Preparing For Civil Litigation

Civil litigation involves conflicts between people or businesses that usually (but not always) involve money. It starts when one party files a lawsuit, called a complaint, with the court.

The next step is “discovery,” where the litigants exchange information with each other. This might include depositions, where 성범죄변호사 witnesses are questioned under oath and the testimony is recorded by a court reporter.

Pre-trial

While criminal cases often make the news, civil litigation is more common. Civil suits do not involve any criminal accusations and instead, parties are often arguing about money or action. There are many different types of lawsuits that fall under the umbrella term civil litigation, including personal injury, wrongful death, breach of contract and disputes over ownership of property. When two parties cannot reach a settlement, the matter may head to trial. However, before the case is tried by a judge or jury, there are many things that must happen during the pretrial process.

Pleadings

Civil cases begin with the filing of pleadings, which includes the plaintiff’s complaint and the defendant’s answer. The complaint identifies the harm experienced by the plaintiff and details the legal claims that they are making. The defendant’s answer outlines why the court should dismiss the plaintiff’s allegations. It also makes affirmative defenses that the defendant believes are applicable to the case.

The answer may include motions, which are requests that the court make a ruling on specific matters. These requests could be to bar certain evidence from being introduced in trial, to require that a witness testify or even to dismiss the case altogether. If the ruling is expected to end the lawsuit, it is called a dispositive motion; if the ruling will affect some but not all of the claims made in the suit, it is referred to as non-dispositive.

Discovery

During the discovery phase, attorneys for both parties will review documents and interview witnesses. This information will be used to build the case for trial, and it can help to uncover important facts about the dispute. Attorneys may enlist experts to assist them in this process as well.

Pretrial conference

After both parties have finished their discovery process, the judge will hold a pretrial conference, which is sometimes known as a case management conference. This meeting will set a schedule for the remainder of the pretrial process, including a date for trial. It will also include discussions about various aspects of the trial, such as whether it will be a bench or jury trial, any stipulations on evidence or the qualifications of expert witnesses and more.

Trial

If the judge and parties cannot reach a settlement during the pretrial process or at the pretrial conference, the matter will proceed to trial. The trial will involve opening statements, questioning and argumentation from both sides and closing arguments. The jury will then decide the verdict. The outcome of the trial may be appealed if either party is not satisfied with the decision. However, the most common result of a trial is a finding by the jury that one side has proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. A monetary award is usually provided in this situation. Other outcomes can be a settlement between the parties, a dismissal of all claims or a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity.