The second stage of litigation is also called the Middle Stage
The Middle Stage is when the case has not settled and additional services are needed.
The Middle Stage of Litigation is a catch-all stage. Many different services could be needed. Not every service is needed in every case.
We work with you to understand where we are and the best strategy to get where we want to go, including which of the legal options is what we should do to move the case forward.
Sometimes, we don’t get to decide
If the opposing party initiates a legal service as part of his or her strategy, the law requires that we comply. Either side can decide to take action and the law requires that the other side cooperate so the case can move forward toward resolution.
Just because your matter is entering the middle stage, does not mean that your case won’t eventually settle without a final contested trial.
Sometimes we just don’t get information we can trust from the other side
Sometimes, the Middle Stage is necessary when we don’t have enough information, or we don’t trust the other side enough to voluntarily provide accurate information.
Sometimes the judge needs to make a call
Sometimes the Middle Stage is necessary because we need a judge to make decisions on preliminary matters while we are still working on a final settlement.
Sometimes the children need their own attorney
Sometimes the Middle Stage is necessary if we think the children at issue need a separate attorney, called an Attorney Ad Litem.
If we progress past the First Stage for any of these reasons or any other reasons, we will talk to you about and you will receive a detailed letter explaining what specific service in the Middle Stage is coming next and why.
What happens then?
The most common service in the Middle Stage is Formal Discovery. Discovery is simply the name for the process of formally exchanging information with the other side as we prepare our cases for trial.
Discovery is in written form – questions and answers, and requests for documentation – and in verbal form – called depositions, which is sworn testimony in front of a court reporter.
The formal written process is most common, but if the other side wants to take a deposition we have to cooperate in the process.
The additional fees for each of these services is on our website under each specific legal services page and the fees page.