The area of civil litigation generally covers disputes between two or more parties, in cases where money damages are sought. Civil litigation includes business cases, such as the interpretation of contracts, partnership disputes, divorces, employment matters, probate and estate conflicts, and personal injury suits, including motor vehicle accident cases, nursing home abuse and neglect cases, and prescription drug tort claims. Nearly all of the attorneys at Keith, Miller, Butler, Schneider, & Pawlik, PLLC, practice some form of civil litigation, and each of them works tirelessly to ensure that he or she knows the facts and the law of every case backwards and forwards.
Civil litigation usually starts with a client approaching us with a claim they wish to pursue or a suit that has been filed against them. The first formal step in any case is the filing of a document called the Complaint. The defendant then typically responds with a document called an Answer. These filings are just the beginning.
After the Complaint is answered, the next stage of the process is something called Discovery. This is a necessary process whereby each side of the case learns what evidence the other side may introduce and what each side knows about the lawsuit. Discovery is often the slowest and most invasive time for a litigant during a lawsuit. It may involve digging through dozens and dozens of old documents, answering written questions with written answers, providing oral testimony at a deposition, or appearing at hearings before the presiding judge. During this time, your attorney may object to certain requests that may seek irrelevant information or information that may be too burdensome to produce, but in general the process is lengthy and thorough.
Once the discovery process is complete, the parties will sometimes agree to attend (or in some cases, be ordered by a judge to attend) mediation, a somewhat informal sit-down where the parties try to settle their cases on their own terms, without a judge or jury.
If not settled at mediation, the case will then proceed to trial. This aspect of the lawsuit is the part you most often see on television, though the courtrooms are not nearly as dark or as daunting. The trial attorneys at Keith, Miller, Butler, Schneider, and Pawlik, PLLC, have decades of experience in presenting cases to judges and juries. Many of our attorneys are recognized across Arkansas and even across the nation for their impressive trial skills.
No matter what phase of a case you find yourself facing, Keith, Miller, Butler, Schneider, and Pawlik, PLLC’s litigation team is here for you.