What are the stages of commercial litigation? You will initiate a commercial litigation case by filing a complaint or petition with the court. This is the initial document that identifies all of the involved parties and explains the legal basis for the court’s jurisdiction over the conflict. It also details your legal claims as the plaintiff and associates related facts with those claims.


The plaintiff will complete the complaint with the section known as demand for judgement. In this part of the complaint, you will outline what you are asking the court to order the defendant to accomplish, such as paying damages or ceasing a particular action.

Service of Process and Summons

The summons is the official court order explaining where the lawsuit will be heard. It notifies the defendant that he or she has been sued and makes reference to the complaint as well as outlining the time limit in which the defendant needs to seek to have the case dismissed or file an answer.


The defendant’s response to the complaint is typically called an answer, and you will need to wait through a particular period after filing your initial complaint to ensure that you have given the defendant plenty of time to respond. The defendant may also initiate a counter claim against you in his or her answer. What form your case takes from here depends on how the defendant responds, so you should keep in touch with your attorney during this time so as to make prompt and informed decisions.

Preparation for Trial

If the case is going to trial, you and your attorney will begin to work on collecting evidence and putting together a strategy for court. This may involve analyzing pieces of evidence and consulting with key stakeholders to determine the most appropriate strategy. Your Arizona business attorney should have litigation experience for this reason.

Is Litigation My Only Option?

Even after you have filed a lawsuit, you can still opt to resolve things outside of court. From this stage forward, you can resolve the conflict at any time in settlement negotiations prior to going into litigation. Unfortunately, not all business conflict cases can be resolved outside of litigation, and this is why it is imperative to retain an Arizona business litigation attorney who has experience in taking these issues to court and protecting your interests. Getting advice as soon as possible in this situation can significantly help you avoid conflicts down the road.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding What Are the Stages of Commercial Litigation?, or any other litigation matter, please feel free to contact us at 480.461.5300,  log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.