Legal Process

A lawsuit is not only about paperwork it's also about being human and always ready to support victims in their endeavor to seek justice.

We, at the Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, are committed to helping injured victims in every possible way. Not only that we apply a high level of professionalism and transparency in helping people win a lawsuit, but we are constantly offering moral support and compassion for every client who suffered a tragedy or was a victim due to an unfortunate event.

Communication is always an important aspect as it's the first step in creating a familiar and encouraging environment where people can regain their confidence and willingness to fight for their rights. Our team is always doing its best to treat people with fairness and empathy to help them overcome the emotional and mental anguish that comes along with their tragedies or injuries.

A lawsuit is not only about paperwork or the technical and legal aspects of each case. It`s also about being human and always ready to support victims in their endeavor to seek justice.

We take time with each client to answer all of their questions and address their concerns with utmost attention and care, because we represent them and their tragedies. And we are happy to say that most of our clients feel like they are a part of the company as we build strong relationships with each one of them during the lawsuit and also after it ends. We are here in case they will need something in the future as well while our communication continues until all the aspects of the case are being solved.

Even though the legal procedures and the investigation processes are similar for almost every case, we always investigate carefully each situation to make sure we managed to gather all the necessary information and details. This is why in the following, we offer 10 important steps of a legal process to help you understand more of what happens in these situations.

1. Preliminary Investigation

Before any lawsuit is filed, attorneys need to gather all the available facts. The medical records of the plaintiff will be examined by a physician working with the attorney, to determine the actual extent of the injuries and their cause. Accident reports will be gathered, available photographs will be examined and the attorney will speak with potential witnesses.

2. Pre-trial Settlement

Before filing the actual lawsuit, the attorneys for the plaintiff and the defendant will try to reach a settlement acceptable to both parties, outside the courtroom. Such settlements might be reached in less severe cases. However when the plaintiff suffers serious, life-threatening injuries or even wrongful death it is less likely that the insurance company will offer an acceptable award and thus the attorney will prepare the case for trial.

3. Filing the lawsuit

A lawsuit begins by filing a Complaint with the court. The court issues paperwork that has to be delivered to the other party. The defendant has a certain limited number of days to respond to the lawsuit by filing a document known as the Answer.

4. Discovery

Both attorneys have the right to obtain information, documents, and materials from the other side. The depositions of the plaintiff and the defendant are typically taken in one of the attorney's offices. The depositions of expert witnesses and other witnesses are also taken. After this stage, the lawyers know how the case looks and can decide whether to settle or go to trial.

5. Mediation

Usually, courts require that parties try to reach a settlement with the help of a neutral mediator before the case goes to trial. Plaintiffs, defendants, their lawyers and the representatives of their insurance companies take part at the mediation. Although parties cannot be forced to settle, most cases are settled at mediation.

6. Pretrial Conference

If mediation does not result in a settlement, the case will be set for trial.  The waiting time for the trial varies; however, it could be anywhere from six months to three years or sometimes more.  Once the date has been established both lawyers can request that the court holds a pretrial conference where certain legal issues can be clarified.

7. Trial

The trial is the phase of the case during which guilt or innocence (in civil cases this is referred to as "liability") of the defendant is established. The trial can take from one day to several weeks depending on the complexity of the case. There are two types of trials: bench (which means trial by the Judge) and jury. Plaintiffs and defendants are required to be present, although the defendant can decide whether to testify or not.

8. Judgment

The judge or jury has the responsibility to determine how each party contributed to the incident and the amount to be paid. At the end of the trial, the jury will present its verdict and plaintiffs will know if they won or lost and the amount of compensation awarded, if any. The losing side is usually required to pay the court costs of the other party.

9. Appeal

Either side has the right to appeal the jury's decision to a higher, appellate court. In general, the appellate court's function is not to retry the case but to instead look for possible legal errors that may have occurred at trial. The appellate court will issue a written decision either affirming or overturning what happened in the trial court.

10. Execution of Judgment

Once a judgment has been obtained, the victorious party has the right to examine the assets of the losing party.  There are various ways to execute a judgment. The awarded amount can be collected from bank accounts, wages, assets, including cash reserves, cars, boats or other equipment, and real estate.

Call us now: (305) 416-9805
Disclaimer: Please note that that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.
The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary
19 West Flagler Street, Suite 618,
Miami, FL 33130