So, what is general litigation? Simply put, it is a vast umbrella term that can include many different types of legal court cases and civil suits. General litigation, means taking legal action in a court of law between two parties found in disagreement over an issue. Since this is such a broad term and many different legal matters fall under it, you’re going to want to do your research and find an attorney that is able to fit to your specific suit of needs. If you’ve reached the point of seeking a lawyer to retain, then you must have exhausted all other options.
In any case, the quickest, easiest and cheapest way is to not have a litigation case filed at all and resolve all issues, beforehand, eliminating having to retain an attorney, paying court and attorney fees respectively, and attend court hearings. Of course, that is all easier said than done. General litigation court cases reach the courts in order to resolve legal disputes, most of the time seeking money for damages caused by one party to the other, usually resulting in small claims court, whether it be for property, personal damage, etc. This can also include a countless number of disputes such as contract breach, real estate, auto dealer law, mortgage foreclosure defense and much more.
The first step into determining if you’ve found an attorney fit for your case is to schedule a consultation. This step is extremely important, so that the litigation lawyer may speak with you directly and learn firsthand everything about your case, to ensure that they would be a good fit. If you are the one wanting to file the complaint aka the petition, the attorney must determine if there is enough evidence to support the claim. If you’re the defendant in the case, the attorney must investigate and establish if there is enough evidence to defend in the claim. It is at this time that the attorney will assess the information and provide you with realistic expectations of comes next.
Now that you’ve found an attorney and the lawyer has agreed to take on your case, here are some of the next steps to expect from the legal proceedings. Once you have retained the attorney, paid the legal fees and signed the attorney-client agreement, the litigation attorney can file their appearance to officially and legally represent you in these proceedings. The next step is discovery, this can be requested by both sides, plaintiff and defendant, to exchange relevant information on the matters at hand. Discovery means exactly what you would think, it is to discover what information the opposing party has that could potentially be used against you. The discovery in a legal case is most essential, as it is during this stage that the lawyers can begin to build a strategy. Discovery or interrogatories might make the process longer, but it will also surely make it stronger, by knowing what information and documentation the other party might have up their sleeve.
After the discovery has been complete, then comes the pretrial. This is the time in which each party, plaintiff and defendant, should already have a strong, working strategy in place. The attorneys need to be getting paperwork in order, and assisting their clients in preparing them for the court hearing, should the client need the support. This part of the case can sometimes take a while or it can be over quite quickly and swiftly. Most of the time, people are going to want to settle, rather than actually ending up in trial court which can take years to resolve. A settlement is a great way to wrap up the case in a fast and easy manner, with both parties coming to some sort of an agreement.
Should the case go to trial, you need to ensure you have a practiced attorney that is experienced in a courtroom setting and knowledgeable in the proceedings. Once the trial is completed, if for any reason the outcome is not favorable, you may always seek to appeal the verdict. In most cases the litigation attorney can handle the appeal for you, should you need it. While for general litigation cases it is not required to have an attorney to represent you, unless so ordered by a judge, it is wise to retain legal counsel or at least consult with an attorney ensure you are handling your case as properly, efficiently and competently as you can.
If you are unsure where to begin, uncertain if you have a qualifying litigation case or are currently are in the midst of one, you can always reach out to The Law Offices of Eugene Mogilevsky, LLC and schedule a consultation with our attorneys to they may learn more about your specific situation and provide you with legal advice on how to proceed. You may reach out to our offices by filling out an online Contact Form at Contact Us | The Law Offices of Eugene Mogilevsky (egmlegal.com) or you may call our office directly at (317) 743-7958.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational and informational purposes only and is not to be taken as legal advice in any capacity. Reading this blog does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship.