When disputes occur, and informal attempts to resolve them are unsuccessful, lawsuits are a common method of attempting to settle the disagreement.
Besides formal litigation, parties sometimes select other methods to resolve their disputes like arbitration or mediation.
Each of these processes is complex, but an experienced attorney can help navigate the sensitive legal issues involved. It also helps to understand the most common issues that may arise during the legal process.
Preparation of Demand Letters
There are multiple ways to resolve disagreements. While parties sometimes decide to pursue costly and time-intensive litigation, other times, it is possible to end a dispute through alternative dispute resolution.
Many times, alternative dispute resolution is an attractive option because it provides the parties with greater control, speedier results, and more creative solutions than traditional means. This method is a particularly attractive option for domestic relations issues as well as commercial disputes. Even with these alternative dispute resolution procedures, having an experienced attorney can achieve more desirable outcomes through the process of presenting your case to a mediator or arbitrator.
Commencement of Civil Litigation in New York State Courts
Civil actions often commence with a complaint that is accompanied by a summons. Complaints are legal documents that address the claims that a person has against the defendant and are often prepared by lawyers. The defendant will then have time to either answer or respond to the complaint within a narrow window of time.
The answer will include what part of the allegations the defendant admits to, any defenses that the defendant can raise in response, and list any claims that the defendant has against the party who filed the complaint. Sometimes, defendants do not respond to complaints, which results in courts entering default judgments against them.
This is a complex and nuanced process. An attorney can make sure that a person commences legal action in a manner that conforms to all potential regulations.
Attendance at Preliminary Conferences
Preliminary conferences are court conferences that schedule the document production as well as oral and physical examinations that occur. These conferences are often the first court appearance in civil lawsuits.
Conferences are required by courts before civil cases can be placed on a trial calendar. These conferences result in courts establishing the information and authorizations that the parties must exchange.
Often, a person initiating the lawsuit does not attend the conference, but their attorney does. Our lawyers can attend these conferences on your behalf and then provide you with details about all of the instructions provided by the court.
Conduct Discovery Including Representation at Depositions
The discovery process is an often overlooked but critical part of the civil litigation process that can end up influencing the outcome of a case. During the discovery process, parties exchange documents and other details about the issues associated with litigation.
Discovery often involves three forms, including written questions or interrogatories, which must be answered under oath by the opposing party, document production, and depositions, which are transcribed and sworn statements made in front of a court reporter. This information will end up influencing civil trials.
To make sure that you gather all of the necessary evidence and that your case remains as strong as possible, the assistance of an experienced civil litigation attorney is often critical.
Drafting and Filing of and Response to Motions
In most cases, both parties in a civil lawsuit will attempt to end the case before it proceeds to trial through the use of motions. Parties who file motions present to the court issues that are not in dispute because the parties either agree to facts or because how the law applies to the situation dictates that only one result will occur.
If a lawsuit cannot possibly have an opposing result, parties take the perspective that a judge should resolve the issue before trial instead of wasting additional money and time on litigation. Given the power of motions, this part of trials is often time-intensive and costly.
To make sure that you have the strongest motions possible, it is a good idea to retain the assistance of an experienced attorney. If the parties cannot reach an agreement and if the matter is not resolved through motions, the case will proceed to trial.
Negotiation of Settlement
Many lawsuits resolve before proceeding to trial. This is in part because many parties appreciate that they can save time, energy, and money by negotiating an out-of-court settlement. While each civil lawsuit is unique, there are some critical things that parties should remember when negotiating a settlement.
First, an experienced attorney can help a person build a strong claim and defenses to the extent that the other party might be more inclined to settle and resolve their case. Second, it is often challenging for parties to reach an agreement about the amount that would resolve a case. Often, this amount is based on past settlements involving similar facts. The most knowledgeable civil law attorneys can sufficiently research your case and determine a settlement amount that is reasonable and not excessive.
While settlements are sometimes reached before a case proceeds a trial, some cases only settle after a trial is underway. Often, by obtaining the assistance of a skilled attorney, you can greatly increase your chances of resolving your case in as expedient a manner as possible.