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Training Guide

The Phases of Civil Litigation


Training Guide

The Phases of Civil Litigation

Civil Litigation Basics
Remote or in person

What’s Covered

  • Filing and responding to a complaint
  • Fact and expert discovery 
  • Summary judgment
  • Trial preparation and trial
  • Post-trial briefing and appeals
  • Settlement and mediation

Before the Session

Prepare the Attendees

Send the attendees an invitation for the session. Include this link, which has the videos and exercise they’ll need to prepare.

Prepare Yourself

Watch the videos and read the exercise so you’re familiar with the Hotshot material.

During the Session

Part 1: Knowledge Check

Ask attendees these questions to ensure they understand the topic:

  • What’s the difference between a summons and complaint?
  • What are some things your team would do when your client has received a complaint?
  • What are the two ways the defendant can respond to a complaint?
  • What are the forms of available fact discovery?
  • What is expert discovery, and when in the case does it happen?
  • What’s a motion for summary judgment, and how does it differ from a motion to dismiss?
  • What are some things parties draft as part of pre-trial preparation?
  • What are the phases of a typical trial?
  • When in a case do settlement discussions occur?
Part 2: Group Exercise

Lead a group discussion based on the exercise above. To encourage collaboration, divide the attendees into groups to discuss the exercise, then have a representative from each group summarize their views to the larger group. Call on people to share their thoughts and ask others to respond.

Tip for remote sessions: use your web conferencing system’s breakout room feature to divide people into groups.

Part 3: War Stories and Firm Specifics

Share your own experiences and guidance, including:

  • Anecdotes and war stories (e.g., about a near-disaster or a tough negotiation)
  • General practice tips (dos and don’ts)
  • Firm-specific guidance and practices

After the Session

To continue their learning, attendees can check out related courses in Hotshot's Civil Litigation Basics topic.

About Hotshot

Hotshot helps lawyers develop their legal, business, and technology skills through short videos, quizzes, and summaries, and we help law firms and law schools plan and deliver engaging training programs. Our customers include Am Law 200 firms, top law schools, and regional and international firms.

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