Law Offices of John Michael Jensen
Civil Litigation, Class Action, Administrative Hearings, Writs, Appeals
1. Civil Litigation & Appeals
John Jensen has extensive experience in civil litigation and the administrative process. He has successfully litigated claims in several forums, prosecuted Writs, and handled civil appeals.
In civil appeals, John Michael Jensen has represented clients whose favorable judgments are appealed to a District Court of Appeals. Our civil appellate practice focuses on review of the lower court record, superior persuasive writing skills, and incisive analysis to illustrate our client’s position.
John Michael Jensen has also litigated several published cases.
John Jensen has successfully litigated Petitions for Writs of Mandate, Writs of Administrative Mandamus, and handled civil appeals to the Superior Court and the District Court of Appeals. Petitions for Writs of Administrative Mandamus challenge the legal or factual underpinnings of a government decision or the government adoption of an Administrative Law Judge’s Proposed Decision. A Writ of Mandate seeks to compel a government agency or inferior tribunal to act according to the law.
2. Administrative Hearings
Many of the larger California state agencies are subject to the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Under the APA, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) from the State Office of Administrative Hearings initially hears the administrative dispute.
In the process, we write briefs, elicit testimony, examine witnesses, and produce a record, laying the groundwork facts, arguments, and issues for the current dispute. In any appeal, the administrative process is an important foundation to the resolution of many disputes.
John Michael Jensen has successfully resolved issues involving California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the California State Department of Health Services, and state and local government entities.
In formal administrative proceedings involving the state government, issues involving statutory or contractual interpretation usually arise.
Litigation Under California Law
Litigation under California law refers to the process by which legal disputes are resolved in a formal judicial setting. It involves the enforcement and defense of legal rights and obligations through the court system, typically initiated by a plaintiff who seeks to establish liability against a defendant for various legal claims.
Stages of Litigation under California Law:
- Complaint/Petition: The litigation process begins when the plaintiff files a complaint outlining the legal and factual basis of the claim against the defendant.
- Answer: The defendant responds to the complaint by filing an answer, admitting or denying the allegations, and raising defenses.
- Counterclaims and Cross-Complaints: The defendant may also assert their own claims against the plaintiff or other parties.
- Case Management:
- Early in the case, the court may hold a case management conference to establish a schedule for the case and discuss matters that may simplify the proceedings.
- The parties exchange information relevant to the case through various discovery tools. This stage is crucial as it allows both sides to gather evidence to support their positions.
- Depositions: Testimony taken under oath from parties or witnesses outside of court.
- Interrogatories: Written questions that must be answered in writing under oath.
- Requests for Production of Documents: Demands for documents that are relevant to the case.
- Requests for Admissions: Statements sent to an opposing party to admit or deny certain facts.
- Subpoenas: Orders to non-parties to provide testimony or produce documents.
- Physical and Mental Examinations: In certain cases, a party’s physical or mental condition may be examined by a professional.
- Law and Motion:
- Motions: During or after discovery, parties may file motions to resolve procedural or substantive issues. These can include motions to compel discovery, motions for summary judgment, or motions to dismiss parts of the case.
- Pretrial Conference:
- A meeting between the parties and the judge to discuss the possibility of settlement and to prepare for trial if necessary.
- Throughout the litigation process, parties may negotiate to settle the case out of court. Settlements can occur at any time and often involve some compromise on both sides.
- If a settlement is not reached, the case goes to trial where each side presents evidence and arguments.
- Jury Selection: If the trial is before a jury, a process of jury selection or “voir dire” is conducted.
- Opening Statements: Each party outlines their case to the judge or jury.
- Presentation of Evidence: Witnesses are called, and documents are presented.
- Closing Arguments: Parties summarize their case and suggest a favorable outcome.
- Verdict: The judge or jury renders a decision based on the evidence and the law.
- Post-Trial Motions:
- Parties may file motions challenging the verdict or seeking certain types of relief, such as a new trial or a judgment notwithstanding the verdict.
- The losing party has the right to appeal the trial court’s decision to an appellate court, which will review the record for legal errors.
- Enforcement of Judgment:
- Once a final judgment is obtained, the winning party may need to take steps to enforce the judgment if the losing party does not voluntarily comply.
Different Aspects of Litigation under California Law:
- Preliminary Injunctions and Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs): These are orders to maintain the status quo or to require or prevent specific actions pending the outcome of a case.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): California courts encourage parties to use mediation or arbitration to resolve disputes outside of court.
- Case Law and Statutory Law: The courts rely on statutory laws and precedent from previous cases to determine the outcome of disputes.
- Evidentiary Rules: California has its own Evidence Code that governs the admissibility of evidence during litigation.
- Jury Instructions: California has an extensive set of jury instructions (CACI for civil cases) that explain the law to the jury in an understandable way.
- Court Personnel: Besides judges, court personnel such as clerks, bailiffs, and court reporters play roles in the litigation process.
Litigation in California can be complex and time-consuming, requiring parties to adhere to strict procedural rules and deadlines. Parties involved in litigation often seek legal representation to navigate the process effectively.