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Civil Litigation FAQ

Virginia Civil Litigation Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers from experienced civil law attorneys

Denton & Denton Attorneys at Law is a tireless advocate representing clients’ rights at trial. During the more than 35 years since our firm was established, we have earned a reputation as successful litigators who are well-versed in trial law and determined to win “unwinnable” cases. Because of our litigation skills and hard-hitting style, we have won several multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements in the most challenging cases.

Read our responses to frequently asked questions about the civil litigation process. Then contact our law firm to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced civil litigation lawyers so we can help you resolve your legal disputes.

Get answers to your civil litigation questions from our experienced lawyers in Virginia Beach

To learn more about the civil litigation process, call Denton & Denton Attorneys at Law at 757-215-4818 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.


How does a civil lawsuit get started?

To initiate a civil lawsuit, we file a petition with the clerk of court that states the facts of your case and your cause of action.


What happens after I file my complaint

The defendant is served with your complaint and instructed on how to file an answer. We also conduct discovery — the legal process for investigating the facts of your case — to obtain important information and evidence from the defendant. We may file pre-trial motions and conduct several pre-trial hearings and depositions.


Is there a deadline for filing a lawsuit in civil court?

The law sets strict statutes of limitations for filing a complaint — the timeframe depends on the type of civil action. If you miss the deadline, you may permanently forfeit your right to pursue your legal remedies.


How long will it take to resolve my civil lawsuit?

Some civil actions are resolved very quickly and others take years. Upon reviewing your individual circumstances, we give you our best estimate as to when we expect to resolve your disputes.


How can I make the defendant provide me with the necessary documents and information to support my claim?

You have the right to certain documents and information from the defendant. We serve subpoenas on the defendants that demand they produce specific items or explain to the court why they think the law does not require them to comply.


Will my civil lawsuit go to trial?

Many civil complaints settle before trial.


What are the benefits of mediation?

Mediation often saves the parties the costs of litigation, expedites resolution and gives the parties more control over the outcome of the case.


Do I have to prove my civil claim beyond a reasonable doubt?

This standard is applied to criminal cases, not to civil actions. Your standard is lower, but depends on the type of case.


Can the civil judge impose jail time on the person who injured me or on the company executive who stole my money?

A civil judge cannot impose criminal sanctions on the defendant as a result of your winning your case. However, these same defendants may be charged with a crime and be subject to incarceration or other criminal penalties if found guilty in criminal court.


After we win a money judgment, do I automatically get paid on the spot?

Unfortunately, you do not receive your money immediately. The defendants have a specific amount of time to pay the judgment. However, if the defendant avoids paying, we have several legal remedies available to us — including garnishing wages and placing liens on property.

Virginia State Bar Disclaimer
Every Legal Matter Is Different. The Outcome Of Each Legal Case Depends Upon Many Factors, Including The Facts Of The Case, And No Attorney Can Guarantee A Positive Result In Any Particular Case. The Outcome Of Every Case Will Depend On A Variety Of Factors Unique To Each Case And Case Results Depicted Here Do Not Guarantee Or Predict A Similar Result In Any Future Case.
Prior Cases
  • "Jury awards $3 million in wrongful death murder trial. "

  • "Jury awards $1,200,000 in legal malpractice case "

  • "Denton recognized for two of Virginia's top million dollar-plus verdicts "

  • "WAVY ordered to pay $1.2m for defaming couple "

  • "Student scores $5m jury verdict for libel"

  • "Federal jury awards event planners $600,000 each "

  • "Attorney, firm hit with $420,000 verdict "

Client Testimonials
  • "Jerry, You are an incredible man. Your intelligence and strength were the foundation of our fight. Because of you we have a restored sense of self worth...- Read All"

  • "Dear Mr. Awesome, Champion of the Underdog: No words seem adequate to the occasion. I am just thrilled for you and your very deserving clients. Congratulations! "

  • "It's nice to know that there are still people like you in this world that are not afraid to go against the grain of society and are willing to stick there neck out for somebody else because of their belief in that person. "

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    I am so thankful that I was able to find Mr. Denton and that he was willing to represent me during my whistleblower case against my former employer. He was able to provide expert guidance and help bring the matter to an early resolution and recover a...

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    Working with this lawyer was a great experience. He was very straight forward with what I could expect with my case, answered every question I had in a timely manner, kept an open line of communication on where we stood, and provided a result that I...

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    Jake Denton is the kind of attorney we hope for when we need legal advice. My cases were complicated. Jake made sure I understood the caveats of going to trial. Mr. Denton is kind but always tells you 'like it is!' Jake is an awesome, well prepared...

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    Due to the nature of our case, my family attorney was not qualified to represent us so he sent us to see Mr. Denton. Jake's calm, friendly and professional demeanor seemingly took the other side off guard and we won our case with minimal drama. I wou...

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