What is a Lawsuit?

A lawsuit is a formal legal proceeding where a party seeks to obtain a specific outcome from another party. The documents will identify the parties, as well as all relevant facts and circumstances. For example, a lawsuit may be named “John v. Stan.” It would describe the facts of the accident, as well as the specific injuries suffered by John. The defendant could also file a motion to dismiss if there is no legal basis for the lawsuit.

A lawsuit is heard by a jury. The jury’s role is to decide whether the defendant is legally liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. It is then up to the judge and jury to determine what remedy the plaintiff will receive based on the evidence. The jury can also decide on non-monetary equitable relief. The decision will be given after the plaintiff has presented his or her case and the court has heard evidence from the parties. If the defendant is found guilty, the plaintiff is able to take the case to a jury and request a trial.

It is important to note that the vast majority of state court documents do not get filed with the county clerk. These include a “Bill of Particulars,” which details the plaintiff’s injuries in greater detail. This document also includes medical records, witness lists, and letters between attorneys. The “public” version of a lawsuit often includes initiating papers and ending papers (Stipulation of Discontinuance).

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