Pleadings Phase Of Litigation

This page describes in detail the Pleadings phase of litigation in your case. Please feel free to reach out if you have any additional inquiries.

Timeline For Pleadings

The Pleadings phase can take as long as approximately 2-6 months. However, many times, the discovery phase is interrupted by the parties’ desire to attend mediation and settle the lawsuit. For more information about the mediation phase, please click here.


he pleadings phase of a case occurs after the complaint is filed and generally prior to discovery beginning. Upon a complaint being filed and served, all of the defendants must respond to the lawsuit complaint within thirty (30) days of being served by filing a “responsive pleading.” Typically, defendants will file an “Answer” to the lawsuit. The Answer will assert all of their defenses to the lawsuit that they intend to assert during litigation and ultimately in a trial. 

However, there are multiple other types of responsive pleadings that a defendant can file rather than an Answer or prior to filing an Answer, such as a demurrer, a motion to quash, a cross-complaint, a removal to federal court, among others. These responsive pleadings generally relate to the defendant asserting a procedural deficiency with plaintiff’s lawsuit complaint, a request to change the jurisdictions from state to federal court based on certain factors, or a desire to include other parties into the lawsuit. When the defendant files a responsive pleading other than an Answer, it can and generally does result in law & motion whereby the parties each draft briefs on the issues advocating for their position, argue their points in court and ultimately the judge will render a decision. There are times where the parties will agree to one a change requested by one of the parties through a “stipulation.”

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