Skilled Civil Litigation Lawyers Dedicated to Fighting for Clients in the Hudson Valley

Our lawyers handle cases throughout the Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan, Rockland and Orange County NY area.

If you or your business are involved in a legal dispute with another party, the civil litigation lawyers at Ostrer & Associates, P.C. can help. Our team has the in-depth knowledge and experience required to effectively and efficiently resolve your legal issues – from the courtroom to arbitration to negotiation.

We represent individuals and entities in a wide array of civil litigation matters, including:

Commercial Litigation
Business Disputes
Breach of Contract
Municipal Law – Article 78 Proceedings
Personal Injury Litigation
Employment Litigation
Civil Appeals in State and Federal Courts

Whether you are a Plaintiff or Defendant, the talented litigation attorneys at Ostrer & Associates, P.C. have the expertise, dedication, and commitment your case needs and deserves.

The Civil Litigation Trial Roadmap

Civil litigation in New York can be overwhelming. While our attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of litigation, we also believe it is important for our clients to understand the process so they can contribute to the case in a meaningful way. Here is a brief overview of how a civil case in New York works.

The Venue. Supreme Court is the principal venue for most civil litigations and trials in New York state. There are multiple judicial districts within the state, each of which is comprised of two or more counties. The 9th Judicial District includes Orange, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam, and Westchester Counties. There are also city courts and local justice courts. Determining which level of court to file your claim depends upon the dollar amount being disputed. Cases involving equitable relief or claims in excess of $10,000.00 are filed in Supreme Court. Lower dollar amounts are filed in the city and justice courts.

The Steps. Civil litigation is not always black and white, but the general steps are as follows:

  1. Filing of the Complaint. To start a lawsuit, the Plaintiff (the party that initiates the lawsuit) needs to file a complaint. The complaint is a document prepared by a civil litigation attorney, which describes the facts of the case and defines the legal remedies being sought. The Supreme Court currently charges a $210.00 for the for filing of a complaint.
  2. Service: Delivery of the Summons & Complaint to the Defendant. Once the complaint is filed, it must be properly delivered, along with a summons, to the Defendant (the party being sued). The summons puts the Defendant on official notice that a lawsuit has been filed. The proper delivery of these documents to the Defendant is known as service of process. Service can be done one of several ways, including delivery by the sheriff or by certified mail.
  3. Responsive Pleading. Once the Defendant has been served with the complaint, the Rules of Civil Procedure allow him 20 days if served personally, or 30 days if served by other means, to file an answer or other response to the complaint (such as a motion to dismiss the complaint). This is known as the responsive pleading. Note that there is a procedure to obtain an extension of time; however, these deadlines are strict and failing to act in time can be disastrous.
  4. Discovery: Information Gathering & Depositions to Build the Case. The discovery process allows both sides to gather information on the case and learn as much as possible about the facts to they can adequately try their case before the judge or jury. During this process the lawyers for both sides exchange written questions and requests for copies of documents. Each side is legally required to provide their answers and requested information. Often, depositions are taken where the attorneys question the parties and witnesses under oath and the answers are transcribed for later use in court.
  5. Motions. On step on the road to trial may be a motion for summary judgment on liability or some other aspect of the case to narrow the issues at trial or to avoid trial altogether. These motions must be skillfully prepared and responded to and often involve the organization of evidence for submission to the court.
  6. Trial. At trial, the attorneys present their cases to a jury or in some matters before a judge alone.

Civil litigation rules are complex and the consequences are serious. An experienced, knowledgeable lawyer is absolutely vital when facing the prospect of litigation.

Our Civil Litigation Lawyers have considerable experience and have obtained favorable results on behalf of clients for more than 35 years.

P.O. Box 509
111 Main Street, Chester, NY 10918