Kendall Law helps resolve disputes for California businesses and individuals.
Civil litigation is a legal process that involves resolving disputes between parties through the court system. Unlike criminal cases, which involve the government prosecuting individuals for violating criminal law, civil cases are typically initiated by one individual or entity against another. In the United States, civil litigation can encompass a wide range of legal issues, including breach of contract, personal injury, property disputes, and employment law. Our firm handles civil litigation in areas of business, contract, and various matters relating to real property, such as easements, encroachments, breach of a purchase agreement or disclosures.
We can help you with all types of general civil litigation in state and federal courts, including:
THE STAGES OF CIVIL LITIGATION
The process of civil litigation in the United States typically involves several stages. While the specific procedures and timelines can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the case, the following stages are generally common to most civil cases:
- PLEADING STAGE
The first stage of civil litigation is known as the pleading stage. This is when the plaintiff files a complaint with the court, which outlines the nature of the dispute and the relief sought. The defendant then has an opportunity to file a response, typically known as an answer, in which they can admit or deny the allegations in the complaint and raise any affirmative defenses.
- DISCOVERY STAGE
The next stage of civil litigation is discovery, which is the process of gathering evidence and information from both sides. This can include written interrogatories, requests for the production of documents, and depositions.
Discovery can be time-consuming and costly, but it is a crucial stage of civil litigation, as it allows both sides to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their case and to prepare for trial.
- PRETRIAL MOTIONS AND HEARINGS
Once discovery is complete, either party may file pretrial motions, which are requests for the court to make a ruling on a particular issue.
For example, a party may file a motion for summary judgment, which asks the court to rule in their favor based on the evidence gathered during discovery. The court may hold hearings on these motions, during which both parties can present arguments and evidence.
- SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS
Many civil cases are settled before trial, either through negotiations between the parties or through mediation. Settlement negotiations can occur at any point in the litigation process, but they often take place after discovery has been completed and both sides have a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their case.
If the case is not settled, it will proceed to trial. During the trial, both parties present evidence and arguments to a judge or jury, who will then make a decision based on the facts and the law. The trial process can be complex and time-consuming and may involve multiple witnesses, experts, and exhibits.
If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the trial, they may have the option to appeal the decision to a higher court. Appeals can be based on errors of law or fact that occurred during the trial and may result in the case being remanded to the trial court for further proceedings or a new trial.
When you retain Kendall Law, you get individual attention and care. Whether taking your case to trial or settling early, we’re focused on success to reach the best outcome for you.