In the sections below, you will find articles giving more insight into the process of filing or defending against a lawsuit, including a variety of helpful resources to help you along the way. FindLaw's Lawsuit Help and Resources section includes practical advice and suggestions about how to hire an attorney, best practices for working with an attorney during a case, worksheets to help you determine a fair settlement amount, and also some resources related to the litigation process, a variety of legal forms, and related materials to help you with your lawsuit.
Guidelines for Giving Your Deposition
A deposition is a civil pre-trial oral testimony taken under oath. It is basically deposition is basically a written record of oral testimony, in the form of questions and answers, made before a public officer (Court Reporter) for use in a lawsuit. It is important to remember to listen to the question being asked and if you don't know the answer, do not guess. Your attorney may ask questions of you during the deposition, but typically your attorney will only ask questions of you in order to clarify a confusing answer. If there are some issues about your case that you consider worrisome, those matters should be discussed with your attorney before the start of the deposition.
Should You Represent Yourself in Court?
Representing yourself in a criminal case is never advisable. However, litigants routinely represent themselves in both small claims courts and family law matters. To be sure, you have a right to represent yourself in all court cases. When you represent yourself, you are called a “self-represented party.” In some cases, like landlord/tenant and family, the court has developed easy-to-read court forms to help non-lawyers. Simplified court rules help non-lawyers in other cases, like small claims cases.
Judge versus Jury Trials
Choosing between a judge or jury trial is never an easy decision and you should discuss the matter more fully with your lawyer. However, even if you think that you would prefer a judge trial for your case, you still may end up having to argue in front of a jury. This can happen when your opponent in your case has a right to select trial by jury over a judge trial.
Sample Forms and Worksheets
Knowing the right forms to fill out and the right questions to ask in a legal proceeding is never easy. While you may hire an attorney to handle the paperwork, being familiar with the language is important. For instance, understanding how a settlement works, knowing the language used on a subpoena or simply trying to decipher what to look for in a mediation session is crucial to getting the results you want.
Consult an Experienced Attorney
If you are being sued or have a pending criminal case, you may need an experienced attorney. A good lawyer will ensure that you are given the fairest chance to prevail in your case. Keep in mind that it's important to speak to a lawyer familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction. Most offer free consultations, so your first step should be to contact an experienced attorney.