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Representatives For Civil Litigation

Standing to pursue a claim is a fundamental hurdle in civil litigation - but one that may carry significant questions.

If you are pursuing litigation on behalf of a minor, do you need a Guardian to represent that minor?

Do you need someone appointed to pursue litigation on behalf of an adult without capacity?

Are you pursuing an action that survived the injured party? Should you use a successor in interest or the personal representative of the estate?

Personal Representative for a Minor/ Person Without Capacity

Kristof & Kristof can petition for the appointment of a representative for a minor (Guardian) or an adult without capacity (Conservator).

The various notice requirements and local court practices may require significant time to pass between filing and appointment. To avoid the running of your statute of limitations, contact Kristof & Kristof, at either 626-535-9445 or 800-535-5717, at your earliest opportunity.

Personal Representative To Pursue A Survival Action

In some instances, a successor in interest may be sufficient- for the time being. However, a successor in interest may be only a temporary fix with serious post-recovery consequences.

Suppose, for instance, that you represent one of decedent's three children in the survival action. Your client is only the successor in interest, she is not the personal representative of the estate. You spend significant time on the matter and prepare for discovery, mediation, and trial. However, while you are working on the civil litigation side of the matter, your client's sibling becomes the personal representative of the estate.

First, your client may have just lost her standing to continue the litigation. Second, your client's sibling, who does have standing, may wish to be represented by counsel other than you. Third, your client's sibling will be the one who will marshal the litigation recovery - not your client. Fourth, your client's sibling, who may be hostile to your client and you, will be the person to petition for the approval of your fee and fee agreement.

Kristof & Kristof can petition for your client to be the personal representative of the estate, thereby avoiding many unpleasant surprises. If your client suspects that someone may contest her appointment, we recommend petitioning the Court at the earliest opportunity.