Civil Lawsuit Lawyer Near Perrysburg, Ohio

Sawan & Sawan - Local Family-Owned Perrysburg Law Firm

Ohio Trial Lawyers

Litigation is complex. Hiring an experienced litigation attorney to represent you is necessary for your case. The civil rules governing your case are voluminous and if not followed properly, can affect the outcome. These Rules of Civil Procedure control all aspects of litigation in both state and federal courts and although generally uniform, have slight modifications which must be followed. An experienced attorney has studied and understands these rules and their applications. We offer free consultation. If involved in a lawsuit, please contact us to discuss your options.

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How Civil Lawsuits Work

A lawsuit begins when one party or company called the Plaintiff files a document with the court who has proper jurisdiction. It alleges wrongdoing by another party or company who is the Defendant.

The Complaint

The initial document filed in a lawsuit is the complaint filed by a person or company(The Plaintiff). It lays out the alleged facts against the wrongdoer(The Defendant). Once filed, the Court will serve the Defendant with a summons. The summons asks the Defendant to formally answer the complaint within a certain amount of time.

Answer, Counterclaims and Cross Claims

Once the complaint is served on the Defendant, she will have 28 days to respond with an answer. At the time of filing the answer, she can also file a counterclaim. A counterclaim alleges that the plaintiff committed an alleged wrongdoing against her. She must prove all her damages that arise from the same incident. Depending on the facts and circumstances, there are certain rules that must be followed. It can be filed separately or with the answer.

Default Judgment

When dealing with a lawsuit, the Defendant always has a set timeframe within which they must respond to the complaint. If the Defendant does not respond within this timeframe, there are rules that provide for the complaining party to obtain a judgment. This is referred to as Default Judgment. If the Defendant does not respond, the complaining party can ask the court to issue such a judgment in their favor. There are various complex rules involving default judgment such as circumstances where it can be “vacated” if the responding party ultimately does respond despite missing the initial deadlines.

Discovery

Discovery is part of a civil lawsuit where the parties to the lawsuit investigate and gather evidence relevant to their claims. Discovery is managed by the court but is a flexible period of time after a complaint and answer are filed. The court usually will set a window of time where the parties are to complete their discovery. It might involve subpoenas, written discovery requests like interrogatories, requests for admissions or requests for production or oral discovery such as depositions. State or federal rules of civil procedure and evidence govern the discovery process and there can be very nuanced circumstances that arise depending on the case. The parties are instructed to cooperate during discovery but if disputes arise, the court can get involved and make various decisions that steer the process.

Motion Pleading

In lawsuits, disputes are generally resolved by the parties. If not, the court must intervene by a motion. In the motion, the parties present their positions and oftentimes have a hearing. After hearing the arguments, the court will make a decision. Other motions look to dismiss the case. Governed by the civil rules, a motion for summary judgment asks the court to dismiss the case as there are no genuine issues of material facts that are in dispute. Motion pleading is complex and an experienced civil attorney can strategize this type of motion work throughout the case.

Pre-Trial Mediation or ADR

Oftentimes a court will ask if the parties want to mediate their case. In this situation, an independent mediator will facilitate resolution of the matter by listening to the parties and finding common ground for settlement. It is less costly and less stressful than a trial.

Trial

If mediation fails, the parties will proceed to trial. A trial is usually heard by either a jury or judge. A trial is both stressful and expensive. There is no one right answer but cases are unique and oftentimes require a different approach.
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Dennis P. Sawan

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Christopher A. Sawan

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