Litigation

Aggressive Litigation Attorneys

The law firm represents his client in litigation in an intelligent but aggressive manner. Mr. Hantzes has regularly finds himself on the other side of case represented by the major law firms in the country. Through his experience, Mr. Hantzes has been able to obtain favorable results against these formidable opponents by leading his litigation team to forcefully present his client's positions in pretrial matters and in trial through an understanding of the law and material facts applicable to the case. Hantzes & Associates regularly co-counsels with lawyers form other firms when the matter requires assistance of additional counsel. Hantzes & Associates litigates in courts throughout the country, although primarily in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Our primary focus is on the litigation of complex business matters on behalf of commercial enterprises, nonprofit associations, employers and employees. We are also very adept at resolving legal disputes through powerful negotiation, mediation and arbitration techniques.

Litigation - An Overview

While much of the publicity on legal matters focuses on the verdict or end result of a lawsuit, many people are oblivious to the litigation process itself. As the centerpiece of our justice system, litigation is the broad and encompassing term that describes the process of preparing and presenting a case at trial. While most often, litigation is used in reference to a trial, this process also includes gathering information in preparation for a case, negotiation and settlement. Through litigation, individuals and businesses can resolve a variety of disputes involving issues such as insurance coverage, trademark infringement, personal injury and contract disputes. If you are involved in a legal dispute and think you may need to file a lawsuit, or if you have been sued, an experienced litigation attorney at Hantzes & Associates in McLean, VA, can guide you through the process.

With countless legal issues being litigated in courts today, it is important for businesses and individuals to understand the critical points of the litigation process. This article explains how the process of filing pleadings, obtaining discovery and seeking summary judgment shape the litigation process and how cases can be won, lost and ultimately resolved before they go to trial.

Pretrial Matters

Pleadings set forth the initial claims, allegations and defenses and highlight factual and legal issues to be brought before the court. These documents also help to narrow and define the issues that will ultimately be litigated. Pleadings must be carefully written and, at times, revised to properly establish a party's legal claims. Pleadings include the complaint, answer to the complaint, answer to any counterclaims or cross claims, third-party complaint and answer to third-party complaint.

Discovery is the process of obtaining relevant information from the other party through the exchange of documents, testimony and related information. Discovery allows each party to learn about and analyze facts that may support (or weaken) its case. The parties have available to them several methods for obtaining information.

Summary judgment is a pretrial motion in which a party seeks a decision on one or more issues in the case, thus making a trial unnecessary. Under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment will be granted if there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The basic idea behind summary judgment is that issues based on undisputed facts do not require a trial. If the facts are undisputed, there are no issues for the jury to decide, and the court can issue a judgment based on the facts set forth in the pleadings.

Trial and Appeal

The actual trial is the stage of litigation with which people are generally the most familiar. Many people have seen dramatizations of the courtroom and trial in movies and on television shows, though often these scenes are far removed from "real life" trials. The trial is the time for both sides to present their arguments and facts to the judge and/or jury. The parties can call witnesses for questioning, cross-examine the opposing party's witnesses and introduce exhibits, which are pieces of evidence generally obtained during the discovery process. The attorneys will make opening statements and closing arguments and then the case will be sent to the judge or jury for a decision. If the losing party believes that an error was made in the trial court, the party may be able to appeal the final judgment.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a term that refers to settling legal disputes without going to trial. There are a number of different forms of alternative dispute resolution including arbitration, mediation, summary jury trials, mini trials and moderated settlement conferences. Often ADR is less expensive and less time consuming than traditional litigation.

Speak to an Attorney

Litigation can be complex. If you have a legal dispute or if you have been injured, you may be considering filing a lawsuit. Or, perhaps you have just been named as a defendant in a lawsuit. What do you do now?

A trial attorney at Hantzes & Associates in McLean, VA can help you avoid the pitfalls of the litigation process and prepare your case for trial.

U.S. Courts

Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER)

American Association for Justice (AAJ)

National Center for State Courts

United States Department of Justice (DOJ)