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Even with the best intentions, there are times when a dispute between two or more parties goes beyond the point of friendly resolution. If you’ve reached this point between family, friends, or business partners, it’s time to turn to a team of civil litigation professionals. The attorneys at Blibaum Law have nearly 50 years of trial experience litigating civil jury and bench trials across Maryland. Our extensive experience has prepared us to efficiently handle all types of situations in civil litigation, including contract, real estate, torts and business related disputes.
Many of our clients reach out to us without much knowledge of the litigation process. Considering this may be new territory for some people, it can be helpful to understand what to expect when you open a civil case.
At the beginning of a civil lawsuit, each party files papers known as pleadings. Pleadings explain each party’s side of the dispute at hand. The person filing the suit is known as the plaintiff. The defendant, the person whom the suit targets, is then given a certain amount of time to file an answer, which may also include counter-claims towards the plaintiff. From there the case moves into discovery, where facts are gathered on the case, followed by the trial. Occasionally appeals are filed after the trial by a dissatisfied party in the case.
There are also instances where civil disputes are resolved through alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, or arbitration. Settlements are discussed by each party out-of-court and can be used to settle matters before a case begins accumulating expensive legal fees. Mediators are sometimes used in settlements to aid each party in coming to a resolution, working as a neutral third party that acts as a guide in the settlement process. In the case of arbitration, a third party is brought in, and conducts a less formal version of a trial to resolve the dispute.