Dallas business litigation lawyer Thomas P. Finley, Jr. assists business clients in a variety of litigation matters. Clients retain me on business litigation matters such as breach of contract, Texas Deceptive Trade Practices, fraud, collection of accounts receivables, business disputes, commercial debt collection, commercial real estate, unfair business practices, insurance and business defense. I also assist business clients who are or might become involved in a lawsuit because of a business dispute, including the prevention, settlement, and or attending alternative dispute resolution proceedings such as arbitration and mediation. Contact me to discuss your business litigation lawsuit. For information on business litigation lawsuits the following are the basic stages of a common litigation matter:


The initial client consultation is by appointment only. The initial consultation is easily done through a video call appointment which is scheduled in advance.  The initial consultation can also be in person by appointment only in my Dallas law office. The initial consultation is the time when the basic facts of the client’s litigation matter as well as all documents relating to the claim should be discussed and reviewed. All the necessary information the client has relating to the litigation should be made available during the online video call appointment or might be emailed during the appointment with the proper understanding that attorney is not retained until a fee agreement is signed by both parties. In the case where there is a scheduled personal meeting the client’s information will be brought to the initial meeting. Also at the initial client office consultation the client will provide all personal contact information and describe the facts and potential witnesses in the litigation. The methods for future communications between attorney and client during the litigation will be discussed as well as the attorney’s fee agreement required. The client must agree to assist the litigation lawyer with the gathering of the evidence that could weigh on the trial and final outcome of the litigation case. Sometimes at this stage the client and attorney will decide that a demand letter should be drafted prior to filing a lawsuit or that settlement options should be explored prior to filing the Original Petition.  Contact Dallas Litigation Attorney Thomas P Finley to discuss your lawsuit.


All lawsuits in Texas are started when the Plaintiff’s original petition or pleading which is the document that explains the facts and allegations of the case is filed with the appropriate Texas court. The client will be important in providing the facts of the case that will be included in the original petition. The original petition will contain the facts as provided by the client and will also contain the legal allegations and elements of the claims necessary for the lawsuit and will generally state the relief sought such as money damages and/or other legal or equitable relief from the Court on behalf of the client Plaintiff. The lawsuit will be filed with the clerk in the Texas county that has jurisdiction to hear the case. The next step after the original petition is filed in the proper Court and the filing fees are paid is to have the lawsuit properly served on the Defendant or Defendants by obtaining the issuance citation and obtaining service of process.


Defendant after being served with a lawsuit will need to file an Answer or some type of responsive pleadings and/or counterclaim within the time frames set forth in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.


Both Plaintiffs and Defendants are entitled to get information about the basis of their opponents claims or defenses through the process of what is called “discovery”. There are certain rules relating to what matters are required to be provided upon proper requests during the discovery process and there are also certain rules relating to objections to improper requests and also privileged matters.


Pretrial motions can be filed by both Plaintiff and Defendant to try and avoid going to trial in certain circumstances. Sometimes after the discovery process is completed the evidence might indicate that there is no issue of any material fact in the claim(s) or defense(s) of one party and therefore that party will draft and file a motion for what is called “summary judgment” with the Court and request a hearing to have those claims determined before a trial.  Another method of avoiding trial is when the parties agree to pursue settlement negotiations. In addition, the Court might order the case to mediation or the parties might agree or be mandated to attend arbitration. Another possible form of pretrial disposition is the voluntary dismissal of a claim or an entire action by the party seeking affirmative relief, or the involuntary dismissal or abatement of actions by the trial court or on motion of the party opposing a claim for affirmative relief. Parties may also strive to make certain pretrial arrangements.  Many times, pretrial conferences are used to resolve issues before trial and to order trial proceedings. A party may also motion the Court before trial for certain kinds of relief, such as the consolidation of related cases or the severance of a case into two or more separate suits. Other steps that may be taken before going to trial can include setting the case for trial with the Court, demanding a jury trial, issuing subpoenas for relevant witnesses, and seeking a continuance of the case. 

Stage 6 - TRIAL

In Texas either party has the right to a trial by jury when properly requested. Before a jury trial there will be a process of selecting the jury known as “voir dire”. Many cases are non-jury trials and the case will be heard on the trial date by the Court only. During trial both sides will put forth their evidence supporting their claims or defenses and during the trial there could be many objections and motions made to the Court. After all of the evidence is presented to the Court and/or jury the case will be decided and a Judgment obtained.

Stage 7 - JUDGMENT

After judgment there is a period that a motion for new trial and/or appeal can be requested pursuant to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. The time frames for any motion or appeal after Judgment must be followed to be effective to avoid post-judgment collection by the prevailing party.

The forgoing Stages of litigation are for general information purposes only and are a brief summation of the process of litigation and in no way is it exhaustive of all the aspects of the litigation process which is many. Any, of course, not everything mentioned above is included or applicable in every litigation case. Contact Dallas Litigation lawyer Thomas P. Finley for a consultation on your litigation matter.