Attorney L. Reed Bloodworth, managing partner of Bloodworth Law, PLLC, in Orlando, Florida, and Winter Haven, Florida, answers the question: what is the pleadings stage of a lawsuit?
Reed often talks with clients who want to file a lawsuit due to broken contracts, failure to provide services or products, or litigation as a beneficiary left out of a trust or an estate. Reed talks about what is the pleadings stage of a lawsuit.
What is the Pleadings Stage of a Lawsuit?
First, Reed tells clients that the filing of a lawsuit is predicated upon some wrong committed against you, against your family, or against your business.
Many people ask: “How does a lawsuit work? What happens and how does a lawsuit proceed?”
Reed explains to clients that every lawsuit, every case varies, and that no case can be compared. Facts in every case are very different, so today, let’s start with an explanation of the pleadings stage of a lawsuit. How does the lawsuit begin?
What Are the 3 Stages of a Lawsuit?
When a lawsuit is filed, the lawsuit proceeds in three distinct stages:
- A pleadings stage
- A discovery stage
- A trial stage
The Pleadings Stage
In the pleadings stage, Reed explains that he files a complaint stating what the other party did wrong, that harm was caused by actions taken by the other party.
Reed Files a Complaint
Then, Reed files a formal complaint on behalf of you — the plaintiff, or the defendant — against the other party.
Answer in Affirmative
Next, the defendant will have to file an answer in affirmative defenses. Sometimes, defendants file a motion to dismiss, in which case, Reed has to go to a hearing.
Occasionally, Reed has to file an amended complaint. If that occurs, Reed will attempt to prevail on his motion to dismiss and the defendant will have to file an answer in affirmative defenses.
End of Stage One
When that is filed, that is the end of stage one of a lawsuit: the pleadings stage.
If you’re in the middle of a business dispute with shareholders, partners or a vendor; or believe a family member may have done something illegal during probate or in the handling of a trust, talk to Reed.
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