The first step to begin a lawsuit in Texas is to finding a lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in the area of your legal concern.
Step 1: When considering a lawsuit in the state of Texas, it’s best to select a lawyer whose expertise surrounds your area of concern.
Step 2: Filing an original petition or complaint officially begins the lawsuit process. Included in the complaint are the facts of the case. The complaint will tell a story and outline legal issues associated with the potential defendant. This is a request to the court to directly serve the defendant who has a set time to respond.
Step 3: When the defendant enters his answer, so begins the Discovery Phase. This process can take anywhere from months to years. Rules of engagement are fairly loose within the Discovery Phase allowing for mass amounts of evidence to be revealed. Discoveries include depositions, disclosure of witnesses, experts, documents, records, and other important information.
Step 4: Most Texas courts will require both sides to mediate before incurring the cost of going to trial. With an experienced, neutral party present, both sides will present their case and seek the advice from the neutral mediator. If going to trial, both sides will attempt to gauge the other’s strengths and weaknesses. Often, this is a good indicator of trial outcome.
Step 5: Pre-trial conferences allow both sides direct interaction with the presiding judge. This takes place one week before the trial and is a final attempt to settle out of the courtroom. All three sides agree to the disputed and undisputed issues and present the evidence they intend to present. In turn, the judge is able to plan a rough trial timeline.
Step 6: If all fails, you are headed to trial and you case will be placed on the court’s docket.