Timeline of a Typical Case

Generally, there is a similar timeline of a typical case.  The case is started by the Plaintiff with the filing of a Summons and Complaint.  These are required to be served on the Defendants.  The Defendants then have a specified time to answer depending on which court the case is in.  In certain jurisdictions, the Plaintiff can commence written discovery (described below) within a specified time period after the Summons and Complaint are served.  However, in other courts, a case conference is required.  Once the case conference occurs, the parties engage in discovery.  Discovery consists of interrogatories, requests for admission, requests for production, inspections, independent medical examinations (in some personal injury cases) and depositions.  The timeline of a typical case depends on how long the parties choose to engage in discovery.

Discovery is part of the timeline of a typical case in which all of the parties are able to seek and receive information from eachother.  Many courts allow the parties to request of information which is “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.”  As such, a party to litigation may be forced to place their private lives in the public domain.


Depositions are formal question and answer sessions in which the attorney from one party asks questions of an individual under oath.  The subject matter is very broad and many questions that would not be allowed in court are allowed during a deposition.  During the timeline of a typical case there could be no depositions or a large amount of depositions. It all depends on who has information that the parties want and whether they can arrange for that person to answer questions under oath.


These are questions that are sent from one party to another during the timeline of a typical case.  The amount varies depending what court you are in, but if a party refuses to answer these questions they may be compelled by the court to do so.  The time to answer interrogatories is generally 30 days, but again, it depends on which court and jurisdiction you are in.


During the timeline of a typical case, a party may request that another party produce documents relating to a claim or defense.  There is a time deadline to produce these documents and failure to produce certain documents may subject that party to a motion to compel.


This discovery devise allows a party to request that the other party admit or deny a fact that is relevant to the litigation.  If the fact is admitted, it is deemed stipulated (agreed to) and that becomes a fact that is not in dispute.  During the timeline of a typical case, requests for admission are the most unique and effective discovery tool since if a party fails to respond to requests for admission, the facts contained within them are automatically deemed admitted for the purposes of the case.

For a free consultation and case evaluation for employment, entertainment or personal injury matters, contact Freiman Law at (310) 917-1024 or via the form on the right.