What to Do When You’ve Been Served

Receiving court papers from a process server can be a stressful experience. You need to prepare in depth for your court appearance. And you have to make sure that you don’t miss any important details. Working with a competent attorney is important. It’s the only way to ensure that your case will proceed smoothly. Even if you know you’re in the right, you can’t afford to appear in court alone. There are various things you should do as soon as you’ve been served. Approaching this in a timely manner will maximize your chances of success in court.

Check What Court You’ll Be Sued in

Your case may be brought up to a different level of court depending on the size of the claim. If the case is for under $25,000, it will go to small claims. The Superior Court of Justice handles larger claims than that. There are some specific rules that govern how cases go in both situations. Knowing what court you’re going to appear in is crucial to building a good defense. If you’re not sure, that’s another reason to hire a good attorney as soon as possible. They will know what to expect from your case and will guide you through defending yourself in it.

Don’t Waste Any Time

You have to get started preparing your defense immediately. You must waste no time on that, because there will be lots of details to deal with. There are some strict deadlines you’ll be dealing with. For example, you have 20 days to file your defense in most cases. This can vary sometimes, but it’s a good guideline to adhere to. Working with a lawyer can often make you eligible for a deadline extension. However, even then you’ll still face some limitations. Typically, you can only extend the date by 10 days at most. It’s still better than nothing though. Having more time can always be useful in preparing a better defense.

Start Gathering Facts

Go through the list of allegations brought up against you carefully. You have to prepare a response, including your stance on all of those allegations. If you are going to contest any of them, you have to prepare some solid reasons for that. All of this needs to be discussed with your lawyer in detail before you go up in court. There are many details that you may not understand straight away. You must also be careful in how you’re wording your defense exactly. Sometimes saying something the wrong way can open you for an attack by the opposing party. A good attorney will help you choose your words carefully. They will also act as a communication link between you and the court. That way, you will never have to worry about the statements you’re making.

Should You File a Counterclaim?

Some cases are more complicated. If you can prove that you’ve incurred damages related to the case, that’s important to bring up in court. Filing a counterclaim can be a very good strategy in certain situations. You don’t necessarily need to file it against the person who’s suing you in the first place. You can also bring other people into the lawsuit. All that matters is whether you can prove any damages. If that’s the case, your lawyer will help you present the facts in the best light possible. They will also give you advice on preparing your counterclaim. You should never hesitate to file a counterclaim if you know you have a good case. It can sometimes even be helpful in defending against the initial lawsuit.

Get in Touch with a Lawyer

In any case, the most important first step you need to take is to contact an attorney. This is the only way to ensure that you’re not going to miss any important details. There is a lot of ground to cover when you’re being sued. And considering how extensive the law can be, you should never approach a situation like this on your own. There’s never a good reason to skip hiring a lawyer. And the sooner you do it, the better your chances will be. A good attorney can help you go over the case and find any issues with it. Sometimes, a case might not even make it to court if your lawyer can spot the right mistakes.

But even the best lawyer in the region won’t be able to help you if you contact them too late. The legal system has some strict requirements for filing deadlines and other timing constraints. You have to ensure that you’re compliant with them at every step. Otherwise, you may lose a case that you otherwise had a good chance in. Get in touch with us today, and let us help you prepare a proper defense. The rest comes down to having your facts prepared in advance.