Civil litigation is a legal dispute between two or more parties that seek money damages or specific performance rather than criminal sanctions. DAHAN Lawyers represents parties in trials, hearings, mediations, and federal, state and local courts.
Types of Civil Litigation
Civil litigation encompasses a broad range of disputes. Several common types of civil litigation include:
- Landlord / Tenant
- Products Liability
- Personal Injury
- Intellectual Property
- Medical Malpractice
- Employment & Labour
- Real Estate
- Trade Practice
- Worker’s Compensation
- Traffic Accident
Civil litigation can be divided into several stages: investigation, pleadings, discovery, pre-trial, trial, settlement and appeal. Not every civil case passes through each stage of litigation. Most cases are settled prior to trial.
Below is an overview of the diverse steps involved during the course of litigation.
- Initial Case Investigation/Assessment
There is an initial case investigation to determine, in the plaintiff’s case, if enough evidence exists to file a case or, in the defendant’s case, whether evidence exists to establish a defence. The investigation process may include locating witnesses, taking witness statements, gathering documents, interviewing the client and investigating the facts leading to the dispute. We can often engage in pre-litigation settlement discussions to resolve the matter before a case is filed.
We draft a variety of pleadings on behalf of the plaintiff or defendant. We also draft a variety of motions including motions to strike, dismiss, amend or change venue and motions for judgment on the pleadings.
The discovery process involves the exchange of relevant information between the parties. We employ a variety of discovery devices to gain information relevant to the case matter. The discovery process helps litigators gain relevant information, identify issues and formulate a case strategy.
Before trial, the discovery process is finalised and preparation must be made for trial. In the pre-trial stage, the clients are advised to; retain expert witnesses; attend pre-trial conferences and develop a trial strategy based on the facts and evidence.
The majority of all cases filed in civil court are settled prior to trial. In cases that proceed to trial, the case is represented before the judge. In the trial stage of litigation, collaboration is done with experts and clients to craft a trial theme, identify strengths and weaknesses in a case; develop persuasive arguments; prepare witnesses for testimony and draft and argue trial motions.
Most cases never reach trial but instead are settled in order to eliminate the risk and expense of trial. The clients may settle a case at any time during the life cycle of the litigation.
At settlement, we engage in negotiations with opposing parties; participate in mediations and settlement conferences with the parties and the judge; and create settlement brochures, agreements, releases and other settlement materials.
If the client does not obtain a favourable outcome at trial, he or she may appeal the case. If the case is particularly significant or complex, we may retain the assistance of barristers who specialise in a particular area.