Skip to main content

A Crash Course in Civil Litigation

  • Step 1: Where to Sue?Step 1: Where to Sue?

    You don't need three years of law school to know that there are many different courts with many different functions. But what's the right court for your case?

    Read more

  • Step 2: Filing SuitStep 2: Filing Suit

    What exactly is a "lawsuit"? Learn more about the legal paper that must be filed at the start of the civil litigation process.

    Read more

  • Step 3: Serving ProcessStep 3: Serving Process

    After filing suit, the plaintiff must serve "process" on the defendant. What papers must be served and how?

    Read more

  • Step 4: Playing DefenseStep 4: Playing Defense

    After being served, defendants have a limited time to respond to the Complaint. What must you file and when?

    Read more

  • Step 5: DiscoveryStep 5: Discovery

    As its name suggests, discovery is the investigative phase of litigation. How can we use it to avoid unpleasant surprises at trial?

    Read more

  • Step 6: Pretrial MotionsStep 6: Pretrial Motions

    Just because a lawsuit has been filed, that does not mean that the case will ultimately go to trial. Much can happen en route to the courthouse.

    Read more

  • Step 7: The TrialStep 7: The Trial

    It's showtime! How are cases tried in Maryland courtrooms? What does it take to win?

    Read more

  • Step 8: Post-Trial MotionsStep 8: Post-Trial Motions

    If you lose at trial, that doesn't always mean that your case is over. There may be things you can do to grab a victory from the jaws of defeat.

    Read more

  • Step 9: Collecting JudgmentsStep 9: Enforcing and Collecting Judgments

    Congratulations plaintiff! You met your burden of proof and won at trial. Now what can you with that judgment?

    Read more

  • Step 10: AppealsStep 10: Appeals

    If your case didn't appeal to the judge or jury, can you appeal to a higher authority?

    Read more

AV-rated trial lawyers share their strategies for winning cases throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C.Litigation is not exactly a contact sport, but it isn't always "civil" either.  In fact, winning the litigation game is a lot like winning in football. Solid preparation, aggressive execution of the game plan, speed, and the ability to think on your feet are the keys to victory in both sports.

Like football, judges serve as referees, making sure the rules of the game are followed. Yet, unlike football, most cases are decided by spectators sitting in box seats. The jury is the ultimate scorekeeper. There are deadlines, but the buzzer takes much more than 60 minutes to sound. The challenges of increasingly complex litigation in congested court systems don't let us resolve cases in an hour. Depending on where suit is filed, cases may take as little as three months or as long as two years -- that is, before one endures postponements which are common to the litigation process.

Not all cases get to trial and even those that do will not necessarily end with the jury's verdict. Beyond pretrial and post-trial motions, an appeal may add months or years to the litigation clock.

The free legal information on Maryland civil procedure, how to file lawsuits in Maryland courts, Maryland trial consultant, Maryland civil procedure, trial procedure, personal jurisdiction, what court to sue in, suing and getting sued in Maryland, filing suit, serving process, defending against lawsuits, discovery and case investigation, pretrial disposition, the trial process, post-trial motions, enforcing judgements, effect of judgments, and the appeal is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The slogans, High-Speed Access to Legal Action, Legal Advice, Legal Counsel, Legal Protection, State & Federal Courts, Dispute & Conflict Resolution, Probate Protection, Legal News, Legal Training & Seminars, and the substantial equivalent thereof are service marks of Kramer & Connolly.