Know About the Various Stages of Civil Lawsuit 

A lawsuit terminates after it has passed through all of the required stages, along with any possible supplementary stages.  A lawsuit does not begin until after the administrative plaintiff has handed the complaint to the appropriate civil court.  

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Does that act automatically inmate the lawsuit?

No, the court checks to see if the complaint proves that the defendant’s actions has violated the legal rights and interests of the plaintiff. If it contains that proof, then the court accepts the complaint and files it.  

What takes place after that?

  • At that point the lawsuit has entered into its first stage. 
  • The plaintiff must file a summons, along with the complaint. 
  • The plaintiff must serve the summons and complaint on the defendant.
  • The court should receive a copy of any documents that offer evidence of harm done to the plaintiff.
  • The court should receive a copy of any statements from witnesses. 
  • The court also needs a copy of the diploma for the plaintiff’s lawyer.  

What takes place in the next stage?

The defendant responds to the summons.

The defendant has a chance to contest the charges in the complaint.

If the judge refuses to uphold the defendant’s effort to contest the charges, he or she sets a date for the discovery session. 

The plaintiff must pay the jury fees. 

The judge might ask the disputing parties to attend a mediation session, before taking part in the discovery session.  

What happens during the 3rd stage?

That is when the discovery session takes place. The discovery session begins with the interrogatories. Those are questions, the one side composes and sends to the parties on the other side. That is meant to allow for an exchange of evidence.  

After the interrogatories, the deposition takes place. During the deposition, each side’s lawyer gets a chance to question the witnesses. Either lawyer could object to one or more of the posed questions, but no judge could rule on the objection. Instead, the recorder would note the introduction of an objection. 

If you are involved in a personal injury case, it is important to understand who will be deposing, and for what purpose. This information can help you prepare for the deposition, obtain any relevant materials from your opponent or witness and have a better understanding of your case as it moves forward through the court system.

In some states each side has a chance to demand experts. Once each side has exercised its right to make that demand, the two sides exchange the names of the experts. Then a deposition of the experts takes place. 

After the discovery session ends, the litigation stage starts.

That is when the 2 disputing parties face each other in a courtroom. At the start of the courtroom trial, the attorney for the plaintiff and the attorney for the defendant both give an opening statement. 

After the jury has heard those statements, the witnesses for the plaintiff come to the stand, one at-a-time. Each of the lawyers gets a chance to question the witnesses. The lawyer for the plaintiff has usually arranged for the display of relevant exhibits, during the testimony from each witness. 

Once the jury has heard all of the testimonies, each attorney gets a chance to make a closing statement. Then the judge reads the instructions to the jury. That should prepare the jury for its deliberations. 

The jury must deliberate until it can reach a verdict to which all of the jurors agree. The jury lets the court know when it has arrived at its verdict. The court notifies the judge and the disputing parties, along with their lawyers. 

The jury returns to the courtroom and hands the verdict to the judge. The judge reads the verdict. At that point the judge might also state the nature and size of the award for the plaintiff. Other wise, the judge will set another day for announcing details about the award. 

Sometimes the judge has chosen to hit the defendant with some added damages. Such an addition could be part of the last of the required stages. There might be additional stages, as well. 

The supplementary, but not essential stages

Both the plaintiff and the defendant have a right to appeal the jury’s decision. The appeals court hears that appeal and can take one of 3 actions.

—It could uphold the jury’s initial verdict.

—It could reverse that verdict.

—It could call for a new trial. 

If there were to be a new trial, both the plaintiff and the defendant would have to right to appeal the decision made, following that second trial. The existence of the appeals process allows the lawsuit to continue after the end of the initial trial. 

Is there a minimum length for a lawsuit?

No, a lawsuit could end at any time, if the disputing parties were to decide that they wanted to settle, rather then wait for announcement of a verdict. 

Sometimes, as new evidence gets revealed during the discovery session, one of the parties might elect to settle with the opposing party. Sometimes, too, the judge might ask the disputing parties to take part in a mediation session. That could end with a compromise/agreement between the parties that had met with the mediator. 

Even a trial can be interrupted, following a request for a settlement. Judges do not object to such an interruption. Judges are happy to go along with any means for resolving the presented dispute. 

The law only states that any request for a settlement must be made before the reading of the verdict. In other words, such a request could be made while the judge was in chambers, meeting with the lawyers for the two disputing parties. As indicated earlier, a judge would welcome the settlement.

For more information about filing a claim and how out expert lawyers can be of assistance, contact KPC Injury Law in Niagara Falls at 1-800-234-6145.

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