For many, the litigation process can be a long drawn out process, causing many to wonder if it will be worth it at the end. Lawsuits can stem from disputes made between people, corporations or even government entities. The litigation process includes several steps: pleadings, discovery, trial, and the potential appeal. Both sides in the suit can put an end to the process if they agree to settle.
The first step is known as the “pleadings” phase. Both sides explain their side of the dispute through filing papers known as “pleadings.” The complaint details what the defendant did or failed to do that caused harm to the plaintiff. They also have to explain the legal basis for holding the defendant responsible.
The defendant is given a set length of time to file a response to the complaint. The response gives the defendant’s side of the dispute. During this time the defendant is able to file counter-claims against the plaintiff, which allege that they harmed the defendant and should be held liable. The next phase the two parties face is discovery.
Discovery is the step, where both sides gather information from each other or from other people relevant to the case. This phase is routinely the longest part of the case. Claims or defenses made by both sides require support from expert witnesses to validate the arguments made. Before the trial begins, parties can file motions to ask the court to act.
Once the trial begins, both parties present their case, present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. The plaintiff presents first and then the defendant. After the give their closing statements, the jury deliberates and reaches a decision or verdict. One a verdict is reach, the victorious party often files a motion requesting the court to order the losing party to pay the legal fees accrued by the other party.
Karl Heideck is a Philadelphia lawyer who is experienced in the litigation process. Heideck has experience in corporate law, product liability and commercial litigation. Karl Heideck has been practicing for more than a decade.
Karl Heideck received a J.D. from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. Karl Heideck also received a B.A. in English Language and Literature at Swarthmore College. Karl Heideck is currently a contract attorney with Hire Counsel.
See more at https://www.behance.net/karlheideck.