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Home Up Types of Cases Preparation Filing Answer & Default Discovery Motions Trial Small Claims


Litigation is just another word for lawsuit or the prosecution of a lawsuit.  There is civil litigation and criminal litigation.  We specialize in civil litigation.  We handle personal injury, business disputes including "business divorce", commercial cases, and other types of cases involving the need for litigation.  See our Types of Cases page for more details.  

There are at least six major phases in just about all litigation.  They are, Preparation, Filing, Answer, Discovery, Motion Practice, and Trial.  


Preparation is the initial phase of litigation.  It usually begins with a call to the lawyer from the prospective client.  The lawyer begins evaluating the case right from the outset in that initial conversation.  The client has a story to tell and wants to know if the lawyer can help.  See our Preparation page for more details.  


Filing comes after the completion of the Preparation phase of litigation.  Filing itself is a rather simple process of taking a Summons and Complaint to the Clerk's office and handing it to the deputy clerk working behind the desk.  The complexity comes in preparing the paperwork to be filed.  Visit our Filing page for many more details.  

Answer & Default

After a Summons and Complaint are served on the defendant the defendant must file an Answer, typically within 30 days.  If the defendant fails to file and Answer then the Court will issue a default judgment against the defendant.  See our Answer & Default page for more details.  


Discovery is the heart of any lawsuit.  It is the opportunity for the Plaintiff to learn about the Defendant's case and vice versa.  Discovery can be oral, in the form of a deposition, or written, for example, interrogatories, requests for production of documents, or requests for admission.  See our Discovery page for a more detailed explanation, sample forms, and sample answers to discovery inquiries.  


Motions are documents filed with a court asking the judge to make an order of some sort.  There are all kinds of motions.  Motions to compel discovery, and motions for summary judgment are quite common.  Visit our Motions page for examples, and a more detailed explanation.  


Of all the phases of a lawsuit people have the most familiarity with with the trial phase.  The media and in some cases jury service exposes some people to some of what it is like to go through a trial.  See our Trial page for an in depth explanation of what it is like to go through a trial.  

Small Claims

See our Small Claims pages for a through do-it-yourself explanation on how to file a small claim in Magistrate Court.  

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Send mail to davidjreed@davidjreed.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: December 05, 2006