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.