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Civil Case Steps
First, you will hire me, and I will file a complaint with the district court. This complaint will be a formal statement that names you as the plaintiff party (the person who is filing a lawsuit against someone), the defending party, and describes the nature of the civil lawsuit.
Next, the district court will send a summons, a document that tells the defendant (the person or group we are prosecuting and up against) of the lawsuit and demands them to appear in court on a certain day and time. At this point, the defendant must send a response to the summons admitting guilt or give reasons they are not responsible. The process of complaint and response are together called pleadings.
A judge calls a pre-trial conference, where the plaintiff and defending sides can clarify differences. The plaintiff decides whether to drop or continue with the suit. As your lawyer, I will accompany and advise you at this conference. I as a lawyer and you as my client must consider the factors of uncertain outcome, expenses, and amount of time spent on the case before seriously taking on a case.
Instead of follow through with a suit, another option can be resolving the dispute though mediate and arbitration. Through mediation, a third party helps the plaintiff and defending group to come to a consensus that satisfies the other two. In arbitration, the third party totally settles the dispute; however, this decision leaves the plaintiff and defendant legally bound.
If the plaintiff decides to continue with the trial after pretrial conference, the case goes to trial. Over the course of a few days to a few weeks, the case is heard by a jury of six to twelve people or a single judge. First, the plaintiff (our side) will present. Then, the defendant presents his or her side. Finally, both sides summarize their cases. In order for us to win, we must provide a preponderance of evidence (enough evidence) to persuade the deciding judge/jury that the defendant is at fault.
At the end of the trial, the judge or jury decides and announced the verdict (a decision of who wins the court case). If the plaintiff wins, a remediation is set such as monetary compensation. If the defendant wins, the plaintiff receives no compensation and must pay court costs. An option for us in this case would be to appeal, or request that a higher court review the case because we believe something went wrong.
Let’s Get Started!
Now that you understand the proceedings in a civil suit, we hope that you will hire us to be your civil lawyer. With our experienced and personalized care for our clients, we are the best choice for law service in the state. Hope to hear from you soon!