How a Case Moves Through the System

All cases are different, but under our system, they must all be treated the same way and follow the same procedures. This is actually a constitutional requirement called due process of law, and it comes up frequently throughout a lawsuit, for everything from giving proper notice to each side of what’s happening to following the rules of court in every step of the way.


Pretrial has two meanings: one is in the sense of everything that happens before you actually get to the trial. This includes attempts to negotiate and solve the problem so you don’t have to go to court. The other meaning is more specific: it’s the phase of a lawsuit when the attorneys meet with the judge and set the schedule for ...

Get The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Lawsuits now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.