I’ve Been Served a Lawsuit…What’s Next?

It’s always a little unnerving to be served a lawsuit, and sometimes more so to start one. At Ansbacher Law, we understand this and our experts are here to walk you through the legal process! While every case is unique, there are some general steps that will happen in most litigation. The guidelines that follow are to help you have an understanding of what can often be a complicated process. Rest assured that your attorney will help you understand the stages in your particular case.
  • A civil action begins with a Complaint, usually with a Summons. A Complaint lays out the claims of the Plaintiff (the person or business that started the lawsuit) against the Defendant (the person or business being sued). This is a legal document that has been filed with the Court. Being legally served the Summons and Complaint (service of Process) starts the ball rolling.
  • The Defendant has to answer within a certain timeframe. In Duval County, it is within 20 calendar days. The Answer responds to what the Defendant agrees with, disagrees with, what defenses he/she may have, and any further claims against the other or any other party. If you’ve been served, call us as soon as possible.
  • “Discovery” begins. There are various methods used to obtain information from each other to aid in trial preparation. Examples are interrogatories (one party sends written questions to the other) and depositions (parties and their prospective witnesses are questioned by the opposing party before the trial). Your attorney will use the methods which best serve your case.
  • Sometimes through this process, parties agree to resolve their issues through alternate dispute resolutions such as mediation or a settlement. We are here to give you the advice you need and seek your best interest.
  • If no agreements have been made through the process, the case goes to trial. At trial, your attorney presents evidence and arguments on your behalf and the judge or jury decides on the unresolved issues brought forth.
  • It is difficult to put a timeline on the process, especially in the current day with COVID having caused a slow-down to the Courts; however, your legal team at Ansbacher Law will keep you updated through the process. Call today and let us help you get started.