Litigation Lawyers in Oxford
If you are a resident of Oxford, Pennsylvania and believe that somebody has committed a legal wrong against you, and have determined that the effort and expense involved in seeking payment is worth it, you may consider filing a lawsuit.
If you're contemplating filing a lawsuit, there are various things you need to consider, and it is not a decision to be made lightly. You should not file a lawsuit without seeking the advice of an Oxford, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney first.
Once you retain an Oxford, Pennsylvania litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Additionally, your lawyer can inform you on what a lawsuit is likely to cost, both in time and money. Obviously, your lawyer has some control over what it will cost you, based on their fees, and whether they bill an hourly rate, or charge on a contingency rate.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Oxford, Pennsylvania
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any case in Oxford, Pennsylvania, you should talk with a local attorney. Your Oxford, Pennsylvania attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Oxford, Pennsylvania civil court is worth your time and effort, you need to file a complaint. The complaint can set the tone, and frame the issues, for the rest of the litigation procedure, which can drag on for months, or even years (and decades, in some cases). This is because the complaint lays out all the allegations against the defendant. It also normally asks the court for particular relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: Once you have drafted your complaint, you need to serve the defendant with it, and file it with the court. Oxford, Pennsylvania requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a particular way. This is to ensure that the defendant has a good deal of notice that they're being sued, giving them time to find an attorney, and work on how they're going to defend themselves. It is highly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Occasionally, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Oxford, Pennsylvania, the defendant has time to respond. The most frequent response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, normally 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 specific 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 Oxford, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in an Oxford, Pennsylvania court is a bit more complex than the basic outline laid out above.
If you have suffered a legal wrong in and decide to sue the person who you believed wronged you, you should talk with a qualified Oxford, Pennsylvania attorney.