At Cash Krugler Fredericks, our attorneys will file a lawsuit as soon as possible if a fair and just settlement cannot be reached. While every case is different, lawsuits in state court generally proceed in the following manner:
Initial Pleadings: A lawsuit is started by filing a complaint, which alleges what happened, who is responsible and sets forth the damages you have sustained. Suit is normally filed in the county where the defendant resides, although there are some exceptions to this rule. The complaint must be personally served on each defendant, who then has thirty days to file an answer.
Discovery: After answers are filed, a six-month period of “discovery” begins. Discovery is the phase of litigation in which the parties obtain information, testimony, documents and other evidence from each other and from third parties who have information about the case. Our firm uses its best efforts to complete all necessary discovery within the six months time period. However, extensions are sometimes necessary.
Motions: Depending on the case, defendants may choose to file motions after discovery, asking the court to dismiss some or all of your claims. Such motions can delay getting to trial, though our attorneys always respond quickly and try to get a hearing and ruling from the court quickly.
Mediation: Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution which consists of a meeting between all the parties, their attorneys and a mediator, who is a neutral attorney. Unlike arbitrations or trials, where others decide what happens to your case, the parties to a mediation are the ones to decide whether to settle their case and at what value. The parties discuss their positions and the mediator acts as a referee between the parties, conveying offers and counter-offers. A mediation may be scheduled at any time during the litigation.
Trial: Our goal after filing suit is to get to trial as quickly as possible. One of the most frequently asked questions by clients is how long it takes to get a case to trial. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to that question. How long it takes to get to trial varies widely depending on the court and the judge assigned to your case. In some jurisdictions, it is possible to get a trial date shortly after discovery and motions have been completed. In others, it may take many months or a year or more.