Willis & Henderson, P.A., has substantial experience
litigating cases of all kinds.  Litigating a case can be a
long and tiring process, and you need a lawyer who can
stay the course, and work for the solution that is best for
you.  We encourage litigants to reach agreements to
resolve cases, rather than allowing a stranger (the judge)
to decide how it should go.  But if taking a matter to trial
is required, Willis & Henderson, P.A., is ready to do
what it takes.

With a few exceptions, you are not required to have a
lawyer represent you in court.  The process is so
complicated, however, that unless your matter is very
simple, you would benefit from using a lawyer to
represent you.  

So, whether you have been sued by someone, or you wish
to sue someone, contact us to discuss the matter.

    What happens if I've been sued?

    If you have been sued, and you wish to contest the
    matter, then you need to respond within a certain
    length of time.  

    If you have been sued in the district court, then you
    have 15 days to file a "Notice of Intention to
    Defend," which is normally attached to the papers
    you are given.

    If you have been sued in the circuit court, you have
    30 days to file an answer, unless you reside out of
    state, in which case you normally have 60 days.  The
    papers you are given will tell you which.

    What if I want to sue someone?

    If you have a claim against another person or a
    business, then you must file a complaint in either the
    district court or the circuit court.  The court you
    choose depends on several factors, including the
    value of the case and the type of case it is.  It also
    depends on whether you want a jury trial or not.  For
    example, the district court has jurisdiction over
    smaller cases and does not have jury trials.  The
    circuit court has jurisdiction over larger cases, has
    jury trials, and has jurisdiction over certain cases
    that the district court does not, such as injunctions.

    Once the complaint is filed, the clerk will issue a
    summons to the person or persons being sued.  You
    need to serve the summons and complaint on them by
    having someone other than you place it in their
    hands.  They have a certain length of time to
    respond.  Once they respond, the case has been
    brought to issue and the litigation process begins.

    How long will it take?

    Litigation can be resolved rapidly through
    agreement, or it can be dragged on for years.  To a
    great extent, it depends on you, and whether you are
    willing to come to a resolution, even if you don't get
    everything you want.

    After an answer is filed the court will normally issue
    a scheduling order that lays out in some detail how
    long the case will take.  Courts are very sensitive to
    moving cases through the system, and expect the
    litigants to actively prosecute or defend their case.  
    The scheduling order is not written in stone, but it
    can only be changed via court order.

    How much will it cost?

    Litigation can be very expensive.  With the exception
    of certain cases that are done on a contingency fee,
    such as an automobile accident case, litigation is
    billed hourly.  In addition to the hourly fee, there
    will be expenses, such as the cost of court reporters
    for depositions, expert witness fees, copying costs,
    and other expenses.

    If I lose will I still pay a fee?

    The short answer is yes.  Unless we agree otherwise,
    which will be in the form of a written agreement,
    then you will still need to pay the fee.  We cannot
    guarantee the outcome of any case.  When you come
    to us with your problem we will evaluate it based on
    what you tell us, and any evidence you might have,
    and give an opinion as to whether you have a case.  
    That is only an opinion.  Also, the law is not a black
    and white as most people think, and although you
    may have a good case, that does not mean that you
    will win.

    Do I pay for a consultation with you?

    Yes.  We normally charge our usual hourly fee for a
    consultation.  Ask the person you talk to on the phone
    what that is.  

       Information of District Court Actions

The Client
Comes First
Willis & Henderson, P.A.
Attorneys at Law
3290 North Ridge Road
Suite 210
Ellicott City, MD 21043