When considering the options that are available to a law firm or individual litigants, one of the most important questions to ask is what sort of lawsuit is likely to produce the best results? A lawsuit is often viewed as a lengthy process that may consume considerable time and energy and may also involve substantial financial costs. Conversely, a well-developed litigation strategy can be time consuming and expensive, but can yield results that are both financially and emotionally satisfying. In this article, we will discuss the basics of how to approach the process of filing a lawsuit.
Process of Filing a Lawsuit
Before even beginning to look at strategy, you need to understand what steps must be undertaken in the lawsuit. First, you will need to decide whether you would like to proceed with filing a complaint against the opposing party or filing a motion to dismiss. If you’re simply seeking legal relief against an individual who has violated a federal statute, for example, you might choose to file a complaint.
There is a process to filing a complaint and there are a number of processes that must be followed in order to successfully bring a lawsuit forward. However, if you’re filing a lawsuit against a party that you feel has engaged in fraudulent conduct, for example, you will most likely need a motion to dismiss.
Once you have decided to pursue a lawsuit, you will need to determine whether you would like to go forward with a trial or settlement.
In some cases, a case can only be brought to trial if the opposing party cannot prove that the plaintiff has been harmed. If a trial is required, there are typically two different stages to the trial process: discovery preparation. Discovery consists of looking to find evidence that will assist in proving the opposition’s “basics” or “clues” regarding the case. Discovery can be very arduous, and it is also a time in which attorneys become very busy.
The next step in the lawsuit process is the discovery phase.
During this stage, you will receive permission from the defendant to search for any records, depositions, etc. which pertain to the case. Additionally, you will be able to attend any depositions. If a settlement agreement is reached before going to trial, you may even be able to settle the case without going to court.
After discovery has concluded, both parties are legally obligated to disclose all relevant information pertaining to the lawsuit.
This includes any statements which could be interpreted as having a potential effect on the lawsuit. Generally speaking, attorneys advise their clients to seek counsel regarding any statements which could be used against them in court. In most instances where both parties agree to a settlement outside of court, the litigation is completed in the local courts.
Once a lawsuit has been filed in a court of law, there are typically two possible outcomes.
If the plaintiff wins the lawsuit, that party is obligated to pay damages. Conversely, if the defendant wins the lawsuit, that individual is not responsible for paying anything unless the court rules that the plaintiff’s damages should be awarded as a result of negligence on the part of the defendant.
If either party prevails in the lawsuit, that individual may be awarded a settlement based on his or her claim. Alternatively, if the court rules in favor of the defendant, that individual may be awarded a judgment in favor of the plaintiff.