Thomas Finley Lawyer

Assisting With Business and commercial Litigation Matters in waco, TX

Thomas P. Finley assists clients with various business litigation matters in Waco, TX, such as collection of accounts receivables, business disputes, breach of contract, commercial real estate, commercial debt collection, unfair business practices, and insurance.

Waco business lawyer Thomas P. Finley, Jr. also assists business clients who are or might become involved in a lawsuit because of business disputes, such as settlement, prevention, and/or attending alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including mediation.

Contact Thomas P. Finley to consult your business litigation lawsuit. Here are the primary stages of common litigation matters:

Initial Client Consultation

During the initial client consultation in Thomas P. Finley’s office, the basic facts of the client’s litigation matter and all documents relevant to the claim are reviewed and discussed. The client should bring all the necessary information they have relating to the case to the meeting. The business client will also provide all personal contact information and describe the facts and potential witnesses in the litigation.

We will also discuss the methods for future communications between the client and lawyer and the attorney fees and agreement during the initial consultation. You will also need to agree to assist Waco business litigation lawyer Thomas P. Finley, Jr. with the direction on where preliminary investigations are to be carried out. The investigations could weigh on the case’s trial and final outcome.

Sometimes, at this stage, the client and lawyer will decide to draft a demand letter before suing or explore settlement options prior to filing the original petition. Discuss your lawsuit with Waco litigation attorney Thomas P Finley Jr.; contact us today.

Plaintiff's Petition, Preparation, Filing of the Lawsuit, and Service of Process

The original petition of the plaintiff is the document or “pleading” that establishes a lawsuit in the state courts of Texas. During the preparation of the petition, the plaintiff’s attorney must provide certain information, make a statement of the facts that caused the case, create demands for the relief sought, whether it be money or other relief, and comply with certain other specifications. A civil case in Texas county or district court begins once the original petition is filed with the court’s office of the clerk, which has jurisdiction to hear the case.
Once the petition is filed, the plaintiff will request to get service of the petition on the defendant/s and exercise diligence in getting hold of the issuance and service of citation. The steps mentioned are mostly done through the attorney. The plaintiff should have a “bona fide” intention to get service of the petition. They should also intend to prosecute the lawsuit when filing the petition.

Defendant's Responsive Pleadings, Appearance, Answer, and Counterclaim

After being served with a lawsuit or petition, the defendant may assert as many facts in defense of the claim or law matters as long as they are relevant to the case. However, in some circumstances, a defendant should present responsive pleadings in due or proper order. For example, a nonresident defendant’s special appearance motion to challenge jurisdiction needs to be filed before any other responsive pleading, including the defendant’s answer, or the defendant will be believed to have entered a general appearance.
In addition, a proposition to transfer venue, if appropriate, must be filed prior to or at the same time as the defendant’s objection or answer to any objection to an inconvenient or improper venue will be waived. The other pleas may be incorporated in the defendant’s answer and heard as the court directed.
The defendant’s answer may consist of a cross-claim against a co-defendant or a counterclaim against the plaintiff. Usually, after the defendant/s have filed the response to the lawsuit, counterclaim/s, and/or cross-claim/s, the case will proceed to the discovery stage.
All defendants and plaintiffs who are a party to the lawsuit may get discovery regarding any matter that applies to the subject of the case, and that is not privileged. During the discovery process, the parties must initiate and observe proper procedures relating to the information type that may be sought and the methods for requesting and obtaining information.
These methods and procedures can be found in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure promulgated by the Supreme Court of Texas. The restrictions and rules also govern the signatures appearing on discovery documents, the service of the discovery requests, and the filing of the discovery materials. Under the rules, there are time restrictions controlling a party’s response to discovery requests, and the discovery process must be completed according to a “discovery control plan” under one of three prescribed levels.

Settlement and Other Pretrial Disposition

Both the defendant and plaintiff parties are entitled to undertake a pretrial disposition to avoid going to trial. Following an adequate time given for the discovery stage, a party may move or file a motion for summary judgment given that there is no evidence supporting one or more specified elements of an adverse party’s defense or claim. Additionally, once the lawsuit is filed and all parties have made appearances, the attorney for either side may seek settlement negotiations with the client’s consent. Another pretrial disposition form is the voluntary dismissal of an entire action or claim by the party pursuing affirmative relief or the abatement of actions or involuntary dismissal by the trial court or on motion of the party resisting an affirmative relief claim. Both parties may also seek to make certain pretrial arrangements.
Many times, pretrial conferences are utilized to resolve issues before trial and order trial proceedings. A party may also motion the court, prior to the trial, for certain kinds of relief, including the related cases’ consolidation or the severance of a lawsuit into two or more separate suits. Other steps may be taken before going to trial, such as setting the case for a court trial, issuing subpoenas for relevant witnesses, ordering a jury trial, and seeking a case’s continuation.


In Texas district and county courts, each party has the right to a jury trial if the party makes a proper demand for it and serves the prescribed fee. Jury selection includes creating the jury panel, qualifications review for persons deemed to be eligible for jury service, the voir dire examination, and making challenges for peremptory and cause challenges.
While the actual trial proceedings take place and before the case submission to the jury, the counsel is free to make several motions to the court. There are certain trial motions directed toward ensuring that the jury’s decision as to controverted facts is based on relevant and dependable evidence, which the jurors should have considered using their own judgment and free from bias or outside influence.
Another type of trial motion is about removing the case from the jury’s consideration. Suppose the counsel believes that the opponent has presented no evidence to sustain a defense or claim and that there’s no material fact question for the jury to decide. In that case, it may request the court to instruct the jury to withdraw the case from them and decide the lawsuit based on the law alone or to return a certain verdict. The counsel is also allowed to make a trial motion for permission to amend a pleading. Motions are also available after the verdict is received and before judgment is rendered.
After judgment, other stages may be taken, such as reduction to writing, signing, rendition, and entry of the judgment. At some times, it is also proper to file a motion for a new appeal and trial. In addition, once a money judgment is rendered and signed, as a judgment creditor, the winning party is generally entitled to start procedures to enforce the judgment.

The above is a basic overview of the stages of a common litigation matter. They are for information purposes only and not exhaustive of the litigation’s subject matter. Of course, not all the matters mentioned will apply in every litigation case. Contact Waco business lawyer Thomas P. Finley, Jr. for a consultation on your litigation matter.

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