Litigation can be a complex and confusing process, and it’s no wonder that many people find it difficult to understand. Despite the fact that it’s a commonly used legal term, there are a lot of misconceptions about what litigation actually involves. At our law firm, we believe that knowledge is power, and we want to empower you to make informed decisions about your legal challenges. That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive guide that explains all the ins and outs of the litigation process, so you’ll know exactly what to expect when you begin your legal proceedings.
Litigation can be a long and complex process. It can involve many stages, from the initial investigation to the pre-trial litigations. Each stage is designed to help you get the compensation you deserve and to ensure that justice is served. Let’s take a closer look at each stage of the litigation process.
Investigation is the first stage of litigation. Your lawyer will investigate the incident and gather evidence. They will talk to you about what happened and try to get a detailed picture of the situation. During this stage, your lawyer may suggest things you can do to increase your chances of a positive outcome. For example, if you’ve been involved in a car accident, they might advise you to get checked out by a doctor. The goal of this stage is to figure out what sort of damages you experienced and what you would need to make the situation right.
Negotiations and demands are the second stage of litigation. Your lawyer will send a formal demand letter to the other party, detailing the situation and the evidence they have. This letter will explain what compensation you would like. Negotiations are not usually a legal requirement, but they are often a good idea. The defending party might choose to respond with their own counteroffer, or they might agree to your request right away. Any discussions you have will only be legally binding if both parties sign some sort of settlement contract.
Filing your complaint and formal discovery are the third stage of litigation. If the other party didn’t make any sort of satisfactory offer, it’s time to take things to court. Your lawyer will file a motion or petition with the court system, asking the court to help you with your dispute. Once you get this process started, you can begin with the formal discovery phase. Each side can ask the court to require the other party to turn over evidence or respond to various questions. An important part of the discovery phase is depositions, where all relevant witnesses will be asked questions and will have their answers documented by a court reporter.
Pre-trial litigations are the fourth stage of litigation. Once both parties start taking a close look at each other’s evidence, things begin to heat up. Attorneys may make several other motions before your final court date arrives. For example, they might ask the court to throw the case out due to lack of evidence or make a summary ruling due to overwhelming evidence.
Finally, the last stage of litigation is the trial itself. This is where you will present your case to a judge or jury. Your lawyer will make opening and closing statements, and they will present evidence and call witnesses to the stand. The other party will have the opportunity to do the same. The judge or jury will then make a decision based on the evidence presented.
In conclusion, litigation is a long and complex process, involving many stages. Each stage is designed to help you get the compensation you deserve and to ensure that justice is served. By working with an experienced lawyer, you can navigate this process with confidence and get the best possible outcome for your case.
Negotiations during this stage become more serious, with parties meeting in person to go back and forth on their terms instead of simple letters. Facilitators, unbiased attorneys, hear both sides and help maintain civility. Mediation or arbitration may also be attempted for more formal negotiations, with an unbiased mediator presenting a settlement option.
About 95% of cases are settled at this point, avoiding a courtroom trial. Settling beforehand is preferred for its speed and reliability. Going to court is the last option, with attorneys presenting evidence and legal details for the judge or jury to make a decision on the settlement.
Litigatory actions may continue post-trial, with the option to file an appeal if unhappy with the ruling. Your lawyer may show impropriety during court proceedings that entitles a new trial. Other details, such as payment and timeline negotiations, may need to be settled for complete resolution of the dispute.