What really happens in a business lawsuit in Florida – Part 2: The three phases of a business lawsuit
A business lawsuit in Florida can essentially be broken down into three component parts. The first of which is the pleadings stage in which the parties basically file documents with the Court that tell each other what the lawsuit is about. There can be challenges to the claims and refinements of those known as motions to dismiss and amended complaints, but eventually after those issues are all worked out either between the lawyers or by a Judge, this stage comes to an end unless something unique comes up later that causes the parties to have to revisit what they said the lawsuit was about.
The second part of a commercial lawsuit is the discovery phase, which is where the parties obtain information and documents that now includes emails, texts, and even social media posts in some cases. The parties also try to verify information they think they know at this stage. There are several mechanisms that the procedural rules afford to parties such as interrogatories, depositions, requests for documents, and requests to admit certain facts called appropriately, requests for admissions. Parties in a lawsuit can also try to obtain documents and information from third parties who are not named in or directly involved in the lawsuit, but that have relevant information to the dispute. The discovery phase in an average business lawsuit is where most of the time and consequently the money is spent. Thus, having an attorney that can guide you through this part of a lawsuit by targeting discovery for specific purposes based on experience can save money and be of great benefit.
The third phase of a business lawsuit in Florida is the conclusion of the dispute, which may be by mediation, by direct settlement, by procedural mechanisms such as summary judgment, or by trial before either a judge or a jury. While the voluntary resolution options like mediation may come in phase one or two and some procedural mechanisms may also be employed before trial, the resolution by trial option logically comes after phases one and two, thus creating some semblance of a structure to business lawsuits.