Board Certified in Personal Injury Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
"Experience where it counts."

8499 Greenville Ave.
Suite 106
Dallas, Texas 75231
214.503.0693 - telephone
214.503.0723 - facsimile

Introduction and Explanation of Litigation Process

Petition/Service of Process As stated above, the Petition is the first step in the litigation process. The next step is obtaining "service of process" on the Defendant(s), which is usually done by a process server or constable who hand delivers the Petition and citation to the Defendant(s). This may be relatively easy or it can prove to be very difficult, especially when a defendant attempts to avoid the constable or process server.

     

Discovery

The next phase of a lawsuit is generally referred to as "discovery." During this phase, the parties will attempt to obtain as much information regarding the other side's case as possible. The first step is through the use of written discovery requests such as "Interrogatories," "Request for Production" and sometimes "Request for Admissions." These written discovery requests will provide each side with the general basic background facts regarding this case.

If and when the other side sends these discovery requests to us, I will forward them to you so that you can provide the requested answers and/or documents. We must provide the Defendant's attorney with written responses within 30 days of receipt by us.

A second form of discovery involves "depositions." A deposition is a question and answer period in which the other side will attempt to further clarify the facts of the case, and to weaken our case. A deposition is taken under oath before a court reporter and thus, your deposition testimony has the same effect as if you were in Court in front of a jury.

Generally, the parties deposed are the Plaintiff(s) and Defendant(s); however, it may be necessary to depose witnesses and certain expert witnesses such as doctors. Who is deposed depends on the specific facts of each case. If it is necessary for you to be deposed, I will inform you. I will meet with you prior to your deposition to discuss in-depth what to do and what not to do and the subject matter.
   
 

Trial

At some time during the discovery process, the case is set for trial. When the case is set for trial, we will notify you shortly thereafter. The trial will last on the average from two (2) to four (4) days. (However, it could be longer depending on the complexity of the case.) Of course, you must be present throughout the entire trial

   
 

Settlement/Mediation

Most lawsuits are settled before trial, and it is quite possible that this case may also settle. While preparing your case for trial, we will discuss settlement options with the Defendant's counsel and it is possible that this case will settle at such time as liability and damages become reasonably clear to both sides.

The most likely time for this matter to settle is at "mediation." At some time before trial, the Court will probably order both parties to attend mediation. The mediation process is an informal one-half to one day meeting where the parties attempt to settle the case. You and I will be present at the mediation as well as representatives for the Defendant's insurance company or the Defendant(s) themselves, and the mediator. The mediator is an impartial third party who attempts to assist with settlement. He does not make a determination as to who wins and how much.

If the case does not settle during mediation, no rights have been waived and we simply proceed to trial. It is also possible that the case will settle after mediation and before trial.
   
 

Duration

Litigation is unfortunately a slow process . It is not likely that this matter will be settled in six (6) months; nor is it likely that this case will actually be tried within the next year. It is possible that this matter could last a couple of years before it is ultimately resolved. Most cases seem to settle anywhere from six (6) months to a year and a half after litigation begins. Fortunately, your direct day-to-day involvement is not necessary, and we will call you when it is. Of course, if you have any questions at any time about this case, please give us a call.

Do not to discuss your case with anyone who is not from this office. If someone you don't know approaches you regarding this case, please get their name and phone number and have them contact me.