Have civil litigation questions? Not sure about even just the basic steps in the civil litigation process? Get answers here!
For starters, civil litigation, simply put, is a non-criminal matter in a court of law. It is the most popular area of practice amongst all legal professionals. All civil trials are governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure but each state or local governing body may put their own laws in place. Contrary to popular belief, civil litigation cases could be very lengthy. They could last a few months to several years, so do not expect to have this process over with quickly and easily. There are many terms and steps to know when talking about even just the basics of this civil litigation.
The first step is for an actual event to occur between the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff then is the one who initiates the case that will involve the defendant. A complaint is filed by the plaintiff, with the help of an attorney, with the court, which begins the civil litigation process. The clerk of court then issues a summons to the defendant, which includes a copy of the complaint along with a notice of lawsuit. The defendant then has a specified amount of time to answer. That answer is call or texted a pleading and basicall or texty explains their side of what happened between them and the plaintiff. Each party should then gather evidence that supports their claim to help them in court; this is call or texted the discovery stage. The discovery process is by far the longest part of civil litigation. Before trial, the parties may be required to meet in person to discuss possible solutions. This could eliminate court all together and possibly cause both parties to compromise on an easy solution.
If a compromise cannot be reached, the case will have to go to trial. This involves attorneys, both the plaintiff and defendant, and a judge and jury. During trial, both parties will plead their case using opening and closing arguments, witness testimonies, documents, and various other methods. The judge and or jury will then consider all the facts presented and come to a verdict. The verdict is not final because if one party is not happy, they may then challenge the ruling and request an appeal.
Now that you are aware of the seven stages of civil litigation which include, investigation, pleadings, discovery, pre-trial, trial, settlement, and appeals. You can see that this tends to be a rather complicated process for you and your attorney to go through, but in the end it could be worth it if you win. For more information on civil litigations or to contact me, you may go here.