When opposing sides have a legal dispute, it is often resolved through litigation. The issue may be solved through a legal agreement between the parties, but sometimes it may need to be resolved by a jury or judge in court. Gilmartin Legal possesses a proven track record of successful federal, state, and administrative courtroom experience, with a wealth of skills necessary to obtain favorable, cost-effective results. We work closely with clients to learn what the right solution is, and then tailor representation towards achieving that goal.
Steps of Litigation
Litigation is an involved and complicated process. While each case may proceed differently depending on the situation, there are few main steps that must occur. Each dispute often follows this basic pattern:
- Investigation. It is essential that the facts of the case are thoroughly investigated so that the dispute can be properly handled. A litigation attorney will conduct an independent investigation to determine what has occurred and what damages there may be.
- Pre-suit Negotiation. All disputes will begin with negotiations between the two parties in hopes that the dispute can be resolved without going to court. The attorney may begin by writing a demand letter that is sent to the opposing side requesting that the issue be settled. The letter will explain the claim, put forth the evidence, and request compensation, usually at a higher amount than is expected so that negotiations can begin. Often insurance companies prefer a quick resolution, and sometimes the dispute can be quickly resolved between the parties.
- Alternate Dispute Resolution. Sometimes disputes can be settled more quickly through alternate dispute resolutions as opposed to a formal lawsuit, or before a lawsuit. Alternate dispute resolution options include: facilitation, mediation or arbitration. An independent mediator may hear the case and determine the resolution. This method may be chosen to save money as lawsuits are generally expensive, or because this option is required as part of a contract.
- Lawsuit. The formal lawsuit begins when the plaintiff files a complaint with the court. The defendant will then have the opportunity to respond to the lawsuit, and it will proceed from there.
- Discovery. This is the formal investigation of the facts of the case. During this phase, the attorneys share and request information and conduct depositions, formal question and answer session of witnesses taken under oath.
- Motion Practice. During discovery the attorneys will also file motions or petitions with the court to make certain decisions. Motions can ask for more time or ask the judge to make a summary judgement. Attorneys will write short briefs and make oral arguments before the judge as part of the motion process.
- Trial. After discovery and all motions have been heard, if alternative dispute resolution is not desired, the case will go to trial. Each side will present their case to the jury, and the jury will determine the facts. The judge’s job is to rule on matters of the law and to ensure that the rules of the court are followed. If both sides agree, a bench trial is possible. In a bench trial there is no jury and the judge determines the case. Most cases do not go to trial because it is expensive and the result is unpredictable. Whenever possible, attorneys hope to resolve the dispute before a trial is necessary.
- Post-trial Litigation. After a trial ends and a verdict is given, the litigation may not be over. If there is a disagreement about the verdict, the monetary award may be disputed or the verdict appealed. Motions and hearings must occur to close the case even if both sides accept the verdict.
Gilmartin Legal provides cost-effective representation in a wide range of disputes including but not limited to:
- Will Contests.
- Guardianship Matters.
- Common Law Fraud.
- Corporate Governance Disputes.
- Contract and Partnership Disputes.
- Claims for Equitable Relief.
- Business Torts.
- Real Estate.
- Eminent Domain.
- Personal Injury.
- Workers Compensation.
- Medical Malpractice.
- Products Liability.
Chicago Litigation Attorney
Litigation is a long and complicated process. If you are involved in a legal dispute, it is important to hire an attorney experienced in litigation. The attorneys at Gilmartin Legal have proven that they understand the complexities of litigation and can provide valuable counsel to those seeking resolution to a dispute. Call Gilmartin Legal today to discuss your situation.