Procedure of Civil Cases

Preparing you for what's ahead.

First things first!

We'll file a complaint which will state the plaintiff, defendant, and describe the lawsuit. The court will then send a summons, telling the person of the suit against them and ordering them to appear in court a specific date and time.

Next...

Defendants can respond by having their attorney "answer" the complaint. They will also send pleadings which is the complaint and the answer together.

After that...

We may have pretrial discussions, which is where the judge will have both parties meet to help clarify differences and prepare for trial. During this time the defendant make use of mediation or arbitration to propose a settlement if they feel like your case is too strong.

Finally...

Then finally, the trial comes along. There could be a jury of 6-12 people or no jury at all. Both sides will prevent and then summarize their case. The side that has the preponderance of evidence is that side that will win the case. The judge or the jury will then deliver the verdict.

Afterwards...

The plaintiff or defendant can ask for a review of the case if they believe a mistake was made. This review is called an appeal.