What to Expect When You Are… Being Sued
In the unfortunate event that you are sued, either for a personal or business matter, the following are some common jargon / lingo you can expect to hear throughout the litigation and everyday explanations and definitions.
- PLAINTIFF: The person/corporate entity who brings the suit and who prosecutes the action.
- DEFENDANT: The person/corporate entity being sued.
- COMPLAINT: The first document filed with the court when you are sued. It sets forth the cause(es) of action against you and tells the court the relief that the Plaintiff is requesting (monetary damages, specific performance, etc).
- ANSWER: What the Defendant files to respond to the complaint of Plaintiff.
- AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES: Filed with the answer, set forth facts/circumstances different than those claimed by Plaintiff which if proven can defeat or mitigate the claims in Plaintiff’s complaint.
- DISCOVERY: The formal process of exchanging information between the parties about the witnesses and evidence they will present at trial.
- INTERROGATORIES: Part of discovery. Written questions to the parties requiring written answers that support the allegations in either the complaint or the affirmative defenses.
- DEPOSITION: Part of discovery. The process of giving sworn oral evidence. The parties and witnesses can be deposed.
- SUBPOENA: Demand for production of documents or to appear in court to testify at a legal proceeding.
- CONTEMPT OF COURT: Conduct that is discourteous or disobedient to the court by defying its orders and procedures.
- COURT ORDER: A written direction issued by a judge requiring a person to do or not to do something.
- FINAL JUDGMENT: The last decision from a judge that resolves all issues in dispute and settles the parties’ rights with respect to those issues.
- APPEAL: To apply to a higher court for a lower court decision to be reversed.
These are just a few of the more common terms in the legal language that you will hear throughout litigation if you are involved as a party or a witness. It can become overwhelming to decipher what is essentially a different language while dealing with the stress and uncertainty of litigation. Bullard Law has long experience with litigation and is expert at maneuvering through the process. We are available to help you with your business and collections litigation.
407 648 9530