Stages of Civil Lawsuits: How Long Will Your Case Take?

If you are entangled in a dispute with another person or a party, this is called a civil dispute. In a typical civil lawsuit in the USA, a person can seek to hold another person liable for any harmful or injurious act.

Civil litigation attorneys provide legal counsel over conflict resolution between parties. However, there are instances where filing a civil lawsuit becomes inevitable as both parties may be unable to develop few facts, find new witnesses, or fail to find supportive legal documents.

Depending upon the legal intricacies, any civil litigation could take six months to over a year to be resolved. Often parties refuse to settle on a common resolution causing delays in the court proceedings.

Nonetheless, if you are concerned about how long your lawsuit will take in a state in the US, this article will provide you details about legal timelines from the onset of the case to its final settlement.

The Pre-lawsuit Stage

In the prelawsuit stage, parties can seek to resolve their dispute outside of the courts. Conflicting parties can achieve settlement without any legal aide; however, if any party decides to consult attorneys for dispute resolution, civil litigation attorneys are available for help.

Lawyers help in consulting legal documents, uncovering facts, and reaching a settlement. This process can take up to six months, depending upon how conceding both parties are.

The Pleading Stage

In the US, any civil proceeding begins with a summons and complaint. The complainant has to file a summons over the defendant to pursue a legal proceeding.

Depending upon the facts, any civil litigation lawyer can take up to weeks to file a summons draft. The court gives the defendant a maximum of 21 days to respond to the summons.

The Disclosure and Discovery Stage

After the pleading stage, next comes the disclosure of facts. This is a process in which both parties disclose their information and exchange facts. Often disclosure of facts can only take weeks if parties want a quick settlement.

However, this process can be prolonged to up to six months as the actual discovery of facts takes a while to proceed. Both sides engage in an exchange of written requests to schedule and reschedule witness meetings.

The Motion Filing Stage

Attorneys may file motions before a trial begins. If there are no motions filled, then the case may move directly to the trial or settlement.

Often a judge settles the case or gives their judgment after hearing a winning motion from any side. However, if there is no winning motion, then the lawsuit may move towards the pre-trial stage.

The Pre-trial Stage

Judges often give parties one day before the trial to settle their dispute. However, if the parties are unable to settle on one thing, then trial proceedings may begin. Usually, parties may file any pre-trial motions and requests a few days before the trial.

The Trial and Decision Stage

In the US, a typical civil trial can take one to two weeks if the case is intricate. A civil judge can take two-three days to give his/her final verdict. However, a jury bench can take an astonishing ninety days to reach a final verdict in civil lawsuits.

The Appeals Stage

Given an unsatisfactory verdict, you can file for appeal in the state’s Court of Appeals of the state’s Supreme Court. However, you have to be cautious that the Appeal is filled with careful consideration by the civil litigation attorneys. Moreover, an appeal has to be filed within sixty days of the jury/judge verdict.

lawyer standing with hands on desk

The Post-judgment Stage

At any time during the trial, a party can ask for collection based upon the judgment. A typical judgment may last for up to ten years. Often in payment recovery cases, a debtor may reach across to the creditor to settle the debt.

A Speedy Trial

For a speedy trial and a quick settlement, it is suggested that you are considerate and open to negotiations. Often, out of court settlements with civil attorneys’ aid can save a colossal amount of fees spent over trials.

Moreover, you must seek efficient and credible legal advice before you commence any legal action. Often people suffer the consequences of inexperienced litigation by attorneys who are amateur. Make sure that you do not fall prey to such attorneys who are good for nothing. Investing a few hundred dollars in a good attorney can not only increase your chances of winning the case, but it can also help you stand your guard against the opposing party, no matter how strong they might be.

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