Once you decide what court you should file your

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Once you decide what court you should file your lawsuit, next you need to know the process and procedure of filing your lawsuit. Steps in beginning Litigation Pleadings: Papers that begin a lawsuit 1. Complaint – have to have a legal claim. Short, plain statement of the allegations and the legal claims. Service . When a plaintiff files the complaint (lawsuit) in court, the defendant gets a summons, which is a paper indicating the defendant may answer the complaint within 21 days. 2. Answer – a brief reply to the allegations If the defendant fails to answer in time, the plaintiff will ask for a default judgment. In granting a default judgment, the judge accepts every allegation in the complaint as true and renders a decision that the plaintiff wins 10
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without a trial. 3. Counter-Claim – sometimes, accused party will initiate a second suit in response to the first. 4. Reply -- a brief reply to the counter-claim The court issues a summon and you have 21 days to answer. You don’t have to do anything though but you SHOULD. Because judge will give a default judgment to the one who’s suing. Discovery -- next step after pleadings. What are the different methods of discovery? What two (2) forms of discovery are significant? Why is discovery so important? Discovery allows both sides to uncover evidence, encouraging a settlement without trial or ensuring few surprises during trial 1. Interrogatories - written questions that the other party must answer, UNDER OATH. 2. requests for admissions - each side may request that undisputed facts be admitted or denied, to avoid wasting time on them . 3. physical or mental exam - one party may request the court to order an examination of the other party if relevant. 4. production of evidence - each side may request to see the other side’s evidence a. huge business now. E-discovery. Finds evidences online. 5. Deposition - interview (UNDER OATH) of other party or potential witnesse; done by opposing lawyers a. if you dont cooperate, judge can order sanctions. THey have to pay the other money for wasting their time. b. maybe dismissal of your lawsuit What are the possible variations on the pleadings? 1. counter-claim a. if the accused party thinks the accusing party has contributed to the problem or has wronged them, they may file a second suit, in reverse of the first. 2. class actions a. if wrong in question has affected a large number of persons, the suit can become class- action, with the plaintiff representing an entire class of plaintiffs. 3. judgment on pleadings a. either party can ask the court for a judgment based on the initial complaint and answer, but few cases are dismissed at this point 11
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IF you’re issued a subpoena, you HAVE to do what it says Other Steps Before Trial 1. default judgment a. decision given when you dont respond to a summons.
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  • Fall '14
  • JosiahShowalter
  • Supreme Court of the United States, State court

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