Duncan, Bressler & Liu
Areas of Practice
Firm Members
Services
Contact
Home
Services

« Return to Services List

LITIGATION OF DISPUTES:

Although careful planning may increase your chances of avoiding a lawsuit, completely eliminating the possibility of a lawsuit is not always possible. Events occur which cannot always be controlled. You may, for instance, find yourself in a dispute over the interpretation of a contract; need help in enforcing your rights as a landlord or as a tenant; or one of your family members may become involved in a negligence suit. These issues require consultation with an attorney who regularly represents individuals in lawsuits and in resolving legal conflicts: a litigation attorney. Although careful planning may increase your chances of avoiding a lawsuit, completely eliminating the possibility of a lawsuit is not always possible. Events occur which cannot always be controlled. You may, for instance, find yourself in a dispute over the interpretation of a contract; need help in enforcing your rights as a landlord or as a tenant; or one of your family members may become involved in a negligence suit. These issues require consultation with an attorney who regularly represents individuals in lawsuits and in resolving legal conflicts: a litigation attorney.

LAWSUITS:

A lawsuit is filed as either a civil or criminal matter. Some common areas of civil litigation are business law, personal injury law, family law, probate law, and property law. Law firms usually limit their practice to either criminal or civil law, as the law and procedures used in the two areas differ vastly; however, after an initial consultation, most attorneys can recommend competent and caring counsel outside their areas of practice.

A civil suit is initiated in either a state court or in the federal district court by a person who feels he has been wronged. After the lawsuit has been filed, the responding party has approximately 20 days to answer the allegations. After this response is filed, generally the parties begin "discovery," the fact-gathering phase of the lawsuit. Discovery can involve questioning the other party's witnesses under oath, either in writing or by personal appearance at a deposition before a court reporter. This allows the parties to gather information needed for trial. Before the trial, and as more information is discovered, the parties may decide to settle the matter, or, if they do not reach an agreement, the matter may be submitted to a mediator. This process is known as alternative dispute resolution.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION:

Because of the time and expense involved in conducting discovery, preparing for trial, awaiting a trial date, and actually trying the lawsuit, many parties attempt to settle their differences by the less traditional and less costly means of mediation and/or arbitration. In both of these processes, the parties present their sides of the dispute to an independent third party mediator/arbitrator. The mediator then attempts to help them work through those differences and come to a mutually agreeable settlement. An arbitrator is charged with actually resolving the dispute by ruling in favor of one party or the other. These alternatives do not always result in settlement of a case, but when they do, the results can mean substantial savings to the parties, and more control over the resolution of the case.

Duncan, Bressler & Liu, Inc.     1020 NE Loop 410, Suite 500 San Antonio, Texas 78209     210.224.0781     Fax 210.224.6958     

Unless otherwise noted - Not Certified by Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Areas of Practice   Firm Members   Services   Contact   Home