How Will My Issue Be Handled?
While every case is different, there are certain general items that apply to most cases we handle. Having an idea of what may generally happen in your case will help you prepare for the process.
- When you contact Loveless & Loveless, one of our assistants will speak with you and set an appointment for you to talk with an attorney. While most appointments are in person, telephone appointments are frequently made for clients unable to come into the office in person.
- Please plan to be a few minutes early for the initial consultation. You will need to complete a general information form that will help the attorney consulting with you to start narrowing down the issues that will be discussed in the consultation.
- If possible, having your biggest questions written down ahead of time will be helpful to you, so that you will not forget to ask them during your consultation.
- During your consultation, the attorney will talk with you about some of the things that may happen in the lawsuit, and what further information the firm needs, should you decide that you are going to engage the firm to represent you.
Working Your Case
- After we are hired, we will begin preparing any necessary paperwork that needs to be filed.
- You may have one or more hearings scheduled on various issues. If so, we will coordinate with you about those hearings and how to prepare for them. You may need to come in to the office to talk with us further, or provide us with documents that we will use as exhibits. Often, these things will need to be done quickly. Good communication is key, and during your case you should make sure you check your mailbox every day, and stay up to date with your email and telephone messages.
- Discovery may be required in your case, either because you need more information before going forward, or because the other side does. Generally, the process of “discovery” is where one side requests documents and/or asks questions of the other side. The other side must produce the documents requested and answer the questions. There are rules that apply to this process, and you should be prepared to work closely with us during this time.
- If you are in a family law case, there could be a social study, psychological evaluations, or appraisals of property that need to be completed. Each of these processes has its own set of requirements and possible time frames for completion. We will discuss those items in detail as they occur in your particular case.
- After both sides have all the information they need, it will be time to seek resolution of your case. This are many ways to resolve a case, including settlement discussions, mediation, arbitration, or final trial to a judge or jury. Depending on your case, we could try to resolve the case through any or all of these methods. Generally, you will work with us and you will make decisions about be the best way to proceed. However, please know that because the court’s dockets are crowded, almost any case set for trial will be required to attend mediation before trial.
Finalizing Your Case
- Once we have resolved your case, there are final documents to be prepared. One side will prepare the documents and the other side will have a chance to review them and make changes. Many different documents are required to complete your case and make sure all of your issues are handled. For instance, dividing retirement in a divorce often requires a separate order that must be prepared in addition to the Final Decree of Divorce.
- Going to Court — Most cases do require a court appearance of some kind. This is where the Judge will hear any testimony necessary to finalize the case, and will sign your final orders.
- Finishing Up — After the final orders are signed, there may be various actions to be taken, such as filing deeds or other documents, waiting on retirement plans to approve orders, etc. Our office will identify these actions and work with you to decide how to complete them.