If you are ready to plan for your future, call us today.

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