While each case is unique, and cases can resolve via settlement at any stage, we want our clients to be informed about the legal process to help them make smart decisions along the way. While we have strategies to make the legal process move quickly for our clients, the truth is that taking any case through trial will usually take a year or more. Here is a brief description of the major steps in the litigation process:
Intake and case review
The process starts with an initial client intake and case evaluation. A Klein Munsinger team member will reach out to get an idea of what your case is about, who the parties are, and to collect some basic information. We’ll evaluate your case internally, and if it appears to be a good fit, we’ll enter into a signed agreement so we can get to work on your case. Because we are a boutique firm with a client-centered approach and an aggressive approach to litigation, we are limited in the number of cases we take on.
While we relish the opportunity to go to court, for many clients a pre-litigation demand is the right first step. Our team will prepare a demand letter outlining your legal claims and describing how the law was broken. If the other side is interested in exploring a negotiated settlement, we’ll negotiate hard on your behalf. If not, then we get to file a lawsuit and take them to court.
Lawsuit and litigation
If negotiations are not desired or are not moving forward, we will collaborate with you in drafting a complaint which we will file in court. Filing a complaint is the start of a lawsuit against the other side.
After a lawsuit is filed, the process of discovery begins. Discovery involves each side requesting documents and other items from the other side, and taking depositions of the parties and witnesses. We will work with you to help you identify and gather your documents and records for production, and will prepare you for your deposition. The bulk of the discovery process typically goes on for several months.
After discovery has concluded, the defense may file a motion for summary judgment, asking a court to dismiss one or more of the claims made in the complaint. If a motion for summary judgment is filed, we will respond appropriately with briefing and argument, and advocate on your behalf by preparing written responses and arguing your case in court.
At any stage in the process, one side or the other can suggest a mediation. Mediation involves the parties gathering with a judge or a professional mediator to try and negotiate a resolution between the parties. Many cases resolve with the aid of a judge or mediator. Of course, your Klein Munsinger attorney will be at your side during mediation, and will guide you through the process and prepare written materials and formulate a strategy to achieve the best outcome.
At trial, Klein Munsinger will formulate a strategy and precise plan for trying your case in court. We will show the jury how the other side broke the law, the damages it caused you, and the justice you deserve. After trial, your case will be concluded.