When two parties cannot resolve a business dispute through negotiation or mediation, the case may end up in court.
A business disputes lawyer can help you understand what to expect after a lawsuit is filed and evaluate whether it’s the best course of action for your particular case.
Costs and Timeframe
Resolving business disputes in court is often lengthy and expensive. Costs vary depending on the complexity of the case and the fees charged by your lawyer.
Costs generally include attorney fees, court filing fees, and other expenses related to the case, like paying an expert witness to testify. Similarly, the timeframe of a case also depends on its complexity.
Some cases may be resolved in a matter of months, while others may take several years to reach a final decision.
If you haven’t considered an alternative to filing a lawsuit, like arbitration or mediation, a business disputes lawyer will gladly explain the various methods and benefits of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Some Texas courts even require parties to participate in these methods before proceeding to trial. Giving ADR a real chance could save you time and money.
Because a case may settle at any time during the litigation process, even the day before trial, it’s important to keep an open mind to other resolutions.
The Anatomy of a Lawsuit
Business disputes in court are initiated the same way as any other lawsuit.
A plaintiff must file a complaint in the appropriate court. The complaint must explain the legal basis for the claim, the damages sought, and the parties involved.
The defendant is then served with a copy of the complaint and allowed to respond. The complaint and answer process is known as the pleading phase.
Given the strict deadlines to file pleadings, it’s generally the quickest phase.
The next phase is discovery. Discovery is the process of obtaining evidence from the opposing party before trial.
In Texas, parties can use various methods of discovery, such as written interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and depositions.
This stage can last many months to a year, depending on the willingness to cooperate and responsiveness of each party involved.
Motions and Trial
During discovery, but before trial, either party can file motions to resolve certain issues or disputes. For example, a party may file a motion to dismiss the case.
If a judge agrees to dismiss the case, discussing the next steps with your business disputes lawyer is important. Just because the judge dismissed the lawsuit may not mean you can’t file again.
On the other hand, if the case proceeds to trial, both parties will present evidence and arguments to a judge or jury.
The judge or jury will then decide on the case based on the evidence presented.
Get in Contact with a Business Dispute Lawyer in Texas Today
Understanding the steps involved, costs, and timeframe of a business dispute case will help you make an informed decision when it comes to filing a lawsuit.
At Massingill Attorneys & Counselors at Law, we are devoted to taking care of your business’s legal needs.