How Do Lawsuits Work?

We are going to discuss civil lawsuits, rather than criminal ones. The difference, of course, is that these lawsuits arise due to arguments between businesses, people, and other entities, including the government kind. There are some distinct steps that must take place for the lawsuit to move forward as intended. And, if the parties in the suit decide they can come to their own agreements, they are allowed to halt the proceedings. In the case of the lawsuit against, True Health Diagnostics, they asked for a motion to dismiss and it was granted. Apparently, they bought the assets of another company, Health Diagnostic Laboratory (HDL), which was a bankrupt company located in Richmond. HDL had contracts with an Ohio based lab called HeartLab. It was HeartLab that filed the suit against True Health. However, the judge determined that the basis of the suit was attempting to put a patent “on a law of nature.” So, the case continues as HeartLab is appealing the judge’s decision. Sometimes lawsuits seem cut and dry, but in most situations they are a bit challenging to understand. Such is the case with this suit. Thankfully, we have the ability to break down the necessary steps in a lawsuit to improve your comprehension of the process. So, just in case you ever need to file a civil suit, follow these steps:

How Do Lawsuits Work?


The initial papers you file are called pleadings. And, both sides will file these papers to better explain their side of the dispute. Litigation (or a suit) will begin once the plaintiff files the complaint with the court and provides the defendant with a copy. This complaint will let the defendant know what he/she did or didn’t do that initiated the suit. It will also share why the defendant could be held legally responsible for the complaint. Then, the defendant will have an opportunity to share his/her side. It’s called an “answer.” And, if he/she wants, counter claims can be filed at that time as well. There’s a lot of potential paperwork here with each party being given the opportunity to ask for revisions of the complaints and answers.


This is the way the opposing sides are able to gather evidence on their behalf. It’s usually the longest part of the process and can include expert witnesses and other third party participation. At this time, the opposing sides will utilize “motions” that request the court to act or rule on specific issues. These will generally seek clarification or resolution of the varying disputes between the two entities. And, sometimes, this is where a request for dismissal occurs. Learn more.


Once the suit has reached this stage, the opposing sides will present their evidence in support of the claims they have made against one another. They have to give the judge a “brief” before the trial begins, and sometimes a jury will never get involved. Opening statements will start the whole thing off, and then witnesses will be called, evidence examined, and cross-examinations will begin. Finally, the sides will present their closing arguments and the judge or jury will deliberate until a verdict is reached. Of course, either side is allowed to appeal the whole case and ask for another attempt to look at the evidence. This usually requires the inclusion of additional facts or evidence that was not initially provided. But, if this explanation isn’t good enough, here’s another great article.

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