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Joseph Franklin Klatt

Joseph Franklin Klatt

The La Jolla Lawyer
  • Business Law, Legal Malpractice, Civil Rights...
  • California
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Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&AResponsive Law

Joseph F. Klatt is a veteran California litigator with demonstrated expertise representing individual and institutional clients in complex civil litigation matters. He is skilled in handling all facets of litigation, including initiating and planning a case, managing discovery, drafting dispositive motions and briefs, conducting depositions, trying and resolving cases, handling complex writs and appeals, and negotiating significant settlements in high stakes cases. He is recognized for handling complex, unique, and troublesome cases, providing innovative litigation strategies, looking at legal issues from multiple and unorthodox angles, and cost-effectively achieving his clients’ objectives.

Joseph was the Valedictorian of his law school class at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the McGeorge Law Review. While in law school he received Witkin awards for achieving the highest marks in over half of his graded units, including Contracts, Torts, Property, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Bioethics, Environmental Law, and Legal Process (Research and Writing). Joseph was voted the Outstanding Graduating Senior by the faculty, and is a member of the Order of the Coif and the Traynor Society. Joseph was a judicial extern for the Honorable Kimberly J. Mueller of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Joseph was born and raised in La Jolla, California, and graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in Cognitive Science with a Specialization in Neuroscience.

Practice Areas
  • Business Law
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Civil Rights
  • Real Estate Law
  • Appeals & Appellate
Additional Practice Areas
  • Litigation
  • Lawsuits and Disputes
  • Free Consultation
    30 minute free consultation. Additional consultation fees are waived for consults who sign with the firm.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
State Bar of California
ID Number: 258110
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Founder and Owner
The Law Office of Joseph F. Klatt
University of California - San Francisco
B.S. | Cognitive Science with a Specialization in Neuroscience
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University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
Honors: Valedictorian; Witkin awards for the highest marks in Contracts I & II, Torts I & II, Civil Procedure I & II, Constitutional Law I & II, Legal Process I & II (Research & Writing), Bioethics, and Environmental Law; voted Outstanding Graduating Senior by the faculty, and is a member of the Order of the Coif and the Traynor Society.
Activities: Editor-in-Chief of the McGeorge Law Review
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law Logo
Professional Associations
California State Bar # 258110
- Current
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Websites & Blogs
The Law Office of Joseph F. Klatt
Legal Answers
9 Questions Answered

