What Happens After I File My Lawsuit?

As popular as Law & Order and other legal dramas have been, they don’t provide much information on what happens after a lawsuit is filed.  This is especially true for civil lawsuits, because most legal shows focus on criminal cases.  This blog sheds some light on what happens after you file your lawsuit.

How Do I Start a Lawsuit?

The first step to filing a lawsuit, is filing a complaint in court.  To file a complaint, you will have to pay a filing fee.  The amount of the filing fee will differ from court to court.  You can’t just file the lawsuit with any court though.  It has to be filed in the right court.  An employment law attorney can determine the right court by looking at where the events leading up to the lawsuit happened, where the person/company you’re suing is located, and several other factors.

What Happens After the Lawsuit is Filed?

Once the lawsuit is filed, and the person/company you’re suing has received the lawsuit, the court will schedule a conference with all parties.  This conference is usually called a scheduling conference or case management conference.  At this conference, the court and the parties will schedule important dates for the case.  This includes dates for discovery, dispositive motions, and the trial.

What is Discovery?

Discovery probably takes the most time and is the most important aspect to your lawsuit, but few people know what it is.  This is the process of trying to get all the evidence you need to prove your case.  This is accomplished by sending discovery requests, taking depositions, and when necessary subpoenaing records.

Will my case go to Trial?

There’s a common misconception that everyone gets to trial.  First, you would have to get past summary judgment.  Summary judgment allows a company to argue that there is no way a jury would rule for you based on the facts.  If a judge grants it, the case is dismissed.  At the point, you or your attorney may decide to appeal, but it is not required.

Should I get an Attorney to help me?

Here, I have only discussed a few of the aspects involved with a lawsuit.  Each step is a lot more complex than it appears, and requires filing other documents to make sure the right procedure is followed.  While it’s possible to go it alone, doing so will likely leave you at a disadvantage.  This is especially true against companies who often have a team of lawyers.  An employment attorney would be able to bring the fight to them.  If you or someone you know needs help with a case against their employer, contact me and schedule a free initial consultation!

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James J. Hux is the Owner and Sole Attorney at Hux Law Firm, LLC. His practice areas include employment discriminationpersonal injury, and general civil litigation throughout the State of Ohio.