What are the steps in the commercial litigation process?
The first step in a commercial litigation is the filing of a lawsuit by one party against another. That begins what I call the pleading stage, where there’s an initial complaint filed and then the other side files responses, typically motions, and then eventually answers, defenses, and perhaps sometimes also counterclaims. From that point, you move into a second stage which I call the discovery process, and that’s where each side begins to take depositions, develop witnesses, review evidence and develop evidence for their case.
Ultimately, you get to the third stage, which is the pretrial and trial process where you’re preparing the case to actually go to trial. In the meantime, you may be developing expert witnesses, going through mediation process as well, but eventually, if the case doesn’t resolve, you will go to trial, and that’s the final process.