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Steps in a Civil Case

  1. Hire a lawyer
  2. Plaintiff's lawyer files a complaint
  3. Court sends the defendant a summons to appear in court at a given date/time (trial)
  4. Defendant responds to the charges by filing an answer to the complaint
  5. Discovery phase
  6. Plaintiff and defendant present their sides of the case in court
  7. Court issues a verdict

Terms to know and understand

  • Pleadings- a formal statement of the cause of an action or defense
  • Pretrial Conference- A meeting of the parties to an action and their attorneys held before the court prior to the commencement of actual courtroom proceedings
  • Mediation- a way of resolving the conflict
  • Arbitration- the use of an arbitrator to settle a dispute
  • Preponderance of Evidence- the evidence needed in a civil case
  • Appeal- apply to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court

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