Deadlines. . . They’re Important. Project Owner Risks Losing Claim By Failing to Timely Identify “Doe” Defendant

Businessman taking notes on clipboard

Homeowners in a construction defect case nearly lost their right to sue a geotechnical engineer by failing to serve the engineer within three years after naming the engineer as a defendant.

December 21, 2020
Garret Murai - California Construction Law Blog

Earlier this year I filed a complaint in a court which I won’t identify other than to say that it wasn’t the San Francisco Superior Court. Immediately upon filing the complaint the Court gave notice of a trial date. As counsel for the party bringing the action, I appreciate this, as it eliminates the back and forth jostling that can sometimes occur when trying to get a trial date.

Here’s the kicker though. While I appreciate getting a trial date straight out of the gate. The date I got was . . . wait for it . . . not until 2022!

Those who litigate in California state courts know that the courts are understaffed and overworked. But you’ve got to give this un-named court credit for being upfront. Forget the “well, let’s see where this goes” niceties. Trial within a year? Fugetaboutit. Trial within a year and a half. Don’t even think about it. Trial within two years. It’s about as good as you’re going to get.

Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@nomosllp.com



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