Dealing with civil litigation

When referring to civil litigation, one must know to differentiate a criminal defendant on a trial, as opposed to a civil defendant. The term ‘civil litigation’ can be applied to the process in which civil matters are resolved in a court of law, it includes a discovery process after the lawsuit is filed and the opposing party is served and files an answer. Civil matters can be described as situations dealing with relationships between people, such as a marriage, or a contract dispute between corporations. Civil litigation occurs when two or more parties become involved in a legal disagreement that involves seeking money or action but does not involve criminal accusations.

Most civil lawsuits begin with a pleading known as the petition or the complaint. This document usually outlines the complaint or case a plaintiff believes he or she has against a
defendant. In addition to spelling out the complaint, this pleading typically also includes a demand for judgment against the defendant that includes what the plaintiff wants to see from the defendant. Another type of pleading common to civil cases is the summons, which notifies the defendant that they are being sued.

Following the summons and after the complaint ‘is served’, the defendant can create an official reply, called an “answer.”, which is a documented response to either the petition or
documents requiring information or responses. This answers the accusations or allows the defendant to ask for more clarification on the case. Once the pleadings are both with the
court, discovery begins.

The civil process includes a discovery. This is where both parties must provide to each other, the name of witnesses, documents, and evidence intended to use at trial. The discovery
process involves in-depth legal research, document reviews, witness interviews, and other steps to determine as many facts as possible about the case. During the discovery,
investigators or the attorney may examine the scene in question or request specific documentation and statements from the people involved in the case. After both sides have
finished their discovery process, the case heads to pre-trial.

In this stage, the parties start preparing for trial. They get their evidence and witnesses in order, they might engage in settlement discussions, and they may file motions with the court to resolve the case or narrow the issues for trial. At the pretrial stage, the parties notify each other of their claims and defenses and probe their factual foundations. In this stage, both parties file “motions,” written requests that ask the judge to take some action based on a party’s legal argument. If you cannot reach an agreement in pre-trial, the case will go to trial.

Immediately before trial, each party provides to the judge a document, called a “brief,” that outlines the arguments and evidence to be used at trial. This may or may not involve a
jury, depending on the circumstances of the case. At the trial, each party will have the option to make opening statements, introduce documents and exhibits in support of its arguments, then pursue questioning, and craft closing arguments. After each witness is called and questioned, the opposing party has an opportunity to cross-examine the witness. The judge and jury will then decide the verdict.

The appeal is instituted with the filing of a ‘notice of appeal’. This filing marks the beginning of the time period within which the appellant must file a brief, a written argument
containing that side’s view of the facts and the legal arguments upon which they rely in seeking a reversal of the trial court. During an appeal, a party asks a higher court to review
the trial court proceeding. The appellate court announces its decision in a document called an opinion. The appellate court will affirm the verdict if it finds that there was no error in the trial court proceeding. However, if there was an error, the appellate court can reverse the verdict or order the trial court to conduct a new trial. An appeal can extend the litigation process by a year or more.

Wade Law Group will get your civil litigation concerns under control. If you’re looking for reliable litigation services in California, Wade Law Group should be your first choice for
civil litigation and appeal cases. Wade Law Group has decades of collective experience representing clients in state and federal appellate courts, so even if you’re unsatisfied with
the outcome of your civil litigation dispute, the law can help you find a legal error to contest and fight for you in court. If you are dealing with a civil litigation dispute, call on the
attorneys at Wade Law Group.