The process of litigating is very complex with many twists and turns along the way. However, our office is here to guide and represent you! This section is intended to provide a general overview. The needs of your specific case may require variations of the manner in which your claim is pursued. These are issues we will discuss with you personally so as to better tailor the litigation process to get you the best outcome possible.
Litigation refers to a traditional mechanism for resolving legal disputes and controversies. In its most fundamental sense, litigation is the process by which one brings a claim against another before a judge. Quite often, and due to procedural and legal complexities, lawyers represent the parties to advance their interests.
Litigation is commenced by filing a summons and complaint (sometimes other documents are used to initiate a complaint, but a summons and complaint is most common). The complaint contains your argument and position. The summons brings the claim and the parties before the court. When we file a summons and complaint, the court will assign what is known as an index number, which for all intents and purposes is a reference number that stays with the case forever. There is also a court mandated filing fee which is paid to the state. After the summons and complaint is filed, it is served upon the defendant(s) by a process server. By serving the defendant(s) we are giving the defendant(s) notice that a claim is being brought against them. The defendant(s) then have 20-30 days to respond to the lawsuit by filing an answer which is essentially their response to your position and claim. Sometimes, the answer will also include a counterclaim which means that the defendant(s) are bringing a related claim against you too. If that occurs, we are given an opportunity to respond with a reply which is our position and defense to their counterclaim.
Once all of the above is completed, we have ability to file an “RJI” which is a “request for judicial intervention”. The RJI has a significant impact as it causes a judge to be assigned to preside over the case. The judge will then summon the parties and/or their attorneys to appear in court for a preliminary conference. Sometimes the parties are required to appear but very often the attorney of record may appear on your behalf without you having to go to court. This all depends on the specific judge’s rules. At the preliminary conference, the judge will issue a scheduling order that will determine deadlines for all of the steps involved in litigating your case. The overwhelming majority will deal with what is known as discovery. Discovery is the process by which each side to a lawsuit exchanges information. There are many discovery tools available to us which we can use in advancing your claim or defending you from a claim. We can demand records, depositions, site inspections, and witness statements, among many other things. What we demand in the discovery process all depends on the specific facts and circumstances of your situation. We will work closely with you to determine how to implement a very strategic discovery process. Your insight and knowledge will help unlock many doors. When we open doors, we get information, and with information, our position can often be strengthened, whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant. After discovery, the case may proceed to trial. However, throughout the discovery process we will simultaneously engage in comprehensive negotiations. By pursuing the discovery process and negotiating at the same time, we are quite often able to secure rapid and cost-effective results for our clients whom we care very much about.
When Should You Litigate?
Unlike many firms that generally choose to resolve a dispute through litigation, our office exhausts every available option before deciding to go to court. This way, we often save our clients time and money by trying to reach resolution without costly and time-consuming court appearances. However, when alternative dispute resolution is not possible, we vigorously fight for our clients in court. During this process, we make sure to keep our clients up-to-date with any relevant developments in their case. Communication is vital when handling a client’s case, as you are, ultimately, the master of your claim.
Whether you have been involved in a car accident and want to sue a negligent driver, your landlord failed to abide by the terms of your lease agreement, or you’re seeking to divorce your spouse but are unable to agree on the relevant issues, you will need a strong legal force to advance your position. The list of “things” that can be litigated is long; if you feel you’ve been wronged, give our office a call, and we will help you determine whether or not a claim can be brought on your behalf.
In some situations, your sole route may actually be to litigate. Our team is well-versed in the process and knows how to handle the complexities of litigation. As a general practice law firm, we deal with a wide range of litigation. We’ve litigated cases related to family matters, criminal defense, real estate, personal injury, estate matters, contractual disputes, divorce, pistol licensing among many other important topics. Going to court is not something we take lightly. We will do our very best to provide you the competent and strategic service you require. Allow us to be your sword and shield the next time you want to bring a claim forward or when you need to protect your interests.
During your consultation with our office, we will be able to give you an overview of the options that may be available depending on the facts of your case. Consultations are always FREE and there is no obligation. We offer flexible payment options and look forward to helping you!
"Mr. Fried and his staff were impeccably professional and knowledgeable. They were patient and answered all of my questions, and I received prompt responses to all calls and emails. I also appreciate how well they explained the legal proceedings of my case to me. Thanks to their efforts, my case was resolved with a favorable outcome. Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of service I've received and would absolutely recommend this firm."
— Y. Chun
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