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HomeLawSteps to Your Legal Actions

Steps to Your Legal Actions

When you can't handle a situation on your own anymore, it may be time to bring in legal help. Whether you are being harassed at work, a tenant has damaged your property, or you've been injured at a local business, sometimes being assertive and asking for resolution isn't enough. Bringing a legal action in civil court can give you the justice you seek and help cover expenses you've incurred. Here are the steps you'll need to take once you've decided court is your best option.

Find an Attorney

If the situation is important enough to take to court, it is important enough to hire an attorney. When people say that anyone who represents himself has a fool for a client, they aren't just talking about the guy accused of murder who decides he doesn't need a lawyer. Assume that the person you are suing will hire an attorney and so should you.

An attorney has access to court reporters Spokane, investigators and expert witnesses should the need arise. She'll also be able to tell you whether you have a case, otherwise known as standing. When you have standing it means there are clear laws that are being violated and you have not exceeded any state-mandated statutes of limitation. 

Make sure to tell your attorney everything, even if some of the details don't portray you in a positive light. Lying to your lawyer or withholding information is a good way to spend a lot of money and wind up with no case at all. Make sure you've saved all documentation and receipts to turn over to your lawyer.

Draft and File Your Complaint

An attorney also takes care of all the paperwork for the case. For example, if you are being harassed at work, you may bring a suit against the harasser, but your attorney could also make a case for suing your employer and any parent company, as well as other responsible parties at the business. She'll draft and file your complaints against all the involved parties. A complaint explains why the court it has been filed in is the appropriate jurisdiction and venue, lays out the case in detail, and clarifies that the defendants broke the law. 

Your complaint is the first document the opposing counsel and judges will see, creating the first impression of your case. If you want to start off on a strong footing, with clear facts and irrefutable evidence, hire an attorney that takes care in drafting complaints.

Serve the Defendants

Finally, your attorney will use her process servers to notify the defendants and provide them with all the initial paperwork that was filed with the court. Every defendant must receive a copy of the paperwork and there must be proof that the defendants received the information. The paperwork can't simply be mailed or left at someone's office. When you hire an attorney you'll never have to worry about doing all the legwork yourself and meeting the legal requirements of service.

Pretrial Activity

There is a lot of activity that takes place between serving the defendants and an actual trial. Both sides may request depositions, which are interviews with witnesses and the parties involved. Either side may decide that it doesn't have much chance of winning the case and try to reach an agreement with the opposing party before it ever reaches the courtroom. The defendants could file a motion to dismiss the case, claiming that the claim's legal basis doesn't exist. It's one of the reasons that a well-drafted complaint is so important. When you have an attorney, you don't have to take up all your time with the back and forth that happens before going to court and you may get what you need without ever seeing a judge.


Finally, of course, will come your day in court, if it goes that far. Following the steps here will help you get the best outcome for your case.

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