Litigation Lawyers in Westfield
If you are in Westfield, New Jersey and believe that some form of legal wrong has been committed against you, and determine that seeking legal redress will be worth the time and expense involved, you may wish to file a lawsuit.
If you think that filing a lawsuit is a good choice in seeking redress, you should not rush into this decision. A lawsuit is a time-consuming and costly process. You should not make a final decision without talking to a Westfield, New Jersey attorney.
Your Westfield, New Jersey civil litigation attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a legitimate case, and, if so, your best avenues on how to proceed. The attorney will also discuss with you the fees for their services, and whether he or she can represent you on a contingency basis.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Westfield, New Jersey
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Westfield, New Jersey, you should speak with a reputable local attorney in Westfield, New Jersey. Your legal counsel can make sure you have the best possible chance of winning your case, and help you decide if you should file your lawsuit in the first place.
Drafting The Complaint: In Westfield, New Jersey, the initial step to filing a lawsuit, once you've actually decided to do so (in consultation with your attorney), is writing a complaint. A complaint is simply a list of facts that you allege against the defendant. A court must look at these allegations and decide if they add up to a legitimate cause of action, assuming they're true. If they do not add up to a cause of action, the case may be dismissed. The complaint also usually ask the court to provide specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: After you draft your complaint, and file it with the court, you have to let the defendant know that they're being sued. The law of Westfield, New Jersey states that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of general fairness: if you were being sued, you'd want to be given time to find a lawyer and prepare your defense strategy, right? So, with that in mind, the law prefers that defendants be served personally, generally through the use of a paid process server.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Westfield, New Jersey, the defendant has time to respond. The most common response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, usually by denying most of the allegations. They might also move to dismiss the case if they can argue that the complaint is legally flawed. A judge then has to rule on this motion. If the defendant doesn't respond within a certain period of time, they are said to have "defaulted." This allows the court to enter a default judgment, in which the plaintiff essentially automatically wins the lawsuit. Once this happens, the defendant, if they're ever located, can be served with the judgment, and will have very little power to challenge the merits of your case.
How Can A Westfield, New Jersey Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in a Westfield, New Jersey court is a bit more complicated than the basic outline laid out above.
You should seek the advice of a qualified litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Westfield, New Jersey.