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Litigation : Starting an Action - First Steps for Lawsuits



First Steps in Litigation - Starting an Action in BC
[Question:  When does a lawsuit acutally begin?  How to sue?]


The first step in litigation is often referred to as starting an action. This is the process where a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim are filed with the Court.  A Writ of Summons is a simple legal document which lists the Defendant(s) of the action and a Statement of Claim is another legal document that sets out the details of the claim.

Although the event that may have led up to you seeking the help of a lawyer may have happened much earlier, and you may have been in contact with our office for a time period before this happens, the actual first step in the litigation itself is filing the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim.

There are limitation periods for filing a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim.  Although there are exceptions to this, generally you must file the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim with the Court within two years of the event happening.  So, for example, if you had a car accident on April 30, 2001, you must file your Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim with the court by April 30, 2003.

After you file your Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim, you need to serve the Defendants to let them know that they are being sued. Once service is confirmed, litigation has officially begun. Once the Defendant is served, they have a specific number of days to acknowledge the lawsuit against them by filing an Appearance.

Once the Appearance has been filed, the fun begins!

The above introduction was initially titled "Allison's Steps in Litigation" written by Allison Oalkey in According to Rose News-Letter, Winter 2002, Vol.1, Issue 2, published by Rose Keith, Barrrister and Solicitor, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Rose Keith, Vancouver Personal Injury / Employment Law - Wrongful Dismissal lawyer

Rose Keith, Barrister & Solicitor is a content contributor to this web site CanadaLegal.info

Her practice in Vancouver focuses primarily on the areas of Personal Injury Law (as a plaintiff's lawyer) and BC Employment / Contract Disputes where she represents both employees and employers.
A detailed profile of Rose is available on this site click here

A detailed street map to her offices in downtown Vancouver showing her location and its proximity to the Provincial and Supreme Court buildings is available click here

See also her web site at www.rosekeith.bc.ca


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Twenty Questions to Ask - Before You Hire a Lawyer

An excellent Checklist for someone to use in selecting a lawyer, has been prepared by the publishers of www.lawyers-bc.com/tips.htm.  You will find these guidelines useful for not just Employment Lawyers but other types of lawyers special services also.

Personal Injury Law as a Preferred Area of Practice

The Law Society of BC has lawyers who have formally stated they have a particular "preferred area of practice"  - Personal Injury Law is one of these P.A.P's.

Not all lawyers who advertise in:   telephone directories; on the Web or in magazines have stated their Preferred Area of Practice with the Law Society of BC directory.


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