Litigation refers to practices involved in resolving disputes in our court system
Many people think of litigation in terms of tort cases, or personal injury suits. However, it encompasses all kinds of cases, from civil rights suits to contested divorces with child custody issues and medical malpractice cases. The litigation process involves many processes and extends beyond the trial stage, if, in fact, a trial occurs.
Once an attorney is retained and an attorney/client agreement has been signed, an initial investigation is conducted. This could require the services of a private investigator. It may be worthwhile to begin negotiations with the opposing party and send them a “demand letter.” It is interesting to note that with the uncertainty of a pending lawsuit, reasonable minds often want to reach a resolution that satisfies all the parties.
If an early resolution cannot be reached, a lawsuit may be filed and the discovery process begins. Discovery is the exchange of documents and other information between the parties. It represents the bulk of the litigation work performed throughout the entire case.
Going to trial
The next step in the litigation process is for the parties to review everything they learned in discovery and file appropriate legal motions. At this stage, a case could be dismissed based upon legal arguments or proceed to trial. A vast majority of cases are resolved prior to trial, but if a trial occurs, you can expect witnesses to be called and potentially a jury or judge will decide the outcome of the case.
Even when a jury, or judge, reaches a verdict, the process may continue if the attorney feels there are good grounds for an appeal. In that instance, an appellate court will review the case and affirm or reverse the verdict.
Hire a lawyer that will fight for your best interests
Even in small disputes, an experienced litigator may give one party the upper hand. Sometimes, the simple act of hiring a lawyer may cause the other side to carefully evaluate the claim. If the case proceeds to litigation, you definitely will want to have a lawyer fighting for your best interests.
Kari Brandenburg has been a litigator most of her career, having tried hundreds of cases—many of which have been complex and high profile.
Contact us today to find out how we may help you!