Litigation Lawyers in Rochester
If you are a resident of Rochester, Pennsylvania and believe that somebody has committed a legal wrong against you, and have decided that the effort and expense involved in seeking compensation is worth it, you may consider filing a lawsuit.
If you're considering filing a lawsuit, there are numerous 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 a Rochester, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney first.
Once you retain a Rochester, 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 Rochester, Pennsylvania
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Rochester, Pennsylvania, you should seek the advice and counsel of a brilliant Rochester, Pennsylvania attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you decide that pursuing a lawsuit in Rochester, 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 process, 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 specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: Once you, or your lawyer, have drafted a complaint, the defendant must be served with it, so they have notice that they're being sued, and are given time to prepare a defense. Rochester, Pennsylvania has certain rules governing how a complaint must be served, for the service to be valid. Personal service (having someone give the documents directly to the defendant) is preferred. However, some courts will also accept service by mail in limited circumstances, or service upon an adult member of the defendant's household.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Rochester, Pennsylvania, the defendant has time to respond. The most frequent response is known as an "answer," in which they specifically 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 Rochester, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the details involved in filing a lawsuit in Rochester, Pennsylvania.
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 Rochester, Pennsylvania attorney.