Our No-Fee Promise: You Don’t Pay Unless We Win

California Civil Litigation Process and Proceedings

Jan 26, 2019 | Los Angeles Information

California civil litigation proceedings help resolve private conflicts between people, businesses, and/or the government in Government Tort Claims actions. Litigation is one of the most fundamental aspects of law. It refers to the formal process of resolving legal disputes by filing or responding to complaints through the public court system.

Litigation Lawyers and Legal Processes

What most people tend to think of when they think about lawyers and courts is typically not very representative of what actually goes on. The classic Law and Order portrayal of law in Hollywood, albeit very immersive and dramatic, does not give a realistic overview of what the legal process entails, or how one goes about it.

California Litigation Process

A much more reasoned approach to understanding how the legal process works, would be to simply take a look at the process of taking legal action, or litigation. In any case, the process begins when someone files suit. Typically, the plaintiff begins this process when they file a formal complaint with the clerk of the court. At this point, the defendant must be notified that a lawsuit was filed against them, so as to give them the proper notice before a court date. The defendant must then figure out their strategy to deal with the lawsuit and so usually a lawyer or firm gets hired on to help with legal counsel and representation. Then, the court establishes personal jurisdiction and a location is finalized for the court that will have authority over the complaint.

The Discovery Process of Litigation

Bear in mind that most of this process is heavily bureaucratic and involves many back and forth between the two parties. To avoid some of the confusion, both parties must meet and discuss with each other the nature of the case. This is done to determine specific issues, points of disagreement, to broach the possibility of settlement, and to start making plans for discovery and disclosure. In fact, depending on the case, discovery and disclosure can very easily end up taking up a huge chunk of time because during this period, both parties must disclosure to one another the various pieces of information they are planning on submitting and using as evidence in court. If the case ends up having many different pieces of evidence, then the discovery and disclosure period will be very lengthy, and yet also very important too.

Evidence, Litigation, and Strategy

This period is one of the few in which both parties must be completely open and honest with one another, and therefore it marks an excellent opportunity for a good lawyer to get enough insight as to how the opposing side is going to approach the conflict. By seeing the evidence that the opposition plans to use against you, you can formulate a general picture of their plan so that you can begin countering it with yours. As such, this step in the legal litigation process is absolutely crucial for both sides.

California Pre-Trial Conference

Once both sides have had their turn to see the other side’s evidence, the court will move to schedule an early pretrial conference. There, at the pretrial conference, both sides meet in a courtroom in front of a judge, who facilitates a discussion of the issues of the case. This discussion is important to have because some cases are not suited to go on trial since there may be a lack of material issue of dispute or disagreement between the parties. Other cases are just simply ambiguous and some clarification is needed for the judge to determine what the key problems are and whether or not those issues can be resolved through trial. As such, the judge will ask questions to both sides so as to clarify the actual points of contention for each party.

Litigation, Motions, and Discovery

After that, the defendant has the ability to file motions and answers, the first of which aims to dismiss or otherwise discredit the plaintiff’s accusations and the latter of which acts as a response to the initial complaint made by the plaintiff. Either way, these motions can be absolutely crucial to the success of the defendant in court because they can make huge strides by eliminating several avenues of argumentation that the plaintiff or prosecutor may use in court. Past this period, both parties once again disclose documentation and the discovery process moves forward; both parties now have another opportunity to file for more motions and finally the court will hold one last pre-trial conference. After all of that has been said and done, the court conducts the trial.

California Civil Trial Proceedings

During the trial is when most, if not all, of the action that you see on TV actually takes place. As you can see, there is a lot more to the story that happens leading up to the day of trial and even during the trial the proceedings take place in an organized manner. At the end of the trial, the court decides upon and files its judgment. Once this takes place, post-trial proceedings, such as appeals, can be made. If either party chooses to appeal, they have another opportunity to present their case, which may or may not sway the final decision. Appeals are considered on the basis of briefs or oral arguments which to serve to demonstrate why the judgment that was rendered was unjust or inadequate, as well as to propose another judgment that the court can implement instead.

End of Trial and Final Judgement Verdict Rendered

Finally, the last ruling or verdict is made, which is typically by a jury, and judgment is enforced. This means that whatever the court decides must get carried out and at this point the litigation process finally concludes. This coverage and overview of the litigation process aims to illuminate the various steps, proceedings, and protocols that go into the work that gets put into any given lawsuit case. Folks who work in the legal world all must understand and abide by the legal process and as such litigation is the cornerstone of how our society enforces laws and renders justice. At

California Civil Litigation Lawyers

KAASS LAW’s civil litigation lawyers are well-aware have litigated and tried numerous cases in various areas of law. We believe that going the extra mile to educate and raise awareness will always pay dividends in the end. As such, we are always available to answer and to clarify any questions or concerns our clients may have regarding their case, and it is also why we do pro bono work. If you have any questions concerning a legal matter, feel free to reach out to us at 310-933-5171 to speak to our experienced litigators today. We will give you the insight, confidence, and security you need to win your case.