What are the common defenses and strategies used in California litigation cases?


California litigation cases, there are several common defenses and strategies that attorneys may employ to protect their clients’ interests. These defenses and strategies aim to challenge the opposing party’s claims, weaken their arguments, or mitigate potential damages. Some of the most frequently used defenses and strategies in California litigation cases include

Affirmative Defenses

These defenses assert that even if the plaintiff’s allegations are true, the defendant is not liable due to specific legal reasons. Common affirmative defenses include contributory or comparative negligence, assumption of risk, statute of limitations, lack of standing, and failure to state a claim.

Procedural Defenses

These defenses focus on challenging the procedural aspects of the case rather than the merits. They may include arguments related to jurisdiction, venue, improper service of process, failure to join necessary parties, or failure to comply with applicable statutes of limitations.

Lack of Evidence

Attorneys may challenge the opposing party’s evidence by arguing that it is insufficient, unreliable, or inadmissible. This defense aims to weaken the plaintiff’s case by casting doubt on the credibility or relevance of the evidence presented.


Defendants may assert counterclaims against the plaintiff, alleging that the plaintiff has also caused harm or violated legal rights. Counterclaims can shift the focus of the case and potentially result in the defendant being awarded damages or other relief.

Settlement Negotiations

Attorneys may engage in settlement negotiations to resolve the case before trial. This strategy can be beneficial for both parties, as it avoids the uncertainties and costs associated with litigation. Settlement negotiations may involve mediation or arbitration, where a neutral third party helps facilitate a resolution.

Motion Practice

Attorneys may file various motions during the litigation process to challenge specific aspects of the case. For example, a motion to dismiss can be filed to argue that the plaintiff’s complaint fails to state a valid legal claim. Other common motions include motions for summary judgment, which seek a judgment in favor of the moving party based on the absence of genuine issues of material fact.

Expert Witnesses

Attorneys may employ expert witnesses to provide specialized knowledge or opinions that support their client’s position. Expert witnesses can help explain complex issues, provide scientific or technical evidence, or challenge the opposing party’s expert testimony.

Pretrial Discovery

Attorneys use pretrial discovery to gather evidence, obtain information, and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing party’s case. Discovery methods include depositions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and requests for admissions.

Trial Strategy

During trial, attorneys employ various strategies, such as presenting persuasive arguments, cross-examining witnesses, introducing exhibits, and making effective use of opening and closing statements. They may also challenge the opposing party’s evidence and arguments through objections and motions.


If a party is dissatisfied with the outcome of a trial, they may appeal the decision to a higher court. Appellate attorneys focus on identifying errors made during the trial and arguing that these errors affected the outcome. Appeals can result in the reversal, modification, or remand of the trial court’s decision.

  • July 6, 2023