When it comes to civil litigation, it can actually be grouped into six different stages and sometimes, some of these litigation stages can also get skipped. In other cases, they might be overlapped but one thing that you should know is no stage has more importance than the other. What are the six steps in a civil case? Continue reading this article as we are about to show you what the six stages are made up of. At the end of this article, you would be familiar with these stages and what they individually mean.
What Are The Six Steps In A Civil Case
The first stage of a civil litigation is the Investigation stage and in this stage, thorough investigation of counterclaims, defenses and claims is carried out. This is very necessary if you want to provide key evidence that would help in backing up your claims because the role of your opponent if to make sure that all of your claims get damaged or to prove that they are not credible. It is up to you to ensure that you back up your claims with proper investigation. Every piece of information that would be important to your case should be obtained.
Pleadings are regarded as piece of information which is filed in court. This can actually include motions, answers and complaints and in several cases, they can be requested for some actions which is enforced by the law court. They are drafted, well filed and served and in a nutshell, what pleadings are is just the view of the public relating to a private case.
The third stage is known as the discovery stage and in this is one stage that actually takes more time during a civil litigation case. However, the discovery stage is known to involve depositions, subpoenas, request for the production of a document and interrogatories. The discovery process which is labor intensive is the part that often determines where a particular case is either won or lost and if you are not able to provide key documentation and information to backup what you are claiming then you might lose the case.
The pre-trial proceedings may be either truncated or extended but this is however dependent on how far apart both parties have gone on important issues. A particular party might go on to file a motion to dismiss, motion for summary judgement or motion to compel during the pre-trial phase and each of these motions have their own standard legal sufficiency. However, if a motion eventually gets denied then the pleadings sets the ball rolling for the next case and during the pre-trial conference, the judge arranges a new trial and sets new parameters.
One fact that we want to leave you with is that mot lawsuits do not actually go as far as trials because both parties eventually end up in settling cases. However, only genuine issues of facts can result into litigation and facts that are not well issued gets stipulated by their counterparts. Little time at trial is what good civil litigators spend and a well bilateral representation is what is required to ascertain the probability of a parties success before going to trial. Therefore a settlement can be reached.
In some cases, parties can also reach a settlement during a trial and it is okay for any judge to welcome settlement during a trial. In several civil litigation cases, the named parties rarely need to find their way to the courtroom.
Unlike trials that helps in reaching an end when it comes to factual disputes, appeals helps in reaching a formal agreement based on the interpretation of the law. Ignoring facts is one thing that appeal courts do not do but the appeals of the decision of a trial court can question its legal but not factual validity. A party is likely to face an uphill climb when it files for an appeal and it also helps in shaping the way the law gets interpreted.
Going Through The Civil Litigation Process
Different local rules and different courts can have a separate timeline to each stage and you should know that a civil litigation case can run from about few weeks to years. If you are able to understand the six individual cases of a civil litigation case then you would be able to properly map out your case and also form a winning litigation plan.