Litigation law pertains to the practices and rules in resolving various disputes in the court. The term litigation law most of the time is related to tort cases, yet litigation may come in all types of case, from contested divorce to the eviction proceedings. Also, other people think litigation is the same as “trial work”, but in fact litigation process starts a lot earlier before the very first witness is asked to testify. In actuality, most of the litigated cases do not reach court rooms as they are fixed before it happens.
Litigation Law basic Stages
To become more familiar with litigation law, understanding lawsuit’s basic stages is recommended.
Initial negotiations and demand letters
In a usual legal dispute, both parties will discuss matters between themselves directly. Once they fail to reach an agreement, one party or both will keep a lawyer. After investigation of such case, the lawyer will most of the time send “demand letter” to the other party involved.
The demand letter indicates what the other party should do to avoid legal actions. It can be a demand for a payment, and so on.
On the other hand, the party who received the demand letter may agree to the demands of the opposing party, negotiate and pay less than what is demandable, issue their own demands or they may decide to do nothing at all. At this stage, the litigant has zero obligation reaching out or cooperating to reach an agreement.
But because of the uncertainty and expense included in a lawsuit, most of the people will choose to work on the matter safely and resolve the issue informally before it progresses.
If an agreement is failed to reach during initial negotiation, one party will pursue filing a lawsuit. If one of both parties has no lawyer hired as of yet, it is a must that they do so now at this stage. The technicalities of filing a case and replying to lawsuit is highly complex, and the smallest mistake may lead to the inability of litigants to receive relief and defend their interest successfully.
This refers to the exchanging of documents and other requirements between two parties. Responding and preparing all required discovery is very tedious and highly expensive. The presentation of the physical evidence related to the case also includes formal interviewing of witnesses.
Appeal, motions and trial
The next step is reviewing everything that were collected during discovery, A motion will likely be filed by the defendant for summary judgement. During this time, the defendant will defend him or herself against the plaintiff’s claims, in case the judge agrees with the defendant, case is over and the plaintiff is lost. If the motion is denied then the case will go to a trial.
During the trial, the case will be conducted by either a jury or a judge, evidentiary will be presented, witnesses will be asked to testify and the lawyer of each party will present arguments as tho the reason why their client should win.
At the end, depending on the situation, the losing party has the right to appeal.
Needless to say, to anything that involves legal matters, consulting a professional lawyer to help you get through is necessary and advantageous.