Civil Plaintiff and Defense Litigation Attorney Chesterfield MO

Civil litigation is a vital component of the American legal system. Plaintiffs initiate lawsuits by filing complaints in state or federal court. Defendants assert defenses and respond to complaints. However, civil litigation is based on rules contained in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. If you are engaged in civil litigation, Mark Harford can assist you as a plaintiff or as a defendant in your case. 

The Complaint 

Every civil lawsuit begins when a plaintiff files a complaint which contains a short and plain statement of the harm the plaintiff suffered and a demand for relief. Plaintiffs will file their complaints in state or federal court depending on the facts of the case. Lawyers typically draft complaints, and they are often amended after filing to account for new information that is discovered during the discovery phase of civil litigation. 

The Discovery Phase 

Discovery is one of the most important tools available to both plaintiffs and defendants engaged in civil litigation. During discovery, both sides submit interrogatories, requests for production, and requests for admission to each other. These documents contain questions or requests regarding the case. Essentially, discovery enables plaintiffs and defendants to learn more about the facts of the case and what evidence exists to support or attack the relevant legal claims. 


The pre-trial phase of civil litigation is an important aspect of civil litigation because it often involves the judge who will oversee the case. The parties are expected to submit jury instructions and a pretrial conference order. These documents are important to the case, and it is important to examine all of the pre-trial documents to ensure they do not contain any mistakes. 


The vast majority of civil lawsuits do not proceed to trial. Approximately 95% of civil lawsuits are resolved through settlement negotiation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration. Only a fraction of all civil cases go to trial. 

Trial may be before a judge or a jury. If a trial is before a judge it is called a bench trial. If a trial is before a jury it is called a jury trial. Having an experienced attorney on your side during trial can provide you with the expertise you need to be successful in your case. Therefore, if you are involved in a civil lawsuit, and you have not spoken to an attorney, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. 

Contact Law Office of Mark Harford Today to Schedule a Free Consultation 

It can be intimidating to deal with the complexities of civil litigation. Contact Mark Harford Law today to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case. Our attorneys understand how important it is to work toward the resolution of your case at an early stage of litigation. You do not have to handle every aspect of a civil lawsuit on your own. We are here to help you understand the legal options available to you.