Q. Defendants lawyer wrote us stating he read the complaint. Do we still have to serve them?
A: You can't default them without filing a proof of service. To do that you need to serve them properly. A party cannot serve another party themselves. Them reading it is not proper service unless they sign an acknowledgment/waiver of service. If they haven't been properly served, hire a process server, or use the civil division of the local sheriff to do it, then file the proof of service they give you. If they do not answer, then you can default. If they have been properly served, fill out a proper proof and file it. Then proceed. The judge cannot tell you how to do that. Try looking at the local small claims court help section for some helpful details on the process.
Q. The district court judges and clerk violated laws and rights. How and where do I sue the federal judge?
A: You don't sue the judge. Judges are generally immune from civil liability for their actions in court. As a practical matter, they are entitled to latitude, and they don't even have to be right 100% of the time. They have to deal with what they have as best they can. If the ultimate result of the case is unfavorable, your remedy is an appeal.
Q. What does, exact title of documents served mean on a California declaration of mailing form?
A: The declaration should match the documents actually sent. Minor discrepancies are not a big issue. You can always serve amended forms that fix the issue. If there are major discrepancies, that can be grounds to challenge the motion, petition, etc. at issue. It depends on the nature of the underlying proceeding.
Q. I was selling my jet ski for $5000. My friend wanted to buy it. It had some problems, so my friend took it to the sho
A: I think part of your question got clipped. If I understand correctly, you had a contract for the sale of goods, a jet ski, with your friend. By selling it to someone else, you broke that contract. It seems reasonable to me that he wants his money back, or he could sue you for the value of the jet ski you didn't deliver. A week, a month, or a year doesn't change the legal dynamic until you reach the statute of limitations, which is, generally, two years for an oral contract, three years for fraud, and four years for a written contract.
Q. Can I sue a movie production company for invasion of privacy if they used the name of my dead dad in a movie ?
A: Your real problem is this is prime First Amendment territory. If the accusations were true, or reasonably close within artistic license, it will be hard to complain. You can't had bad acts behind the veil of privacy, particularly if they are terroristic, which are by nature intended to be public and to create public fear, distraction, and reaction. Calling that out in film and news and other media is fair game. That your family got dragged into this horrible mess is not the movie company's fault, it was your fathers. The more that you ca distance yourself from his actions, the better. If it is very bad, consider a name change.
Q. Former roommate holding personal items from me saying I owe him money when he signed me off the lease of an apartment.
A: I'm not sure what the question is, but whether you owe him money or not does not give him the right to hold your personal effects hostage.
Q. Define what "last date of activity" on a statute of limitations encompasses.
A: No one can give you a detailed explanation of the statute of limitations without knowing the details of your situation. There are multiple causes of action that can be used against you in a collections situation, including breach of contract, and common counts, such as "open book account." Important dates can be when you last paid, refused to pay, acknowledged the debt, renegotiated the debt, and received a bill. In different circumstances, those can all be triggers for the statute of limitations, which depending on the cause of action are generally 2-4 years, most often 4 years for the most common causes of action here. I am not sure what you are thinking about doing in small claims. Are you thinking of an offensive claim? You are the one that owes money. They need to sue you to collect, and they need to prove the validity of the debt, which you can dispute. You can always sit back and hold them to their proof if they chose to bring a suit. Now your credit may suffer in the meanwhile, so their may be reasons to challenge it outside the judicial context. If this account has been assigned to collections, you do have a right to ask the collector to validate the debt when they contact you.
Q. While it's legal to have an audible alarm system as an anti-theft device. Is it legal to sound the horn to engage?
A: Depending on where you live, and the time of day or night this is happening, he may be in violation of local noise ordinances. I will say however, that if you report him, you may not get a lot of sympathy. Local enforcement may just take it as a trivial complaint between neighbors that don't get along. Try to resolve it between yourselves. Lawsuits and law enforcement aren't likely to get you anywhere but to escalate a situation that already seems unnecessarily confrontational.
Q. Am being sued & a judgement was made against me for not showing but was unaware of lawsuit. Not responsible for debt
A: You can move to set aside a default judgment under Code of Civil Procedure 473(b) for "mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect" but the outside time limit to do so is six months. After that time, the Court has no power to entertain the motion. That you say you are "trying to file" the motion suggests that you haven't. Get to it, or you may be too late. I am not sure what Court date you missed or why you missed it, but saying you are sick after the fact is a bad excuse and will not endear you to the Court. It is about as convincing to the judge as "the dog ate my homework." If you have a gunshot wound, then maybe, but you better document it and get it in front of the Court. I know I have gone to Court so ill that I had to physically hold myself up with the edges of counsel table and just hid the fact. After the judge left the bench, my legs gave out on me. I dropped into counsel chair, and it was a good five minutes before I could get myself up and down the stairs and out of the Court. Don't miss Court. Just don't do it. Arguments that contracts were altered come across as desperate and dishonest. I have seen it happen, rarely, but unless you have an expert graphologist or other forensic expert, expect skepticism. Finally, a bit of practical advice on advocacy: the more you are explaining, the worse you are doing. You need a clear concise reason for whatever argument you make, not a laundry list of theories and grievances. Find one, make it good, and stick with it.
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Contact & Map
Law Office of Joseph F. Klatt
1128 Wall St
La Jolla, CA 92037
Telephone: (858) 454-2500
The Law Office of Joseph F. Klatt
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. #959
Beverly Hills, CA 90210