How does your lawsuit move forward to trial or settlement? - Selinger Law Group
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How does your lawsuit move forward to trial or settlement?

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How does your lawsuit move forward to trial or settlement?
Once it is time to file your lawsuit, a summons and complaint is prepared against all
proper defendants. It is usually filed in the county where the act occurred or the defendant
resides. The complaint is then served on the defendant(s). The defendant will then provide
what is called an answer. These “pleadings” state what the general allegations are and what the
defendant did wrong. The answer will usually contain standard defenses.
The next phase of litigation is discovery. During this time, the parties exchange all
medical records, reports, statements, witnesses, expert information, and specific personal
information about the plaintiff which are required to be produced. Examination before trial or
depositions will then take place – where the opposing attorney will ask you questions under oath,
in your lawyer’s office or the defendant’s lawyer’s office. Questions and their responses will be
transcribed by a court reporter. You should be fully prepared for your deposition beforehand, and
your lawyer will usually go over the procedures and prepare you.
After discovery is complete, there may possibly be motions which could result in
dismissal of your case or can be used to wipeout certain defenses that the insurance company
may use. If there are no motions, or after the motions are decided, a case will be set for trial. On
an average, in New York it can take six to 18 months to start the trial once the case is certified as
trial ready.
In addition to the litigation process, there are two types of alternate disputes resolutions,
in matters that are commonly used by lawyers.
The first is mediation.
Mediation is a form of alternate dispute resolution which consists of a meeting between
all the parties and their attorneys and a mediator who is a neutral attorney (he usually is a retired
judge). The parties will present their contentions and discuss possibility of settlement.
Customarily, offers and counteroffers are exchanged until either a settlement is reached or the
parties agree to disagree and move on to trial.
Mediations are non-binding. This means that, even though the parties have agreed to
submit a dispute to mediation, they are not obligated to continue and a decision cannot be
imposed on the parties.
The parties may also agree to arbitration, which is an easy way to submit your dispute to
a neutral attorney or former judge who will make a determination involving limited testimony
and based upon a submission
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