How Long Will My Lawsuit take?

Clients often wonder how long their lawsuit will take, therefore filing a lawsuit can be a stressful and emotional time. It can be frustrating and frightening when you don’t know the process and most people want it to be over as quickly as possible.  While they want the lawsuit to be over quickly, they also want favorable results. In addition, the more you understand the process, the more you know what to expect.  Ultimately, this can make the process much more bearable. The Law Offices of Paul J. Burkhart can help ease your anxiety.

Variables That Can Affect Length

How long will my lawsuit take is an extremely common and seemingly easy question with a not so easy answer. Since each case is different, the length of each case will be dependent on many variables.

–    Type of case

–    Venue of the case

–    Number of Parties

–    How

  • reasonable the parties are
  • much discovery is necessary
  • much motion practice is involved

–    Locating and serving your lawsuit on the defendant

While it is an uncommon scenario for things to proceed smoothly without encountering any upsets or delays along the way, your lawsuit can still be completed in a reasonable amount of time.

The Type of Court Can Determine Length

Small Claims: These are heard in County Court and are for Lawsuits under $10,000. Each party gathers knowledge about the lawsuit and is expected to return to court (or at least have a representative appear on their behalf). If the parties can not agree on a resolution at mandatory mediation, a court date is set within 2 to 3 months. Consequently, these cases generally provide for a faster resolution.

Circuit court, Federal Court, Arbitrations, and other more complex lawsuits typically have more formalities that are required. Due to the complexity, a defendant generally has 20 days to respond to a complaint in the form of an answer. If they do not file any motions, the case enters into a discovery phase where documents are requested, depositions are taken and questions are asked in the form of interrogatories, etc.

Once discovery is complete and notice for trial has been set, the court will typically set a trial date within 3 to 12 months depending on the judge’s docket and how busy the courts are at the time. Most noteworthy, if things flow smoothly from beginning to end, a trial should be set within a year. On the other hand, since it is very uncommon for things to run smoothly from beginning to end, a trial can take up to 2 years or more. In conclusion, there are many variables to be taken into consideration, therefore, making it difficult to determine the length a lawsuit might take.

Business Attorney Palm Beach Gardens

Offices of Paul J. Burkhart

Call the Law Offices of Paul J. Burkhart for all of your business and commercial litigation needs at 561.880.0155 or visit our website at

The Law Offices of Paul J. Burkhart knows this is a stressful time and will do everything possible to keep you informed and reassured and will provide personal, experienced service to all of our clients. Our attorneys have years of experience in all areas of business law and business litigation.


Law Offices of Paul J Burkhart, PL

800 Village Square Crossing
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

Phone: (561) 880-0155


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