If you are an officer, president, or owner of a California corporation and have been served for purposes of a lawsuit or pending legal proceedings it is vital that you hire a business lawyer to represent you in court. Pursuant to Paradise v. Nowlin (1948) 86 C.A.2d 897, Code of Civil Procedure § 116.540(b) California law prohibits anyone other than a licensed California attorney to represent a corporation or LLC in lawsuit proceedings unless the legal matter is a small claims proceeding.
Under California law, an officer such as a CEO, CFO, Vice President, or Director of a corporation cannot appear in court for a corporation, unless you are also licensed to practice law in California. While the legal system treats corporations as separate entities from their officers, directors, etc., it is generally illegal to appear in court on behalf of the corporation unless you are licensed to practice law in California. Thus, you must hire an experienced business law attorney to represent both your corporation’s and your business’s interests.
It is important to keep in mind that, unfortunately, the legal process can often be lengthy and tough. However, many business law attorneys have the wit and negotiation skills that may shorten this process. If your California corporation has been sued, time is of the essence because once served with a summons and complaint, you must properly file an answer with the court within 30 days following service.
Remember, hiring a business defense attorney doesn’t have to cost a fortune; our business attorneys offer various fee options, including flat fees, hybrid fee agreements, traditional fees, discounted rates, and capped fees. If you want to consult with a business law attorney, please contact our office.