Litigation is rarely the desired outcome to any business dispute in Texas, but it often becomes necessary when alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation do not produce desired results. When any person is preparing for a possible litigation matter in Texas, they will want to have the assistance of an experienced Austin business litigation attorney.
Businesses have the power to resolve disputes on their own without having to go to court, but there are many times in which two sides will vehemently disagree and not be able to come to a resolution. Litigation is often the most effective way of determining which party is right and awarding any damages.
In most cases, one side will begin by sending the other side a demand package specifically stating what they want. Such a letter often begins negotiations before any litigation steps take place.
Negotiations may take place over several weeks or months before the case proceeds to litigation. Some business contracts will specify that parties must agree to mediate or arbitrate their claims before litigation can commence.
Filing a Lawsuit
One side will have to research the type of legal case they have and the proper court to file a complaint in. When a person files a lawsuit, it will be called a petition filed with the Clerk of the Court, and the party filing suit becomes the plaintiff.
When you file a lawsuit, you must give legal notice to the other side, and you can ask the court to issue a citation that is delivered to the other side. The other side will either be the respondent or the defendant and is allowed to file an answer or counterclaim.
State courts in Texas use a fact pleading standard, while federal courts use a notice pleading standard. Pleadings in district and county courts must be by petition and answer, consist of a statement in plain and concise language of a plaintiff’s cause of action or a defendant’s grounds of defense, and contain any other matter that could be required by law or rule authorizing or regulating particular actions or defenses.
Pleadings that parties do not file electronically must be in writing. An original pleading that sets forth a claim for relief must contain a brief statement of the cause of action that is enough to give fair notice of the claim involved, a statement that damages being sought are within the jurisdictional limits of a court and a demand for judgment for all other kinds of relief to which a party deems entitled.
Discovery lets both sides to get information from the other side in a lawsuit. A plaintiff will choose a Discovery Plan from Texas Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 190.
Both parties can ask one another to answer written questions, allow either party to look at documents, real property, or other items that another party controls, submit to a mental or physical exam, or attend an oral or written deposition, which is a procedure in which a witness is questioned, under oath, and their answers are recorded. Discovery typically prevents one side from surprising the other with new evidence in court.
Motions and Requests
One side may file a motion for summary judgment in which it attempts to win a lawsuit or a portion of the lawsuit by filing certain motions with the court. Certain motions may dictate how a trial will be conducted.
Common motions include requests for juries, although not every case is allowed a jury. A motion for continuance asks a judge to postpone a hearing and needs to contain reasons why a party believes a hearing should be postponed.
A motion to amend pleading allows a side to change their pleading before trial by filing a new pleading with the court clerk and notifying the other party. A petition in intervention allows a third party to join a lawsuit that already began.
The trial is the final stage at which a judge or jury will hear all of the evidence and render a decision. The parties may agree to settle their case before it goes to trial or even after a trial has begun.
Following a trial, at which judgment becomes effective immediately, a party dissatisfied with the judgment may be able to file an appeal. A motion for a new trial needs to be filed within 30 days of the judgment.
Call Us Today to Speak with an Austin Business Litigation Attorney
Do you think that you have a case heading for business litigation in Texas? It will be important for you to have a capable Austin business litigation lawyer representing you in court so you can be confident that all your interests are being served.
At Structure Law Group, LLP, we understand the complexities of business litigation in Texas and have the skills to represent your interests in court. We strive to achieve the best outcomes for our clients. To discuss your case with a qualified attorney, please call us at (512) 881-7500 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.