The steps involved in civil litigation are not exactly the same in all cases and all jurisdictions. However, the general steps are as follows:
- Effort to demand redress before a suit is filed. The plaintiff will typically demand that the defendant make things right before a suit is filed.
- Filing of a lawsuit and serving of papers on the defendant. This happens if the defendant does not respond to the request in the first step.
- Discovery. In this step, both sides have the power to compel the other to give them various sorts of information about the case.
- Settlement conference. Before the trial begins, the sides are typically brought together in hopes of achieving a settlement without trial.
- Trial. If there is still no settlement, the trial ensues.
- Appeals. The losing side can appeal the decision to a higher court or courts.