Frequently Asked Questions

Questions?
Get Answers.

We know you have questions. You are not alone. Below, we’ve tried to answer some of the most common inquiries we get from clients like you. Feel free to read through them or give us a call.

Make an in-person or telephone appointment and an experienced lawyer will speak with you to answer any additional questions you may have. Call us today for a free consultation.

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit in which one person or a small group of people represent the rights of many others who have similar complaints.  It takes only one person to start a class action lawsuit, even though there may be hundreds or thousands of people who suffered similar damages.

How many people do I need to start a class action?

Just one.  To start a class action, which we call a putative class action, you only need one person.  But to certify a class action, you will need to meet the numerosity requirement, which requires proving to the court that there are many people who fall within the class.  You won’t have to find all of these people.  We will do that through discovery during the course of the lawsuit.

How can I afford this?

At Civil Justice, we believe legal costs should not be  an obstacle to  your ability to protect your civil rights. For this reason, we work with most of our clients on  a contingency basis. This means Civil Justice will front all the costs of your lawsuit, and we will only receive payment if there’s a settlement or you’ve won. So, if we take your case, it is because we believe deeply in the merits of your case and will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve.  Call today to schedule your free consultation.

How long will my lawsuit take?

Lawsuits aren’t quick, and with the recent cutbacks at the courts, lawsuits are slower than ever now.  A lawsuit can take anywhere from a couple of a months to several years.  We do our best to push cases as hard and as fast as we can, but there are things that slow down a lawsuit that are beyond our control such as defendants who do not cooperate with discovery, appeals, and backed-up court schedules.  We will keep you informed during your lawsuit so you know what is happening and how long things will take.

Will my lawsuit take longer if it’s a class action?

Not necessarily.  It could even be faster.  Since you’re not just representing yourself, but are representing everyone who is in the class, many defendants are more likely to settle than fight it out.  On the other hand, there are many moving pieces to a class action, which means there are more things to slow it down like discovery battles and appeals, but as experienced class action lawyers, we know how to litigate class actions and how to avoid many of the pitfalls that slow down other inexperienced lawyers.

Will my case go to trial?

Probably not.  A study done by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2004 found that about 97 percent of civil cases are settled or dismissed without a trial.  Nevertheless, we always litigate our cases as if they are going to trial.

What do you need from me to start my lawsuit?

Many of our clients don’t have any documents or evidence.  They just have their story, which is all we need to get started.  If we decide to take your case, we will get all of the documents and evidence during discovery from the defendant.

Can you get my employee file?

Yes. The California Labor Code allows you access to your employee file at any time—even after you leave your job.  If you have an employment-related case, we will likely get your employee file from your employer before we file any lawsuit.

Other attorneys didn’t want my case... Will you?

Although there’s no guarantee that we will take your case, there have been times when we’ve taken cases that other attorneys turned down. There are many reasons why an attorney might choose not to take your case that have nothing to do with the merits of your case. Since there is a time limit on filing your case, it is important that you continue looking for a lawyer even if you’ve previously been turned down.

What is a PAGA lawsuit?

PAGA stands for the Private Attorney General Act of 2004, which was codified in California Labor Code 2698, et seq.  In essence, an aggrieved employee is deputized to act as a Private Attorney General to investigate violations of the Labor Code on behalf of the State of California.  As a Private Attorney General, you are allowed to seek civil penalties not only for violations of the Labor Code that you personally suffered but also for violations suffered by other current or former employees.

Can my employer retaliate against me if I bring a lawsuit?

No. Every state has specific laws that prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who bring any action to enforce their civil rights.

How long do I have to file my lawsuit?

This depends on the type of lawsuit that you want to bring and the jurisdiction in which you intend to bring your suit.  The time limit to file a lawsuit can be less than one year, and so it’s important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Can I speak to a Civil Justice Law lawyer about my case?

Yes. Our firm is dedicated to providing our clients and potential clients with direct access to our lawyers.  Many firms direct you to a law clerk or paralegal for your first consultation. At Civil Justice Law, you will always meet and discuss your issues with an attorney.