Uncovering the Process of Civil Litigation
What is civil litigation?
Most times, we are faced with terminology that sounds complicated and downright scary—especially any term that includes the word, “litigation.” Civil litigation simply means that the plaintiff wants compensation and/or other damages from the defendant(s) and no criminal charges and penalties have been filed. The standard of proof in these cases is a lot less stringent than criminal cases. To win a civil litigation, each side presents their evidence, and whosesoever has the most convincing evidence gets a judgement in their favor.
What is the process?
The whole process begins when a person with a grievance finds an attorney and states their case, to see whether filing the case is a viable option. The attorney will then guide the potential client on steps forward. In the event that the person with the grievance is told they have a viable case, they will be known as the plaintiff.
The plaintiff is the person who starts the process. This is the party who files complaints against the defendant, the person they are suing. The defendant then gets a notice, so that they are aware of the complaint being filed against them. The defendant then has a fixed amount of time to respond, whether that response is to get an attorney and try to settle out of court, or to get someone who will prove their innocence in court. The defendant can also choose to file a counterclaim, in which he or she files a complaint against the plaintiff, as well, or to bring in other parties into the original suit. During this phase, both sides are expected to give their pleading. In the event that the Defense does not respond to the Plaintiff in a timely manner, the plaintiff can win a default judgement.
Once a response has been filed, the Discovery phase begins, where the parties exchange documents they believe will prove their case. This phase is usually longer in civil litigation cases than other types of cases. This is the phase during which witnesses can be interrogated under oath, asked to provide Depositions, or asked to answer written questions. At the end of this phase, lawyers request actions from the judge in the form of motions. Information gathered during this phase is what ultimately determines whether the case should be settled, or whether the parties should prepare for arbitration, mediation or trial.
Uncontested issues are the only issues that can be resolved by filing motions because there is no dispute. An alternative resolution is settlement., which is much less costly than going to trial. Here, both parties agree to compromise on a resolution, in which both parties have some control over the outcome. In the event that litigation is the chosen path forward, it is the court who decides which motions can be filed and for how many issues. For the issues which cannot be resolved by some form of settlement, they will go to trial. Here, both parties will submit the evidence they have and argue their sides of their cases until a judgement is made for either side. In the event that a party is not happy with the final decision, they can always appeal the decision.
If either party is not satisfied with the outcome of the judgement, they can opt to fie an appeal within thirty days from the rendition of the judgement. After that, an appellate court must agree to hear the appeal. They can also dismiss it, reverse the judgement, uphold the judgement or remind it to the lower court.
Have you or a loved one been served with documents as part of a civil litigation case? Or are you planning to serve documents to someone who may have wronged you? Call Dsouza and Strachan law group today and let us review the case. If we think you have a viable case, we would love to represent you. If we think you do not have a viable case, we will let you know your options. Choose to deal with attorneys who are upfront and honest. Call us today or visit our website: https://www.dsouzalegalgroup.com/ . A free consultation awaits you.