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If you are the plaintiff and decide to sue someone they would be the defendant.
if you were the defendant you would the one being sued or accused of a crime.
if you were to hire a attorney, that attorney would then file a complaint, which is basically a formal statement that tells you what the lawsuit is about and the parties involved.
if you were the defendant then you would get a summons fro you to appear on a certain date to the courts.
if you were the defendant then you would send a response admitting guilt or giving the reasons why you weren't responsible. the complaint and response are called pleadings.
If you were the judge you would call a pretrial, so that two sides could figure out their differences.
If you were at a mediation it would be the time that the two parties get together to resolve the dispute.
If you had a arbitration then the arbitrator would be the third party to settle the dispute and the decision, and it would be legally binding.
If your case wasn't settled before now it would go to trial, but most civil cases are settled before they have to go to trial.
Preponderance of Evidence
If you were to get a preponderance of evidence then the case would be heard by either a jury of 6 to 12 people or a judge. The plaintiff would present their side first, then the defendant would present their side.Then the both parties would summarize their sides. The plaintiff must prove the case with " a preponderance of evidence " to try to persuade the judge or jury that the defendant is responsible for the charges.