How to File a Lawsuit


If you think you have a legal dispute with someone or a business, you can file a lawsuit to get the court to help you resolve it. But first, you need to figure out whether you have the right (standing) to sue in the court.

Having “standing” means that you are directly affected by the issue you want to litigate. This is important because if you don’t have “standing” to file a lawsuit, it might not work out very well for you.

A lawsuit usually starts with filing a complaint with the court that tells the judge why you are suing and how you want the court to deal with it. It may also include documents that explain how the plaintiff and defendants are related and what they each expect from the case.

Before a trial, parties in a lawsuit can exchange information about their evidence and witnesses through a process called discovery. This is intended to eliminate surprises, clarify the facts, and make it easier for the parties to decide if they are going to settle or proceed with trial.

Motions – Requests from one party or the other for a ruling on issues like discovery and procedures to follow during trial. These requests are typically filed during the pre-trial phase of a lawsuit.

If the lawsuit goes to trial, the case is decided by a jury or a judge. Jury trials are often more complicated than judge-only trials, but they can also be less expensive for the parties involved. Lawyers usually select the actual jurors from a pool of people randomly drawn from voter registration banks.

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