When people are faced with a legal dispute, they may not know what steps they should take to achieve a resolution. The legal system may seem intimidating to those who don’t normally interact with the law on the daily basis.
However, the Alberta courts have identified the need for better access to legal information, and published a visual chart on how the legal process works.
If you are faced with a legal issue and are unsure about how to proceed with your case, contact a civil litigation lawyer for assistance. He or she will be able to tell if you have valid grounds for a claim, and how to pursue the outcomes you desire.
The First Steps To Resolving A Civil Litigation Matter
Each person’s individual case may proceed a bit differently depending on the circumstances. However, the outlined process is more or less the typical path a case will follow.
The process starts when two parties find themselves in a legal dispute they cannot resolve on their own. One party would then hire a lawyer, and file a statement of claim with the courts, commencing legal action against the other person. This person is the plaintiff.
The other party would respond, most likely denying the claim. This person is the defendant. If the defendant does not respond, the plaintiff may be awarded judgment in the matter.
The lawyers would then try and negotiate a settlement. A settlement can be reached at any point during the life of the case, even if it proceeds to court. If an agreement is reached, the matter is settled.
The Mediation Process
The parties can also attempt mediation. This allows a third party to facilitate a conversation between the individuals, and express their perspectives on the matter. The goal is, upon hearing each other explain their positions on the matter, they can reach an agreement that satisfies them both.
Getting Ready For Trial
If mediation fails, the next step is to get the case ready for court. This means requesting and reviewing documents from each side related to the issue, as well as an examination of each party by the other side’s lawyer. This is known as examination for discovery.
Once a trial date is set, the trial will begin on the scheduled date, and the court will either accept the claims of the plaintiff, or reject them.
Once a decision has been made, either party can choose to appeal the decision as long as they have valid grounds to do so. Just because a party may not like a decision does not mean they automatically have the right to dispute it.