While any legal case can become complicated, complex civil litigation cases are on a whole other level. Complex civil litigation isn’t only time and labor-intensive, but it also involves sophisticated legal and factual issues. These types of cases often involve multiple parties and lawyers, large sums of money, lengthy trials, numerous expert witnesses, complex subject matters, and so on.
Considering the complicated nature of these kinds of cases, it is essential that you work with seasoned attorneys that have extensive knowledge of the law, impeccable negotiation skills, outstanding trial presence, the right connections, and the capability and resources to handle voluminous electronic discovery.
Our complex civil litigation lawyers have extensive experience representing individual and corporate clients in a broad range of complex civil litigation cases in both state and federal courts, and also before arbitrators. We have the necessary skills, resources, and experience to prepare a solid case for our clients in all levels of complexity. While we are always seeking to find amicable solutions for our clients; thus minimizing expenses and risks of litigations, if need be, we have what it takes to effectively and successfully represent your interests in court. Get in touch with FBD Law today at (505) 842-9960.
Table of Contents
What is Complex Civil Litigation?
First, it is important to understand what civil litigation is. Civil litigation is a legal process involving a dispute between two parties that isn’t based on criminal sanctions. This means that a civil litigation case doesn’t involve criminal charges and penalties. Typically, in civil litigation, one party, referred to as the plaintiff, is usually seeking monetary compensation or some other form of remedy from another party, referred to as the defendant. This dispute can be resolved either through negotiations or through the court system. A civil case can involve an individual against an individual, an individual against a business, a business against another business, an individual against a government entity, and so on.
When a civil dispute is taken to trial, the standard of proof is usually less strict than in criminal litigation. In a criminal trial, the government is required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt in order to prevail. However, in civil litigation, the party that prevails usually only has to prove the case by a preponderance of the evidence or, in some cases, by convincing evidence in order to win.
A lawyer that deals with civil litigation cases are usually referred to as a litigator or a trial lawyer. Considering the fact that civil litigation encompasses non-criminal legal cases, the roles of a civil litigation lawyer are usually broad and diverse. Types of civil cases include personal injury claims, antitrust litigation, civil rights law, product liability suits, real estate litigation, etc.
Complex Civil Litigation
Complex Civil Litigation involves the category of cases that often involve multiple parties, hefty sums of money, lengthy court trials, and complex legal matters. These types of cases are usually heard by a single judge from the start to the completion.
Complex civil litigation cases are often characterized by the involvement of multiple attorneys, many expert witnesses, geographically spread-out plaintiffs and defendants, sophisticated legal issues, in-depth discovery, procedural complexity, complicated damage determination, and more.
Stages of Complex Legal Litigation
Even though every complex legal litigation case is different and the circumstances surrounding each case are unique, these cases generally follow a set of similar steps. Before pursuing civil litigation against any party, it is always important to consult an attorney to determine whether you have a solid case and to get guidance on the best strategy to build a strong case. It is important to note, though, that not all lawsuits go through all these stages:
This is the first stage of the complex litigation process, and all civil litigation has to go through this phase. Your attorney, often with the assistance of a private investigator, will seek to gather and organize all the supporting evidence that will help in proving and winning your case. They will do a deep dive into all the facts of your case and carefully review the available evidence and documentation in order to build a strong case. Remember, your opponent will be determined to discredit your claims. You need to be able to substantially prove all assertions you make in litigation. You need to ensure that you obtain every crucial piece of evidence relevant to your case.
Pleadings are court documents that outline the issues that will be addressed in the case. Each party involved in civil litigation will file a pleading that describes their side of the story. The pleading filed by the plaintiff is referred to as a complaint. A complaint outlines all the wrongdoings of the accused party, damages suffered, and all other essential facts surrounding the case. This complaint must be formally served on the defendant unless the lawyer representing the defendant agrees to have it delivered to him or her.
The defendant will then file their pleading, officially known as an answer. Through this answer, the defendant can either reply to the plaintiff’s accusations or request more clarification in regards to the case. It is important to note that pleadings are usually public information.
Discovery is the most labor and time-intensive stage of complex civil litigation. During this phase, the litigators seek to obtain information pertinent to the case through interrogatories, depositions, and subpoenas. A deposition is an oral statement taken from a witness or opposing party under oath. Interrogatories are a set of formal questions from one litigant to the opposing party, mainly to clarify matters of fact. A subpoena is a summon requesting certain information or documents from a third party.
All this is meant to determine as many facts as possible regarding the case and obtain pertinent information and documentation to prove your claims. Both parties will also be able to formally exchange this information and evidence in order to adequately prepare for the upcoming trial.
During this stage, the attorneys representing both parties will begin conferences and negotiations. In most cases, especially some personal injury cases, a favorable settlement is reached at this stage, which can significantly help to save you from all the frustrations and costs involved with court proceedings. In this stage, the plaintiff’s attorney will demand a favorable settlement on behalf of the plaintiff, and the attorney of the defendant will have a small amount of time to make a counteroffer.
During pretrial, either of the involved parties, through motions, can also request the courts to make a ruling or dismiss parts of the case before it reaches trial,
If an agreement can’t be reached during the pretrial stage, then the case will proceed to trial. A trial is a legal process that allows both the plaintiff and defendant to present their case. Based on the specific circumstances of the case, a trial may or may not involve a jury. Before the commencement of the trial process, both parties will send their briefs to the judge. The documents will discuss their respective arguments and available evidence.
In a civil trial, both sides will present evidence and bring forward witnesses. Attorneys representing both sides will cross-examine the witnesses. The judge and jury will then determine the verdict.
However, it is worth mentioning that parties can also settle during the trial stage. The named parties may not even need to ever enter the courtroom.
The settlement determined by the courts is often considered the final outcome; however, either of the parties can still appeal the determination.
In case either of the parties is unsatisfied with the outcome of the case, then they can file an appeal. The appeals process is aimed at reviewing the case and having the decision changed or reversed. While it may take some time for the appeals process to begin, it moves much faster than the original case. This is often because your lawyer will already have all the necessary information and evidence.
Get In Touch with A Professional Complex Civil Litigation Lawyer
If you are dealing with a complex civil litigation case, then we understand that you might have a lot of questions and concerns. There are a lot of intricacies and aspects involved in these kinds of cases. As such, you need an attorney that has the necessary skills, experience, and resources to build a solid and successful case regardless of the complexity. Our attorneys have extensive courtroom experience and have what it takes to deliver the most favorable outcome for you, whether you are an individual, consumer, or business.
We have a wealth of knowledge and extensive experience dealing with a broad range of complex civil litigation cases. There is no case that is too complex for us. Get in touch with FBD Law today at (505) 842-9960 to schedule your free consultation session and review your case.