20th Anniversary SAC Attorneys
Elite Lawyers
Lawyers of Distinction
Avvo Rating 10.0
Santa Clara County Bar Association
Association of American Trial Lawyers
Elite Lawyers Business James Cai 2017
Best Litigation Attorneys in San Jose
Expertise - Best Employment Lawyers in Santa Clara 2021
Expertise - Best Employment Lawyers in Santa Clara 2022

What Are the Stages of Business Litigation?

Business litigation is the process of resolving business disputes by going to court. Some of the common issues that lead to business litigation include employment disputes, contract disputes, shareholder disputes, consumer complaints, and partnership disputes. Whether you are involved in business litigation as the complainant or defendant, business litigation can be a complex and lengthy process. It is best to work with a business litigation attorney. Business litigation cases involve several steps, and a skilled attorney can help at every stage of the business litigation process. In this article, we go over the stages of business litigation.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. The information in this article should not be taken as legal advice. For legal advice, consult an attorney.

The Stages of Business Litigation

As mentioned already, business litigation involves several steps. The specific steps may vary based on the jurisdiction and specifics of the case. That said, the following are the general steps involved in business litigation in California;

1. Investigation

Before the business litigation process begins, the first step is to conduct investigations. This entails determining if there is a basis for a lawsuit and gathering evidence.

2. Filing the Lawsuit

After determining there is a basis for a lawsuit and collective evidence, the next step is the plaintiff filing the complaint with the appropriate court. In the complaint, the complainant should state clearly what legal harm they have suffered and the relief they are pursuing. Normally, people initiate the business litigation process to recover financial damages. Once the complaint has been filed, the lawsuit can begin.

3. Serving the Defendant With the Papers

Next, the defendant must be served with the complaint. A process server or an authorized third party can serve the defendant with the complaint.

4. Filing a Response

After the defendant has been served with the complaint, they have a short period of time to respond. A defendant is supposed to respond by filing an answer. In the answer, the defendant addresses all the allegations against them. A defendant can also choose to include counterclaims or affirmative defenses in their answer. Affirmative defenses include lack of jurisdiction and statute of limitations.

If the defendant fails to file a response within the specified time frame, the claimant can request a default judgment. If this request is granted, the court may automatically rule in favor of the plaintiff.

5. Discovery

This stage entails the defendant obtaining information from the claimant, and vice versa, regarding facts pertaining to the dispute at issue. The discovery stage is quite crucial to both parties. During this stage, documents, written interrogations, depositions, and other evidence are gathered.

6. Settling

The parties can decide to settle their case without going to court. Parties may even choose to engage in mediation to resolve the dispute. Mediation is a process where disputing parties meet with a neutral third party who helps them communicate and negotiate.

7. Pretrial Phase

If the case cannot be settled, it will proceed through all preliminary pretrial matters, including evidentiary objections, opposing motions, and replying to motions.

8. Trial

If the case proceeds to trial, both sides will present their case in front of a judge or jury, and the judge or jury will make a decision based on the evidence presented.

Contact Us for Legal Help

If you are involved in business litigation and are looking for a qualified attorney to help you, contact our business litigation attorneys at SAC Attorneys LLP.

Client Reviews
Mr. Cai Is a Diligent Attorney. My sister and I were defendants in a civil litigation case. We hired James Cai and his law firm, SAC Attorneys LLP. Mr. Cai is a diligent attorney and responded to our questions in a timely fashion. He and his staff were very helpful in keeping us informed of the proceedings of the case and in explaining each step. Mr. Cai is also very conscientious of fees and costs, and avoided unnecessary charges. The results of the Summary Adjudication sided with us. The Court Trial resulted in the “Final Statement of Decision” and “Judgment after Court Trial” overwhelmingly siding with us. Cynthia F.
I Am Truly Impressed. After spending a significant amount of time, money and efforts with my previous counsel at a larger law firm without getting meaningful results, I transferred my employment matter to SAC Attorneys LLP. The attorneys there were able to understand the complex situations of my case and put together an aggressive litigation strategy. We were able to file a compelling complaint within a week and forced the opposing party, which was represented by one of the largest law firms in California, to make a substantial settlement offer shortly thereafter. I am truly impressed by the no nonsense and results oriented approach by SAC Attorneys LLP attorneys. A job well done! X. Gao
They Took Time to Understand Our Technology. I am the founder of a bioinformatics start-up in the Silicon Valley and chose SAC Attorneys LLP as our corporate counsels. Their attorneys have great experience with high tech start-ups and were able to offer a highly competitive service plan while not sacrificing a bit of their quality of services. They took time to understand our technology and provided value added services by introducing investors and job candidates to us. We regard our attorneys at SAC Attorneys LLP not only as our legal advisors but also our venture partners. Dr. Pete S.