The litigation cycle.
As the litigation can be very complex or very simple is can be modelled to six stages. The stages are Case Initiation, Discovery, Settlement, Pretrial Motions, Trial, Post-Disposition.
For all case types, a trial is the single most time-intensive stage of litigation, encompassing between one-third and one-half of total litigation time in cases that progress all the way through trial. Discovery is the second most time-intensive stage, encompassing between one-fifth and one-quarter of total attorney hours. The remaining litigation stages each required less than 15 percent of total attorney time.
The settlement can happen any stage. An appeal will start as well in stage 1, Discovery may not be as deep as the original cycle.
Activities within each stage is detailed below.
Stage 1: Case initiation
Initial fact investigation; legal research; draft complaint/answer, cross-claim, counterclaim or third-party claim; motion to dismiss on procedural grounds; defenses to procedural motions; meet and confer regarding case scheduling and discovery.
Draft and file mandatory disclosures; draft/answer interrogatories; respond to requests for production of documents; identify and consult with experts; review expert reports; identify and interview non-expert witnesses; depose opponent’s witnesses; prepare for and attend opponent’s depositions; resolve electronically stored information issues; review discovery/case assessment; resolve discovery disputes.
Stage 3: Settlement
Attend mandatory ADR; settlement negotiations; settlement conferences; draft settlement agreement; draft and file motion to dismiss.
Stage 4: Pre-trial Motions/Applications
Legal research; draft motions in limine; draft motions for summary judgment; answer opponent’s motions; prepare for motion hearings; argue motions.
Stage 5: Trial
Legal research; prepare witnesses and experts; meet with co-counsel (trial team); prepare for voir dire; motion to sequester; prepare opening and closing statements; prepare for direct (and cross) examination; prepare jury instructions; propose findings of fact and conclusions of law; propose orders; conduct trial.
Stage 6: Post-Disposition
Conduct post-disposition settlement negotiations; draft motions for rehearing, JNOV, additur, remittitur, enforce judgment; any appeal activity.
This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Materials on this website are published by Wael Badawy and to provide visitors with free information regarding the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual legal problem, you should seek legal advice from an attorney in your own province/state.