Most contracting agreements move forward without any problems, but when disputes between contracting parties come up, it can be confusing to understand the legal process to take. The legal experts at Aldrich Legal Services want to make the experience as straightforward as possible, so we put together a list of steps to expect during the construction litigation process. Keep reading to learn more about the process and how we can help you seek the justice you seek.
Step 1: Case Investigations
An attorney does a case investigation to decide if there is enough evidence to file or defend a lawsuit. A good attorney will track down witnesses, detail their testimony, and explore all aspects of the events that led to the disputed situation.
Step 2: Pleadings
The pleadings will depend on whether the client is the plaintiff, the party bringing the suit, or the defendant, the accused party. An attorney working on the side of the plaintiff could draft summons, whereas when on the defense side and attorney would focus on forming responses to allegations.
Step 3: Discovery
Discovery is the time for both parties to exchange relevant information. Your attorney will use this opportunity to note any issues ahead of time and begin to construct a strategy. For each side to gain the information, they would need to follow a form of discovery including requests for production or admission, depositions, motions to compel, and more.
Step 4: Pre-Trial
Most cases resolve without going to court. If two parties cannot come to an understanding, a trial becomes necessary. The pre-trial phase launches from discovery into new territory, including developing a trial strategy based on the evidence gained during discovery and retaining expert witnesses.
Step 5: Trial
When the trial begins, the planning should be done, and your construction litigation attorney will execute their strategy. Most of the actions your lawyer does at this point take place in the courtroom, but there are still points of preparation. This phase has an attorney preparing witnesses to provide testimony, develop persuasive arguments to present evidence, present opening and closing statements, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and argue trial motions.
Step 6: Settlement
A settlement can be given at any point of the litigation process, effectively ending the original proceedings. Each party will conduct negotiations and possibly enter alternative dispute resolution methods to reach agreements or confirm releases.
Step 7: Appeal
If a positive outcome from trial does not occur, your attorney may recommend an appeal. During the appeals process, your attorney may identify issues for appeal, gather additional evidence, draft new documents, present oral arguments before the court.
The experienced attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services have been in the industry for over 21 years helping construction professionals negotiate agreements. Give us a call today at (734) 404-3000 to explore how our team can help you.