Litigation is the process of entering into a lawsuit, whether a person has filed it themselves or is responding to it. These “actions” are brought to the court in order to enforce a particular right. Litigation involves a series of steps that resolve the legal matter, whether that means working towards a legal settlement or towards a court trial.
The litigation processes begin with the filing or answer to the initial complaint, pleadings, discovery, settlement conferences, trial, and possibly appeal. The entire process can take weeks, months, or even years. The parties involved in the lawsuit can enter into an agreement, or “settlement” at any time during the process.
The process begins with the Plaintiff filing a complaint with the court. This will identify the parties involved and a description of the facts involved. The Defendant is the opposition in the court proceedings that will receive the complaint. The Defendant then must respond to the allegations, or answer to them.
“Pleadings” is the term for any and all written documents involved with the case. These documents will include the initial complaint, answer, and all other documents presented. These documents can include motions, petitions, declarations, hearings requests, and all other documents.
The exchange of information between parties in the case is called discovery. This is often the longest part of the litigation process. At the start of every case, both parties ask for the other to provide evidence, facts, and documents that are related to the case.
Settlement conferences are required most of the time before a judge will hear the legal matter. This means that both parties will meet in the hopes of resolving the matter outside of court. This can be helpful in reducing the time parties could spend in court.
If settlements cannot be arranged, the case will then go to court. This is the trial aspect of the litigation process. The trial can involve a jury or just the judge. Each party will present their evidence at trial. The jury or judge takes evidence and documents from each party and makes a decision at the end, called a verdict.
Sometimes a party is not happy with the outcome of the trial and an appeal is issued. Both sides may argue their cases again and the court can make the decision to affirm the verdict (keep the ruling as it is) or reverse the previous ruling or verdict, causing the need for a new trial.
Litigation attorney are different from lawyers. A litigation attorney will handle a case from the beginning process to the end. A lawyer typically has a team behind them that handles the beginning processes, but they conduct the trial aspect of the case. A litigation attorney works by him or herself to work through all processes.
Karl Heideck is a litigation attorney who practices in the Philadelphia area. He has experience in litigation, compliance, and risk management. Karl Heideck graduated from Swarthmore College with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Literature. He then received his law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law.
Karl Heideck’s license to practice law has been in good standing for 8 years and he is currently a Contract Attorney at Hire Counsel. Karl Heideck has a vast knowledge of civil litigation, corporate law, and commercial litigation.
For more, check https://www.behance.net/karlheideck.