Attorneys at Law

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Be informed.

How Long Will My Civil Lawsuit Take?

Although America is thought of as a litigious society, many people go their entire lifetime without ever being involved in a lawsuit in the United States. For someone who has no experienced with the legal system, suddenly being a party to a lawsuit can be overwhelming and a confusing. If you are currently involved in a civil lawsuit for the first time you likely have a number of questions. Starting with “How long will my civil lawsuit take?”  Because of the individual nature of a lawsuit there is no way to provide a universally applicable answer to that question without consulting a civil law attorney; however, a better understanding of the factors that determine how long your lawsuit will take may be beneficial.

  • Type of lawsuit -- The justice system in the United States is divided into two basic parts – criminal matters and civil matters. With the exceptions of legal issues that are heard in a specialty court such as bankruptcy or tax court, everything that is not a criminal prosecution is considered a civil law matter. A civil lawsuit, therefore, could refer to anything from a $200 small claims dispute to a multi-billion dollar corporate contract dispute. As a general rule, the more complex the lawsuit the longer it will take to conclude.
  • Parties involved – a civil lawsuit may have just one individual plaintiff and one individual defendant – or it could have multiple corporate plaintiffs and defendants. The more litigants involved the longer it usually takes to conclude.
  • Complexity of the issues – a clear cut case of employment discrimination may be easier to settle than a complicated intellectual property dispute where the rights to property are unclear.
  • Willingness of the parties to negotiate – most civil lawsuits are ultimately settled out of court. For that to occur, however, both sides must be willing to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement.
  • Legal advice and assistance – your choice of attorney does If your attorney understands the issues and can present your case to the other side in a way that encourages settlement of the matter your case will likely take less time. Likewise, if trial is inevitable, having an experienced attorney on your side will ensure that your case moves along as rapidly as the court’s schedule will allow.

If you have additional questions regarding a civil law matter, contact an experienced Pennsylvania civil law attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. Contact the civil law attorneys at Curely & Rothman, LLC by calling 610-834-8819 today to schedule your consultation.