Civil litigation includes virtually all lawsuits between private parties. Some of the most common cases we handle include real estate deals gone wrong, violations of consumer protection laws by creditors, and commercial disputes. While the type of proof needed varies depending on what type of claim is being made, civil litigation generally follows the same process in all cases.
First, the two parties will probably negotiate either formally or through informal conversations. If no resolution is reached, attorneys will become involved. This frequently leads to a second round of negotiations as an attorney can advise their client as to the strengths and weaknesses of their position, present a clear legal reason for their client’s claim to the other party, and provide an intermediary if the original negotiations became too contentious for a resolution to be reached. Often, a case can be resolved with just a few letters or phone calls from an attorney.
If no progress is made, the aggrieved party will file a lawsuit. The other party will then have an opportunity to move to have the case dismissed on legal grounds — it is vital for both parties to have skilled legal representation at this stage because a motion to dismiss could result in the plaintiff not being able to proceed with their lawsuit or a defendant being forced to pay additional legal costs to continue their defense.
In a small number of cases, the parties will then begin preparing for trial, although negotiations will continue as both sides receive more information through discovery and get a better understanding of their chance of success at trial. Our attorneys have years of experience guiding our clients through the civil litigation process and helping them decide what action to take at each step of the way. If you’re involved in a legal dispute near Manhattan or Long Island, contact The Law Office of Donna M. Fiorelli today.