Our attorneys have handled hundreds of civil litigation disputes. We take the time to understand the facts of each case to determine what course of action will be necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.
Some examples of the types of matters we handle are:
- Consumer protection demand letters
- Breach of contract
- Business litigation
- Real estate litigation
- Boundary line disputes
- Adverse possession
- Easement litigation
- Personal injury
Civil Litigation Overview
Civil Litigation is the process of filing and prosecuting a lawsuit. Lawsuits are subject to very technical rules of civil procedure and evidence. In a matter where a jury trial is allowed, you have the choice of having your factual disputes decided by a jury instead of a judge. Alternatively, you can seek to have the case resolved as a bench trial where the judge will act as the finder of fact and law and will render the verdict. Bench trials are generally quicker and may not be quite so technical since a trial by jury requires the judge to strictly enforce the Rules of Evidence and Procedure. A jury trial is also more formal.
Demand Letters. We frequently attempt to resolve disputes by first sending a demand letter to the opposing party. We set forth our representation, the facts that gave rise to the claim, the law or basis of the claim, a brief description of damages incurred and then make a demand to resolve the claim. Thereafter, a time deadline is given for the recipient to respond to the letter.
Some causes of action and statutes that give rise to a cause of action require a demand letter as a prerequisite to filing a suit, such as G.L. c. 93A § 9. The purpose behind this is to afford the opposing party an opportunity to resolve the matter without the expense of litigation.
If the dispute cannot be resolved after the deadline imposed in the demand letter, the client has to either continue negotiating, which may be futile, drop the dispute, or proceed with litigation.
A lawsuit is handled by preparing the complaint which sets forth the facts that gave rise to the controversy; the cause of action or claim; the damages or relief requested; and a prayer for relief.
The plaintiff, generally, has the burden of proof which means that the plaintiff must prove, in a civil case, that its position is correct by a preponderance of the evidence.
The complaint gets filed with the court and the filing fee is paid. The complaint is then served on the defendants and defendants have 20 days to answer the complaint.
From there, the parties typically engage in discovery, including interrogatories, requests for production of documents, requests for admissions and depositions.
Throughout the case, the parties will typically try to settle the matter, either through their attorneys or through mediation or arbitration.
If the case is not capable of settling, the court will schedule a trial date, at which time the parties will have the opportunity to present their case and defenses, as well as their evidence and witnesses in front of the judge or jury.
A well respected and reputable team at Dillon and Sullivan. Both lawyers provide trustworthy guidance and display superior business acumen. I have consulted with the duo on numerous litigation suits, and the outcome been favorable, with a minimal amount of headache. They treat their clients with the utmost respect from both a personal and business standpoint. I highly recommend!
– Steven C.