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Litigation Basics: Steps to Take After Being Sued

access_time Posted on: February 16th, 2022

You’ve been sued and served with a Writ of Summons or a Complaint. What do you do next?

Finding out that you have been sued can be concerning and unnerving. Whether you’re an individual or part of a company, court papers can be confusing and leave you wondering what to do next. This article addresses some basic information relating to litigation to help you know when to contact our office and what to do at the beginning of litigation.

Step 1: Pause, and breathe

If you have just been served, then you have some time to react but deadlines have already begun. Take a breath and read the papers that you’ve received to find out what the lawsuit is about. It could involve your landlord, tenant, business partner, or some other person. It could involve an injury to the other person, a contract, collection of a debt, or a land dispute.

Step 2: Do NOT Ignore It

Whether you agree with Plaintiff’s claims will not matter if you ignore the suit or fail to cooperate with the Court. You may hope it goes away but you could end up with a default judgment or sanctions against you if you ignore it. It almost certainly will not go away. Because there are many deadlines involved in litigation, it could get even worse if you ignore it.

Step 3: Preserve EVERYTHING

This means everything, not just the things you think are helpful. You have a duty to preserve or save all possible evidence. This might include letters, emails, voicemails, and even text messages. It could also include photographs, videos, and any other thing that might relate to the case such as spreadsheets and even social media interactions. Do NOT delete or destroy anything and do not allow anyone else to do so. Keep it safe.

Step 4: Contact a Litigation Attorney

Litigation Attorneys deal with civil suits daily and can explain your options, help you to figure out how to proceed, and handle the many deadlines and documents that will ultimately be involved. When you first contact our office, we will need to know the names of all persons or entities involved in the suit. This includes you, other Defendants, the Plaintiff(s), and anyone else who could be a witness or against whom you might have a claim.

Step 5: Bring Documents to the Consultation

When you meet with a litigation attorney, bring along all important documents. This includes all court papers. It may include contracts, emails, letters, or text messages with the other party. It could also include notices, bills, warnings, or demand letters. These documents, and others, will help us to analyze your case and get you the most thorough opinion about how to proceed.

To contact Attorney Schenck about your case, call 717-718-4900 or email at hschenck@cgalaw.com

CGA Law Firm Attorney; Hunter Schenk

Hunter B. Schenck

Attorney

Hunter B. Schenck provides legal services to individuals and businesses in the area of litigation.

Hunter is ranked as 2021 Super Lawyer Rising Star. She is an active member of the York County Bar Association and serves as a member of the Social, Membership, and Law Day Committees. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the York County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section and a member of the Herbert Cohen Inn of Court. Hunter was a member of the 2015, 2017, and 2019 Bar Stools Casts. Hunter is a member of the Penn State Law Alumni Board, the Penn State York Women’s Philanthropic Network, and a life member of the Penn State Alumni Association.

Read Hunter’s full bio HERE.