You are really mad, your temperature is up and your heart is racing. You are thinking that the world has to stop to let you process your grievances. ‘See you in court’, probably that is the last thing you said to them. Whatever it is, the world is full of raging emotions and circumstances in equal measure.
Truth is, sometimes we think of lawsuits out of emotional stances. They are very expensive. If you really have to file one, do you know how to do it? In layman’s language, here is how;
- Get a lawyer
Lawsuits can get very complicated especially if you are new to the field. A good lawyer will guide you through your case appropriately. So how do you choose one? There are general lawyers and those who have specialized in certain fields.an example is Diamond and Diamond. Depending on your case, you will have to find one who will best represent you.
It takes a lot of homework and meetings to settle on the one that you will bank on. Use referrals from friends or the states list of attorneys to locate an experienced lawyer. Once you have a number of them, check their background to know their reviews, credentials and experience. You want to be sure that the one you settle for knows what they are doing.
You will definitely have a slimmer list after that. You can then go ahead to meet them to discuss their services and how best they will handle your case. You will need to honestly share the information you have and make sure you carry copies of any relevant documents that will be needed for the case.
Once you settle for one whose service fees, terms and experience favors you, you will be required to sign a retainer agreement to hire the lawyer. Don’t just skim through, read it like your life depends on it, coz it does.
- Prepare the lawsuit
Assuming that you have the legal capacity and standing to sue, you will then be required to choose the court and venue to file your lawsuit. Always check if you are within the time period required by law to sue.
The clerk in court will let you know the specific forms required but basically you will be expected to submit a complaint, summons and a civil cover sheet. Make sure that your certificate of service is in your complaint. After filing the complaint with the appropriate state court, you will then serve the defendant with it and file a proof of service.
- Court process
The discover process kicks in immediately after the lawsuit has been filed. This is where you will take an oath and answer questions under oath after which pretrial motions will be filed, then the jury appointed. There will be opening statements from the attorney’s where they will lay facts of the case.
If you are the shy type, you will hate this part. You will be cross-examined together with the witnesses to confirm credibility. Attorneys from both sides will then give their closing arguments. This is where you will hear a lot of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. The jury will then take some time to decide and give the verdict. The trial ends there.
Trials take a lot of time and effort. It is also not a guarantee that you will win the case; regardless of how good your attorney might be. Preparedness is king. When you decide on this, be ready to go through the process. See you in court!