Civil Suit Lawyers

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Civil Litigation, as opposed to Criminal Prosecution, involves two or more individuals or organizations, where compensation may be awarded to the individual or organization that was wronged. These disputes usually arise over money or a breakdown in communication between the parties involved.

Some examples of civil matters are; breach of contract, property disputes, compensation for damaged property, divorce proceedings, custody and adoptions, as well as, landlord/tenant disputes.

Civil Litigation Terms to be familiar with:

Plaintiff: The person or organization that files a lawsuit.

Defendant: The person or organization that is sued.

Pleading: a statement in legal form stating something on behalf of a party.

Complaint: the presentation by the plaintiff in a civil action, setting forth the claim on which relief is sought.

Answer: a written pleading filed by a defendant to respond to a complaint in a lawsuit filed and served upon that Defendant.

Filing Fee: a fee paid to the court with a written complaint or petition.

How do you initiate a lawsuit?

A lawsuit is usually started by the Plaintiff filing a pleading known as a "Complaint." Next, the Defendant files a responsive pleading of some sort (usually this is an "Answer"). Then the Discovery Phase of the case begins.

What is the Discovery Phase of the Lawsuit?

After the answer is filed, the parties engage in "Discovery," a process through which each side finds out all the facts about the case so neither side is surprised by an unknown fact at trial. Discovery can include written questions that are answered by the parties (known as "Interrogatories"), witnesses answering questions under oath before a court stenographer (known as "Depositions"), the exchange of documents and one or both of the parties admitting certain facts that are in dispute.

When will trial start?

When the Discovery Phase is over.

What is an Out-of-Court Settlement?

Because a civil lawsuit involves a dispute between private parties, it can be settled by the parties at any time. An out-of-court settlement is simply an agreement between the Plaintiff and Defendant to end the lawsuit on terms that they each find acceptable. Usually, a settlement involves a compromise between the Plaintiff and Defendant. It is important to remember that not all cases need to be litigated in court or go through the entire process discussed above. Settlements are often preferred over a trial. In a settlement, each party knows what the outcome will be and can avoid the considerable risks and expenses incurred when a matter goes to trial.

What is Small Claims Court?

In Michigan smaller claims with maximum compensation of $3,000.00 can be pursued in Small Claims Courts. These courts are set up so that you don't need a lawyer. They are informal and can be a quick and inexpensive way of resolving minor disputes. You can find the phone number of your local Small Claims Court by looking in the blue pages of your local telephone directory.

Do I need an civil suit attorney?

Many disputes are settled before anyone files a lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to work out a settlement without hiring an attorney. Similarly, if your dispute is one that may be handled by your local Small Claims Court, you may not need an attorney.

For larger claims, however, you should retain a lawyer to evaluate your case and represent your interests. Often a lawyer can work out a settlement before a lawsuit is started. If that is not possible, you will want a lawyer to represent you in court. The Rules of Civil Procedure that govern court proceedings are complex and not following them can result in your case being lost. You will be at a distinct disadvantage if you don't have an attorney.

Why Should I Choose the Lansing, Michigan Law Offices of Anthony J. Szilagyi, PLLC to handle my matter?

Tony Szilagyi has extensive experience in helping those involved in larger claim cases and can use this knowledge to help you get the settlement you deserve. Let Tony guide you through the complex Rules of Civil Procedure, aiding in the success of your case. Choose Tony Szilagyi for your Michigan and Lansing area civil litigation trials to ensure your case is handled the right way.

Contact Us:
Law Offices of Anthony J. Szilagyi, PLLC
110 South Clemens Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48912

Phone: 517-487-7000
Fax: 517-487-1100