Diana & Associates
Attorneys at Law
What is a Civil Case?
Who are the parties involved in a civil case?
A complaint is a formal statement naming the plaintiff and defendant which describes the lawsuit.
The Court then sends a summons: a document telling the defendant of the lawsuit against them, ordering them to appear in court on a certain day and time.
During the pleadings the defendant responds, the pleadings are the complaint and answer together.
What comes next?
Some defendant's might think they have a really strong case and just offer a settlement, but if not...
You go to trial: The plaintiff presents its side first and then the defendant in front of a jury of 6-12 people or a judge alone. Both sides summarize their cases.
At the end of the trial there is a verdict, this is the final decision where either the defendant pays or wins, in which case the plaintiff would have to pay court costs.
What if the case doesn't go as one of the parties wishes?
A couple extra things to know
Arbitration is a situation in which a third party listens to the plaintiff and defendant, reviews the case, and makes a final decision that is binding for both parties.