Steps in a Civil Lawsuit

All cases are different; not all will require every step outlined here.

  • Lawyer and client meet to exchange information
  • Documents are gathered, including any counselling records, psychological records, medical records, hospital documents, school records, income and employment information, etc.
  • Known witnesses are located and interviewed
  • Legal issues such as vicarious liability or insurance coverage are analyzed

The lawyer will:

  • Interview the client, counsellors, or physicians, or obtain written reports from them
  • Recommend whether a settlement should be negotiated or a lawsuit filed
  • Prepare the Statement of Claim
  • Review the Statement(s) of Defence
  • Prepare and exchange Affidavits of Documents with the other side
  • Attend with the client at examinations for discovery (each side is allowed to ask questions about what the other side is going to say at trial; these questions and answers are recorded and typed up into a transcript)
  • Conduct discovery examinations of the defendants
  • Go to court to argue any pre-trial issues ("motions")
  • Go to court for a pre-trial conference
  • Prepare for trial and/or settlement before trial
  • Prepare the client and witnesses for trial
  • Organize the preparation of exhibits for trial
  • Organize the preparation of demonstrative exhibits for trial
  • Prepare for and attend at mediation and/or settlement discussions
  • File briefs and motions with the court to eliminate surprises at trial
  • Take the case to trial in front of a judge and/or jury
  • Advise the client on issues for appeal

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