Unit 7 Lesson 2 Mastery Assignment

William Graves

Welcome

Thank you for choosing the law firm you can trust! As our clients, we want you to be as prepared as possible for when you will be involved in a case. We have included information that describes multiple aspects of cases in order to help you understand what needs to be done in order to create a case.

The First Steps Involved in Cases

Cases presented in court begin with both parties writing documents that establish their positions, which are known as pleadings. The initial pleading is the complaint, which is written by the plaintiff. This document creates the foundation of the case by providing the plaintiff’s version of the information involved. Once this has been filed, the defendant will write the answer. This pleading lets the defendant explain reasons why the plaintiff should not succeed in the case, as well as allows him or her to provide additional facts.

Pretrial Conferences

Before a trial occurs, a pretrial conference will be held. This helps to accomplish a few things, such as outlining discovery proceeding and clarifying the issues being tried. It is also used to attempt to solve certain disputes without bringing them before the court. The two methods used to resolve a case are arbitration and mediation. Arbitration involves submitting the case to a neutral third‑party so that they may review all of the evidence presented and make a final decision. Mediation involves using a neutral third‑party mediator who helps both parties negotiate a settlement for the dispute. Unlike arbitration, the mediator has no authority to decide upon the final decision.

Trial Information

Once it has been decided that a trial will be held for a case, a summons is sent to the defendant, which notifies him of when he is required to appear in court. When it is finally time for the trial to be held, both parties present their arguments and evidence that supports their claims. The judge then reviews all of the information involved in the case and decides upon a verdict. His decision is affected heavily by what is known as preponderance of evidence. This means that certain evidence may be much more convincing than any opposing evidence, even if it is one witness’ testimony compared to twelve other testimonies that state contradictory information. If a party involved in the case does not agree with the final verdict, they are able to appeal the case to a higher court in hopes of an opposite outcome.