The Lawsuit life Cycle

Lawsuit Lifecycle

The Typical Lawsuit cycle

By: Lauren Grochow

While every case is different and, if you are being represented by Grochow Law, you will receive individualized service, the following stages are fairly typical of most lawsuits:  

  • Fact Investigation: We start by gathering all the facts and information we can, including requesting your personnel file and payroll records. 
  • Pre-Litigation Demand and Settlement: We then determine whether it is in your best interest to start by making a demand and attempting to negotiate a pre-litigation settlement. At this stage, we sometimes find it is helpful to schedule an early mediation. 
  • Commence Litigation: If pre-litigation settlement negotiations do not resolve your claim, or if we agree that the best strategy is to file a complaint and commence a lawsuit with a court or arbitrator. 
  • Discovery: During the discovery process the parties to the lawsuit request information and documents from each other about the claims and defenses at issue. This can be done in the form of written requests and depositions, or oral testimony taken before a court reporter that is as if you were testifying in court. Discovery may also include medical exams, if medical conditions are at issue. During this stage, the parties to the lawsuit may also hire experts to issue reports about certain facts at issue, such as damages. The parties may also take the depositions of these experts. 
  • Mediation/Settlement: There are multiple points in a case where mediation or settlement of your claims may make sense. Sometimes it is during discovery when facts come to light. Other times, it is after the lawsuit is filed and the employer does not want to incur the expense of paying for an attorney.  
  • Pre-Trial Motions: Sometimes it becomes necessary to file pre-trial motions. Pre-trial motions might ask the judge to help if the opposing party is not forthcoming with information during discovery. Pre-trial motions may also ask the judge to decide certain legal or factual issues. For example, with a motion for summary judgment, one party is asking a judge to determine wither it is possible for either side to win a case, or a claim or defense presented during a case, without going to trial. 
  • Trial: At a trial the parties both present their claims and/or defenses to a jury, a judge, or an arbitrator. They put forth evidence supporting those claims and/or defenses through their own testimony and the testimony of witnesses. At the end of the trial the jury, judge, or arbitrator makes a final decision on the claims and defenses presented. That final decision is known as a judgment. 
  • Appeal: After a judgment is issued, either party can appeal that judgment to a higher court. This provides that party with the opportunity to get an unfavorable decision by a judge or jury reversed.
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