In Los Angeles, California, is it better for an individual plaintiff to file a lawsuit against a large corporation in Federal District Court or California State Superior Court?
A: Many cases cannot be filed in federal court. To file, the subject matter of the lawsuit must either bebased upon federal law, or the defendant must not be domiciled in California (assuming that the plaintiff "is" domiciled in California), and the amount in controversey, exclusive of fees and cost must exceed $75,000.
A corporation is domiciled either in its state of incorporation or at its principal place of business.
That said, in my view, a federal court is a better place to conduct a lawsuit, primarily because (1) the judges are generally more competent, (2) the jury pool is better, because the juror fees are higher, (3) the federal rules of civil procedure are "cleaner" than the California rules, which makes the entire case, from discovery through trial and appeal, less burdensome to handle. However, these factors do not necessarily translate into lower litigation costs, because attorneys who appear in federal court generally charge more for their time.
Also, federal courthouses are a lot nicer than L.A. Superior Court, generally speaking.
Hope this helps.
NOTICE: Due to overwhelming customer demand for my time, I am forced to limit our correspondence to only one follow-up question per session. If you are on a justanswer.com subscription plan, this does not prevent you from asking new questions for the same subscription fee. It only means that you must open a new question to continue our conversation. You are welcome to open a new question on the justanswer.com Homepage and preface it with my userid: “To Socrateaser.”
Terms and Conditions: By your continuing in this conversation with me, or by your clicking “Accept”, you are expressly agreeing to all of the following: (1) our communication is for entertainment purposes only; (2) you are not consulting me in my professional capacity as an attorney; (3) you do not seek to establish an attorney-client relationship with me, nor do I with you; (4) you will not rely on anything I say and you will obtain appropriate legal counsel via a traditional/office consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where your legal issue arises (and you may not use our communication to avoid taxpayer penalties imposed by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury); (5) by communicating with me in this public forum you are irrevocably waiving any right to privacy, confidentiality and attorney-client privilege concerning the matters discussed. You further separately declare that any payment made by you is not consideration for this contract, nor offered for any services rendered by me on your behalf, but rather is made in genuine admiration and respect for my desire to help others. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions, then you must advise me immediately.
Thank you for your response. In regard to the issues, there is an issue of the statute of limitations argument having to be argued. Is there any difference as to the probability of winning this argument in state versus federal court?
A federal court sitting in California must use California substantive law to determine whether or not a claim is time barred. In general, this suggests that both federal and state determinations would be identical. However, I can envision the possibility of an issue related to service of summons or date of filing of the complaint having a different outcome in federal in state court.
So, I cannot be entirely definitive, because I would need to know all the case facts related to this issue, and conduct a fair amount of legal research.
That sort of inquiry is outside the scope of this forum.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).