All legal cases can undoubtedly become intricate, but complex civil litigation cases are on an entirely different level of complexity. Complex civil litigation is laborious, time-consuming, and involves many intricate factual and legal issues. These types of cases should never be underestimated as they involve multiple parties and their attorneys, lengthy trials, sophisticated subject matters, multiple expert witnesses, large sums of money, and so on.
Considering the sophisticated nature of these types of cases, not to mention how high the stakes are, it is imperative that you work with adept attorneys. They possess extensive knowledge of both state and federal laws, outstanding trial presence, impeccable negotiation skills, the best resources, and connections needed to handle the electronic discovery process.
At FBD Law, our civil litigation lawyers serve Taos and have extensive experience representing corporate clients and individuals in a variety of complex civil litigation cases before arbitrators, and in state and federal courts. Simply put, we’ve got the full package: resources, experience, and the necessary skills and know-how needed to prepare an airtight case for you in all levels of complexity. While our attorneys strive to find amicable out-of-court solutions for our clients to reduce expenses and other litigation risks, should the need arise, they have what it takes – and more – to effectively and triumphantly represent your interests in court. Reach out to FBD Law now for your free no-obligation case review at (505) 305-1263.
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What Is Civil Litigation?
First, it is important to understand what civil litigation is.
Civil litigation involves settling a dispute between two parties that isn’t based on criminal sanctions. In civil litigation, criminal charges and penalties are not an issue. Generally, in civil litigation, the party that lodged the claim (the plaintiff) is seeking compensation or some other form of reparation from another party (the defendant). This dispute can be resolved either through negotiations or through the court system.
Civil litigation cases vary and can involve the following parties:
- Individual v. individual
- Individual v. business
- Individual v. government entity
- And so on
When civil disputes are brought forward in a court of law, the standard of proof is usually not as strict as in criminal cases. In a criminal trial, the prosecutor must submit substantial evidence and prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to prevail. But that’s not how things work for civil litigation. In civil litigation, the party that triumphs usually only has to prove the case by a preponderance of evidence or, in some cases, by convincing evidence
An attorney that specializes in civil litigation cases is usually known as a trial lawyer or a litigator. Since civil litigation covers non-criminal cases, the roles of a trial lawyer are varied and far-reaching. Some common types of civil cases include real estate litigation, personal injury claims, civil rights law, antitrust litigation, product liability lawsuits, etc.
What Cases Are Considered Complex Civil Litigation?
Complex civil litigation encompasses the category of civil cases that involve multiple parties, large sums, complex legal issues, and lengthy court trials. These kinds of cases are typically presented before a single judge from start to finish.
Complex civil litigation cases often involve:
- Intricate legal issues
- Multiple lawyers
- Many expert witnesses
- Plaintiffs and defendants from different geographies
- Complex damage determination
- Procedural complexities
- In-depth discovery
- And more
Stages of Complex Legal Litigation
While every complex legal litigation case is unique in its own right, these types of cases tend to follow a set of similar phases. Before you make up your mind to pursue a civil litigation case, it’s always in your best interest to consult an experienced attorney to help you determine whether you have a strong case and get advice on the best strategy for building a strong case. You should note, though, that some cases might not necessarily go through all these phases:
Phase One: Investigations
Investigation is the first phase of complex litigation cases, and all civil litigation cases go through this stage. Your lawyer, often together with an expert private investigator, will seek to collect and organize all supporting evidence necessary to help prove and win your case. They will do an extensive review and analysis of all facts surrounding your case and carefully evaluate existing documentation and evidence to build a winnable case. Remember, the person/entity you’re going up is determined to discredit all your claims. That means you’ll have to go above and beyond to substantially prove the claims you make in litigation. That’s precisely why you must obtain all crucial evidence relevant to your suit.
Phase Two: Pleadings
Pleadings are simply initial court documents that summarize all issues that will be touched on in the case. Each party – the defendant and the plaintiff – involved in a civil litigation case must file a pleading that outlines their version of the story. The pleading filed by the plaintiff is called a complaint. A complaint highlights all the accused individual/entity’s transgressions, damages suffered, and other significant facts of 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 file their pleading, officially called an answer. With this answer, the defendant can either respond to the plaintiff’s accusations or request more clarification regarding the case. Note that pleadings are usually considered public information.
Phase Three: Discovery
This phase is the most laborious and time-consuming stage of complex civil litigation. During this state, trial lawyers seek to get their hands on information related to the suit through depositions, interrogations, and subpoenas.
- Deposition: This is an oral statement taken from the opposing party or a witness under oath.
- Interrogations: These are a set of formal questions from one trial lawyer to the opposing party primarily with the intent of clarifying matters of fact.
- Subpoenas: A subpoena is a summon requesting certain documents or information from a third party.
The entire discovery process is about defining as many facts of your case as possible and obtaining related documentation and information to help substantiate your claims. During discovery, both parties can formally exchange this information and evidence so as to adequately get ready for the upcoming trial.
Phase Four: Pretrial Proceedings
During pretrial proceedings, the lawyers representing both parties will begin discussions and negotiations. Most of the time, especially in some personal injury cases, a favorable settlement is reached at this phase. When this happens, it can significantly save you from the headaches and expenses that come with court proceedings. Also, in this phase, the lawyer representing the plaintiff will demand a fair settlement on behalf of the plaintiff. The lawyer representing the defendant will have a small window to make a counteroffer.
It’s also during this stage that either party, through motions, can request the courts to make a ruling or dismiss certain aspects of the case before it goes to trial.
Phase Five: Trial
If the conferencing and negotiations reach a dead end during the pretrial phase, then the case will go to trial. A trial is a legal process set up to allow both the plaintiff and defendant to present their case. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the case, a trial may or may not involve a jury. Before the trial kicks off, both parties are required to submit their briefs to the judge. These documents will outline their respective versions of the story and available evidence.
In civil trials, both parties will bring forward witnesses and present evidence. Lawyers representing both sides will cross-examine the witnesses. The judge and the jury will then weigh the facts, evidence, and witness reports to determine the verdict.
However, it’s important to note that both sides can still decide to settle during the trial phase. The named individual(s)/entities may never even need to show up in the courtroom.
The decision made by the court regarding settlement is usually considered the final outcome; however, either side can choose to appeal the court’s determination.
Phase Six: Appeal
If either of the parties is not satisfied with the court’s determination, they can file an appeal. An appeal involves reviewing the civil case and having the initial decision upheld, changed, or reversed. While it can take even up to a few months for the appeal process to kick-off, it moves much faster than typical cases when it starts. This is usually because all lawyers have the necessary evidence and information.
Contact an Experienced Civil Litigation Lawyer Near Taos Today!
If you have a civil litigation case, we understand that you might be lost and confused and probably have endless questions and concerns. There are a lot of complex facets involved in these types of cases. For this reason, you need a knowledgeable attorney that possesses the skills, experience, resources and drive needed to build a strong case regardless of the complexity.
The attorneys at FBD Law have what it takes to deliver a favorable result for you. Our lawyers have extensive handling a wide variety of complex civil litigation cases. Whether you’re a business, consumer, or an individual, give us a call at (505) 305-1263 and book your free consultation session and review your case.