Are you planning to sue someone? Or perhaps you’re the party being sued. You may even be called as a witness in a civil case. Whatever the reason you are involved in civil litigation, it’s helpful to know how the process works to put your mind at ease. Understanding the smallest details can help you to decide whether or not it is worth it to go to court over the matter at hand. Most importantly, make sure you have a civil litigation attorney in Greensboro with you every step of the way.
Steps in the Civil Litigation Process
- Someone files a complaint. The person who wishes to take legal action against another person files a complaint with an attorney. They become the plaintiff. The attorney draws up official complaint and summons documents.
- Summons is served. The documents are delivered to the person the complaint is filed against. This person becomes the defendant and has a certain period of time to answer. The defendant will most likely want to get their own attorney at this point.
- The defendant answers. It is wise for the defendant to seek legal counsel to prepare the answer, which includes what parts of the complaint the defendant contests or admits to and any counter complaints. If the defendant fails to answer within the required time period, a default judgement can be made.
- Discovery takes place. This is the process of gathering information, including documentation, that pertains to the case. If you are called as a witness in a civil case, you may be contacted during this time to provide statements or documents pertaining to the case.
- The case is either settled or goes to trial. In many cases the plaintiff and defendant can come to an agreement or settlement without ever going to court. Both parties, along with their attorneys, will negotiate terms and attempt to come to an agreement. If this cannot be done, the case goes to trial.
- Trial takes place and a decision is made. During the trial, the attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant present their cases and a verdict is given by a judge or jury. Witnesses may be called to appear in court and answer questions under oath during the trial.
- Either party can file an appeal. If either party is not satisfied with the verdict, they can appeal to a higher court system, although it is rare for a decision to be overturned. A settlement cannot be appealed once both parties are in agreement and legal documents are signed.
Civil Litigation Attorney in Greensboro, Don Vaughan and Associates, is Your Advocate
If you find yourself involved in a civil dispute, whether you’re the plaintiff, defendant, or a witness, Don Vaughan and Associates will work with you every step of the way. Legal matters can be daunting, but with Don Vaughan on your side, you’ll have the support you need to get the best possible outcome. When you need a trusted, experienced civil litigation attorney in Greensboro, you can count on Don Vaughan and Associates. Call (336)273-1415.