1. A lawsuit is:- A process through which disputes are heard and settled.- Two parties, a plaintiff and a defendant, enter into a formal contest to persuade an impartial third party to accept their version of the dispute.
2. Examples of complexities in hearing and deciding cases include: - Each side of a story has its own individual complexities. - A judge’s job is to make fair decisions that are accepted by both parties.
3. What are common laws?- Common Laws were established so that citizens, as well as the courts, had a guide to follow when hearing and deciding rulings on cases. Why do people Sue? - The most common reason people sue one another is over the repayment of a debt.- Lawsuits also occur in order to determine responsibility between two parties.
4. The parties involved in lawsuits include:- Plaintiff – The individual who brings the lawsuit to court.- Defendant – The individual whom which the complaint is being made against.
5. Types of Lawsuits include:- Civil Law - Lawsuits held between two parties that typically involve issues concerning contractual agreements, such as money, property rights, divorce, or slander. - Contractual Law – Lawsuits involving debt collection between two parties. Contractual law can also involve disputes over a service as well. - Lawsuits Over Tort – This body of law tries to make sense of wrongdoings, which harm the interest of another.
6. Types of Lawsuits cont:- Criminal Law – Lawsuits held in enforcement of the law. - These cases vary based on the law, as well as the state in which the case is in question.
Criminal Law cases must meet jurisdictional requirements. Jurisdiction is determined by:
- The Constitution - General statuses establishing jurisdiction for a level of court- Specific statuses authorizing the establishment of the court in question - Statuses creating other courts in the same country that may affect the jurisdiction of the court in question - Statuses dealing with specific subject matters
7. Court Structure in Texas includes:- Justice Courts- County Courts- District Courts- Court of Appeals- Supreme Court- Court of Criminal Appeals
8. What is the process of a lawsuit?- The Civil Process – Cases concerning Property Disputes, Breach of Contract,Family Matters (such as divorce), Negligence and Personal Injury - Pre Trial - The Trial Process - Jury Selection - Opening Statements - Presentation of Evidence - Defense Response - Closing Arguments - Jury Deliberation - Juror Consensus - Judge’s Decision
9. Can I dispute the court’s ruling?- Appeal the Outcome – After the ruling in a civil trial, both parties have the right to appeal the court’s decision. - The appeal is usually based on an error made during the trial.
10. If I am being sued for debt, what are my options?- Make a list of all your debts- Try to settle outside of court If you are being sued for a debt and do not show up in court, default judgment will most likely occur. - Default Judgment will usually favor the party suing.
11. Examples of what you can lose from a lawsuit include: - Garnishment of wages - Money attained from selling personal property and assets - Depending on the type of lawsuit, individuals could serve jail timeExamples of individuals/organizations that can be sued include: - Individuals - Partnerships - Businesses - Religious Organizations
12. Why do I need to consider an attorney? - Attorneys have an understanding of the laws, as well as how the law affects you.- Attorneys have experience representing clients in court and can help you resolve your legal issues. For more information about Lawsuits or to consult with a professional attorney: Contact Allmand & Lee 214-884-4176