What Happens If You Get Sued Or Have to Sue?
What Happens If You Get Sued Or Have to Sue? Life is full of unexpected events and change of circumstances that might eventually result in a lawsuit to enforce your rights or to defend against a lawsuit commenced against you. This article will provide a general overview and a breakdown of some major milestones involved in every civil litigation when the parties were unable to resolve their differences through dispute resolution. Commencing the Lawsuit Before you file your complaint against defendants, it is very important that you speak with an attorney to make sure you are within the applicable time frame, called statute of limitations, to assert your claims. Each cause of action is different and has a statute of limitations period that might prevent you from filing your complaint if you missed it. Once you confirm you are within the statute of limitations period, you will need to file your complaint with other required documents with the court of proper jurisdiction to have the summons issued. Serving the Defendants with the Lawsuit The next most important step in each litigation after the summons have been issued is to serve the defendants, called the service of process. There are multiple ways to accomplish this, but you must try to serve the defendants by personal service before you can effectuate the service of process by other means. After the defendants have been served with the summons and complaint, they will have a limited time to respond to your complaint. Defendants may respond to your complaint in various ways, such as filing a motion to strike, a demurrer, or other responsive pleading if they think they have grounds to challenge your complaint or the service of process. You will have your opportunity to respond to their pleadings if the defendants do not file an answer but challenge your complaint or the service of process.
It is very important that you have attorney representing you, as everything in a litigation has strict timelines and if you do not file and serve your documents in timely manner, you might jeopardize your case. Discovery The next stage in any litigation, after the pleadings are filed and the defendants file their answers, is discovery. Discovery is governed by California Discovery Act and has its own set of rules and timelines. Generally, the discovery stage includes written discovery and depositions. Written discovery consists of interrogatories, requests for admissions and demands for production of documents and inspection. Essentially, the purpose of the discovery is fact gathering to prove your allegations. As a plaintiff you are entitled to certain discoverable information and the defendants have the same rights. A deposition is a question and answer session recorded by a court reporter.
The deposition testimony is given under the penalty of perjury and has the same effect as if the witness was testifying in the court. The purpose of a deposition is to use the information gathered during the written discovery to question the witness and gather more information you might need to prove your case. During the deposition, your goal is to get the facts and evidence you know you need to prove your case and get the testimony from the witness. It gives you the opportunity to have the witness directly answer your questions, rather than receiving the answers drafted by the witness’s attorney of record. You may depose the opposing party, any witnesses you think you need to depose, and expert witnesses you might need to depose for your case. Trial The court will set a trial date very early in the litigation stage.
It is very important that you plan your case accordingly and know the deadlines to make sure you have the facts and the evidence you need to prepare for the trial. You will then follow the procedures and the statutory deadlines to prepare you case for a jury or bench trial. What Legal Value Firm® Offers At Legal Value Firm®, we will represent you throughout the litigation process to make sure your matter is proceeding in accordance with the timelines imposed by the various statutes governing civil litigation. Please check out www.LegalValueFirm.com for more details! Thank you for reading. We caution our readers that every legal matter has unique qualities which require consultation with an attorney to evaluate how this purely informational post may apply in your specific situation. Please contact Legal Value Firm® today.