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Litigation Attorney Overview

Lawyer Representation in Civil Court Cases

People in the United States may face a wide variety of legal issues, and in many cases, these issues must be resolved through proceedings in court. The process of trying a case in court is known as litigation, and the procedures which are followed can differ depending on state laws, as well as whether a person is facing criminal charges or parties are resolving disputes through a civil lawsuit.

If you are the plaintiff or defendant in a civil lawsuit, it is important to work with an experienced civil litigation attorney. A skilled lawyer can help you understand your rights and requirements, the processes which will be followed during your case, and your best options to achieve a favorable outcome.

The Civil Litigation Process

A civil court case will typically proceed according to the following steps:

  1. Demand - The plaintiff in a civil lawsuit will typically begin the legal process by making a formal demand of the defendant. For instance, a person who intends to file a personal injury lawsuit may send a demand letter to the liable party asking for a certain amount of compensation. In some cases, parties may be able to reach a settlement at this stage, or they may engage in alternative dispute resolution. If an agreement cannot be reached, the plaintiff may formally file a lawsuit.
  2. Discovery - After a lawsuit is filed, both parties will gather relevant information about the case from each other or from other sources. Each party's attorneys may use a variety of methods to obtain information, such as subpoenas, depositions, and requests for information.
  3. Pretrial motions - Before the trial starts, either party may ask the judge to make a summary judgment in their favor. If a summary judgment is granted, the case will end without the need for a trial. Parties may also make other types of motions asking the judge to make a decision about a particular issue, such as what type of evidence can be admitted during the trial.
  4. Trial - During the official proceedings in court, each side may make arguments, present evidence, and call witnesses. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge or jury will issue a verdict deciding in favor of one party. A verdict may require a party to pay damages or take certain actions.
  5. Appeal - If either party is unsatisfied with the results of a trial, they may appeal the decision to a higher court. However, an appeal is not a retrial; rather, a party must show that errors were made during the trial or the law was not followed currently when the judge or jury rendered a verdict.

During a civil lawsuit, it is important to work with a lawyer who is experienced in trying cases in your state. A skilled attorney can provide you with advocacy throughout your case, arguing on your behalf to help you achieve a positive result.

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Shannon Otto

Shannon Otto

Locke & Quinn

4928 W. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23230
Phone: 804-285-6253View Profile
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Brian Hirsch

Hirsch & Ehlenberger, P.C.

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Jeffrey Rhodes

Doumar Martin, PLLC.

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Thomas Walsh

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