Chandler Civil Defense Lawyers | Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm

Civil Defense Lawyers in Chandler, AZ

Being sued can be frustrating and confusing. It is extremely important to note that, generally, you have 20 days to file a response to a Complaint once you are served with a lawsuit. If you do not appear and defend yourself, you may run the risk of having a default judgment entered against you. Even if you are wrongly sued, you must take steps to defend the lawsuit to avoid having a judgment entered against you.

Generally, when served with a Complaint, you should review it to determine who is suing you and what you are being sued for. Sometimes, it is difficult to understand the nature of the claims. Nonetheless, once the claims are known, it may be easier to determine what defenses, if any, are available to you. There are numerous defenses that may be asserted in a lawsuit. While the suing party has the burden of proving each element of his/her/its claim, many of the defenses have certain elements that must be established to potentially avoid liability.

Critically, there are certain defenses that must be asserted in your initial response to the Complaint; otherwise, they may be considered waived, such as lack of personal jurisdiction, improper venue, insufficient process, and insufficient service of process. See Ariz. R. Civ. P. 12(b). Other defenses may include lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or failure to join an indispensable party. Id. There are also a various affirmative defenses that must be asserted if they apply, including (a) accord and satisfaction; (b) arbitration and award; (c) assumption of risk; (d) contributory negligence; (e) duress; (f) estoppel; (g) failure of consideration; (h) fraud; (i) illegality; (j) laches; (k) license; (l) payment; (m) release; (n) res judicata; (o) statute of frauds; (p) statute of limitations; and (q) waiver. See Ariz. R. Civ. P. 8(d).

Some of these defenses may exist even if it appears you are at fault for causing the situation. In this regard, you may have caused and even admit you caused an accident by rear-ending the car in front of you, but you may still contest the nature and extent of the injuries and damaged claimed by the adverse party. Or, a person may admit they breached a contract, but contest the damages sought by the breach. Also, in Arizona, there may be situations where a party is partially at fault, such as with a car accident when both parties engaged in acts to jointly cause an accident or the injuries. For example, a motorcyclist who was not wearing a helmet or a person who is not wearing a seatbelt that was in an accident wholly caused by another party may be assessed fault if their injuries could have been prevented or reduced if a helmet or seatbelt was utilized. Under these circumstances, a judge or jury may allocate percentages of fault to each party (or non-party) which reduces the amount of any award based on those percentages of fault.

In addition to asserting defenses, a party being sued must adhere to the applicable rules of court and any orders issued by the Court. Generally, there are timelines and requirements as to submitting disclosures, conducting discovery, and filing certain motions. The failure to adhere to the Court’s rules and orders may result in the preclusion of evidence, striking of certain defenses, or even an adverse judgment.

Given the risk associated with having a judgment against you, you should contact an attorney to discuss your rights, defenses, and options to determine the best course for you.

If you’re involved in a civil lawsuit, contact the Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm to protect your rights and put your best interests first. To discuss your civil law matter, call us at 480-755-7110 today to schedule a consultation.

Arizona Office Address:
3185 S. Price Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85248
Phone: 480-755-7110

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