Haughton Law Group, P.C.

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(940) 440-5250

Haughton Law Group, P.C.

We typically represent both plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases such as business disputes, contract disputes, and real estate disputes. We handle consumer defense for people being sued by banks or credit card companies. We also handle family law cases, which are a special type of civil lawsuit.

What Do I Do If I Am Served With a Complaint?

If you are served with a citation and a petition from a Texas Court, you have until the first Monday at 10:00 a.m. following the expiration of 20 days from the date you were served. The simplest answer to file in a Texas case is called a General Denial. In some cases, other objections must be filed with or before any General Denial is filed with the court or important objections may be forever lost. In Justice of the Peace court cases, you have only 14 days from the date you were served with the Citation and Petition to file an answer with the court. In every case it is wise to consult with an attorney before you take any action.

Can I Represent Myself in A Civil Case?

Yes, you have the right to represent yourself in a civil case. However, the real question is whether you should represent yourself. The courtroom is a different environment and most people are not familiar with its unique and unfamiliar language, rules, customs, and culture; it is like a foreign country. My advice in almost every case is to retain an attorney who knows the language and knows how to manage that culture.

When Must I Respond to A Civil Action In Texas?

In Texas, your answers are due in the court on or before 10:00 a.m. on the first Monday following 20 days from the date you have been served.

What Are The General Stages Of Civil Litigation?

Litigation begins with a Petition. The Petition is a brief description of the complaint the Plaintiff or Petitioner is bringing against the Defendant. Once the Petition is served on the defendant, an answer must be filed within the time provided for in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. With one exception, when the defendant files an answer, he or she has submitted himself or herself to the jurisdiction of the court. At this stage of the case the parties normally commence with discovery. Discovery in Texas, consists of Requests for Disclosure, Requests for Production, Requests for Admission, Interrogatories, and Depositions. Each form of discovery is designed to elicit information related to the claims and defenses of the parties. Often this stage of litigation is the most expensive.

Once the parties have had an opportunity to conduct discovery, one or both parties will file Traditional or No Evidence Motions for Summary Judgment. The Summary Judgment is a Motion asking the court to rule on all or some of the issues in the case. Often, this results in a final order closing the case. If the court denies these motions, then the case proceeds to trial.

The next stage of litigation involves the final preparation for trial and the trial itself. In many cases, the parties present the case to a mediator who acts as an impartial third party to help the parties to the lawsuit settle the case without a trial. If mediation fails to settle the case the parties continue to prepare for trial and often file pretrial motions asking the court to rule on matters which are likely to arise in trial. The trial may proceed before the Judge or the parties may elect to present the case to a Jury.

Depending on the outcome of the case at trial one or both parties may ask the court for a new trial. A Motion for New Trial must be filed within 30 days from the date of the judgment. At the new trial, the court can consider new evidence, or the court may consider or reconsider the decision of the judge or jury to ensure the judgment is consistent with the evidence and applicable law.

Finally, the parties may elect to appeal an undesirable judgment. The first step of the Appeal process is to the Court of Appeals and then to the Texas Supreme Court.

What Factors Do You Consider When Trying To Move Forward In A Civil Case?

The facts of the case and the applicable law drive our decision to accept or decline to accept a case. We review every detail of the case considering applicable law to determine what constitutes success and then the likelihood of success. Beyond that, we must to consider the cost of litigation and our client’s ability to fund litigation. You have done your client no good spending $1,000 defending a $1,000 lawsuit. However, some clients are more interested in making a point than they are in whether it makes financial sense to proceed. We always look at the value of the case and it’s not always about the money. Sometimes, the value of a case is found in the ability of the court to grant injunctive relief. An injunction is an order which prohibits a person from acting or forces a person to take an action. In some cases, an injunction can literally destroy your business.

Finally, we must evaluate the client’s ability to endure the emotional strain litigate takes on the parties. Some clients are more tolerant to the uncertainty and stress of litigation than others.

For more information on Civil Litigation Cases In Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (940) 440-5250 today.

John Haughton

Call For A Free Consultation
(940) 440-5250