Civil litigation is the process in which civil matters are resolved in a court of law. Civil lawsuits arise out of disputes between people, businesses, or other entities, including government agencies. Civil lawsuits generally proceed through distinct steps: pleadings, discovery, trial, and possibly an appeal. However, most cases settle before reaching trial. Generally, the Court will order the parties to a mediated settlement conference to see if the case can settle. Arbitration is another method of dispute resolution which may be ordered by the Court or mandated by a contract between the parties.
Each party in a lawsuit files initial papers, known as "pleadings." The individual wanting the Court to order some relief files a Complaint (the lawsuit) and serves it on the Defendant who then has 30 days to file an Answer. The pleadings are the allegations of fact stating each party's position.
There is no fee for an initial consultation either on the phone or in person. My fee is based on a contingency of 35% of what I can recover for you. If I am unsuccessful then you do not owe me a fee. You will only be responsible for any costs incurred on your behalf. Generally, these costs are medical record fees, filing fees, costs for certified mail or service by sheriff if suit is filed.
I will give my best effort in first preparing a settlement package and trying to resolve the claim prior to filing a lawsuit on your behalf. It is always the client's decision whether to proceed with filing a Complaint in the court system.
If I am representing you as a Defendant then I charge my hourly rate of $275 for my services. I calculate my time by using 1/10 of an hour increments multiplied by my hourly rate. I send a monthly itemized bill reflecting services and costs.