Civil Litigation

In our daily lives, legal issues may arise. It could happen in any number of ways, from a neighbor claiming that your dogs bark too much or a contractor who did not perform the work that you paid for under a contract. When these things happen, a civil litigation attorney can counsel you on your options, which may include filing a lawsuit.  

Susan McKinney has experience in a wide variety of Kansas civil law matters, helping clients throughout the Kansas City area. She can evaluate your dispute to give you a number of options that will work for you. Resolving the matter may be as simple as sending a letter, or it may require filing a lawsuit to protect or defend your rights.

Kansas Civil Litigation

Civil law includes any type of legal matter that is not criminal. These cases typically result in a court order that requires one person pay another person money, to stop interfering with another person’s rights and keeping them from taking action that isn't necessary. 

In a Kansas civil lawsuit, there are three primary phases: pre-trial, trial and post-trial. The civil litigation process can be lengthy and stressful. Opportunities to settle the case may arise at any point in the process and Susan is skilled at negotiating settlements with other attorneys, saving you the time, expense and stress of going to trial.

A legal dispute can be time consuming and complex.

Sort out your dispute today

When Filing a Lawsuit it is Important to Know Your Options

A lawsuit usually starts with a person meeting with an attorney to discuss a legal issue. Based on research and experience, the lawyer will advise the client of their options, which may or may not include filing a lawsuit. If the client decides to proceed with a lawsuit, the lawyer drafts and files the necessary documents and notifies the other side about the lawsuit. The other party (defendant) has a chance to respond and can deny the lawsuit’s allegations and filed claims of their own in this response. Next, discovery begins. This is the process where both sides exchange information about the case through written and oral discovery. Written discovery involves each side’s lawyer sending requests to the other attorney, asking them to answer questions (interrogatories), admit something (requests for admission) or produce documents (requests for production). In oral discovery, the parties can take the testimony of anyone who might have information relevant to the case. 

This is called a deposition, which is similar to a trial because the testimony of a witness is taken under oath and recorded; this testimony may be used at trial. Throughout the pre-trial phase, each party can file motions asking the judge to decide certain issues, such as excluding evidence, dismissing all or part of a claim or limiting what one side can present at trial. Once discovery and pre-trial motions are completed, the trial phase begins.

During a trial, each party has a chance to introduce evidence, including witness testimony, documents, photographs, and recordings. The trial is governed by a judge, who makes sure that everybody follows the rules and procedures. Once all of the evidence has been introduced, a verdict is issued, from a judge or a jury. If a party disagrees with the verdict, then he or she can file an appeal in the final civil litigation phase: post-trial. A verdict from a Kansas district court can be appealed to the Kansas Court of Appeals and then possibly to the Kansas Supreme Court.  

Civil Litigation Attorney in Kansas City

If you have a legal dispute involving a civil matter in Kansas, Susan McKinney can advise you of your rights and give you options for how to resolve your case with our without a lawsuit. She will guide you through each step of the civil litigation process, communicating with you to make sure that you understand what is happening. Contact my office today to schedule a free initial consultation.