What Is Litigation?

What Is Litigation

Knowledgeable Litigation Attorneys Hold Employers Accountable

When your employer commits a wrongful act against you, litigation is a powerful tool for resolving your dispute. Through litigation, MSB Employment Justice formalizes your dispute and forces your employer into active involvement in your case. It’s an essential option when your employer won’t take your complaints seriously. As litigation is a legal court process, compliance is their only option.

If you’re dealing with an employment dispute, MSB attorneys offer decades of knowledge and a history of success. We understand that each employee/employer relationship differs. Work-related problems vary by company, industry, and job responsibilities. These and many other factors control how we approach your case.

Our attorneys begin by listening to your story and investigating your employment dispute. After we assess your case, we help you understand the legal issues and offer flexible legal options to help you achieve your goals.

Why Do You Need Litigation to
Resolve Your Employment Case?

If you’re like most wronged employees, you’ve given your employer multiple chances to address their problematic practices. You’ve sought legal representation only after they refused to listen to you or acknowledge your concerns. Sadly, some employers can’t or won’t address legitimate employee complaints. Disputes often go unresolved or ignored:

  • Some companies have no process for addressing employee disputes.
  • Some employers expect your paycheck and benefits to fulfill all of their obligations.
  • Higher management often delegates dispute resolution to lower-level supervisors.
  • Lower-level supervisors don’t always have time, compassion, or genuine resolution authority.
  • Some companies don’t believe you when you complain.
  • Some employers prefer to maintain certain cultural norms.
  • If an employer acknowledges that someone has a valid complaint, it often costs them financially.
  • They believe that you need your paycheck, so you will eventually back down from the dispute.
  • Some companies won’t acknowledge their actions because they violate state or federal employment laws and regulations.

Before we initiate litigation or take other legal actions, MSB attorneys look for amicable solutions. We address your concerns with your employer and explain our position on the legal issues. We give them time to respond and work with us to find a solution. Unfortunately, some employers only respond to the type of forced interaction litigation initiates.

Litigation Is Rarely
the First Step

We don’t always recommend litigation, but sometimes it’s the most effective way to resolve a dispute. When possible, we resolve cases through negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, and court-sanctioned settlement forums. Litigation is often a final step, but sometimes it’s the only thing that works.

At MSB, we rarely file a lawsuit during the initial stages of an employment law case. If we reach certain milestones, it often becomes an inevitable option:

  • When you have a statute of limitations issue
  • If we have reached a negotiation stalemate with your employer
  • When your employer denies that they committed any wrongdoing
  • When your employer refuses to discuss your case
  • When the circumstances dictate that we file a lawsuit

How the Litigation
Process Works

We always seek your input before our attorneys file a lawsuit on your behalf. Litigation is a big step because it places your private dispute in the public record. Unlike confidential negotiations or written communication, a lawsuit allows anyone to learn the details of your dispute with your employer.

If your conflict involves a high-profile company, the potential for public awareness often intensifies your divide. Because a lawsuit sometimes generates unfavorable publicity, companies often defend themselves even more aggressively. Litigation is a major step, but in some situations, it’s the only option. If you agree that filing a lawsuit is the right move for you, our attorneys prepare your lawsuit and file it as soon as possible.

Filing Your Lawsuit

The litigation process is sometimes long and complicated, but it always begins with a court filing. Our attorneys create and file documents commonly known as a summons and complaint. By the time MSB files your lawsuit, our attorneys will have a thorough understanding of your case and its legal issues. Your summons and complaint will personalize your filing with facts, allegations, and an outline of your legal issues against your employer. Your initial court filing contains the following information.

  • Jurisdiction and filing details: County, court, judge, case number, and filing date
  • Plaintiff:You
  • Defendant: Your employer
  • Pleadings: A narrative that explains the basic details of your dispute, listing separate allegations or counts
  • Demand: What do you want the court to do? (award back wages, reinstate your job, pay financial damages, etc.)
  • Plaintiff’s attorney: Your attorney
  • Answer date: The deadline for the defendant to file an answer to your complaint

In most instances, we file your lawsuit in the county and state where the dispute occurred. In employment cases, this is usually where your primary work-related activities took place. Some defendants contest the chosen jurisdiction, requesting a location that’s more advantageous to their company.

To complete your filing, we present a copy of your lawsuit to the court clerk. The clerk stamps the documents to confirm the filing date. Some courts allow an electronic filing process.

Serving Your Complaint

We serve defendants by presenting a copy of the summons and complaint. Depending on the jurisdiction, courts allow service by mail, in person, electronically, or through a defendant’s legal representative. Some businesses and organizations have registered agents.Some companies appoint registered agents to accept service-of-process on their behalf. Until we serve the defendant or their legal representative, they have no duty to respond.

Answering Your Complaint

Each jurisdiction gives a defendant a specific time frame in which they must respond to the allegations in a complaint. They must file an answer with the court using a process that’s similar to a lawsuit filing.

  • A defendant must address each allegation/count in your complaint.
  • They must present their completed answer to the court clerk by the deadline, with a copy to your legal representative.
  • If a defendant misses a lawsuit answer deadline, you have the right to ask the court for a default judgment.

Conducting Discovery

After the defendant files an answer to the lawsuit, the attorneys engage in discovery. Discovery is a formal process where each side has an opportunity to learn more about the other side’s evidence. The process focuses on information that confirms or disproves your allegations. It often includes the following.

  • Interrogatories: A list of questions the other side must answer
  • Document requests: Requests for relevant documents such as employment records, medical records, and any evidence related to your dispute
  • Depositions: Formal interviews under oath, including plaintiffs, defendants, and key witnesses. A court reporter or videographer documents the procedure.

Trying Your Case

Defendants and plaintiffs resolve many cases before trial. When we schedule a trial, we advise you about the merits of choosing a bench trial or a jury trial.

  • Bench trial: Attorneys present their evidence and a judge decides the case.
  • Jury trial: Attorneys select a jury before the trial begins. The jury observes the trial and listens to the evidence. When the attorneys finish presenting their evidence, the judge provides detailed instructions about the legal issues. The jury then decides the case.

Resolving a Case While in Litigation

When we file a lawsuit, it doesn’t put an end to other case resolution efforts. A lawsuit stops your statute of limitations from running and initiates a formal process for the courts to hear your evidence. It also motivates your employer to actively participate in resolving your case.

Once we initiate a lawsuit and begin discovery, a defendant must engage with the process. Sometimes discovery produces critical information or their own records reveal data they previously refused to acknowledge. Also, defendants save defense costs by negotiating a settlement instead of trying a case.

We have several means to accomplish this before a scheduled trial:

  • Alternative dispute resolution through mediation, arbitration, and more
  • Court-affiliated binding and non-binding arbitration
  • Pre-trial conferences
  • Mini trials
  • Direct negotiations

Contact MSB Employment Justice

When you need assistance in resolving a dispute with your employer, you must choose your attorney carefully. When you reach out to MSB Employment Justice, we listen to you, and we fight to enforce your legal rights. Our attorneys understand that each case requires a flexible strategy that considers your personal goals and concerns. That’s why we tailor our legal services to meet your specific needs.

Our law firm works hard to resolve your case outside of the courtroom. We recommend litigation when your case requires a more aggressive approach.

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