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Tim's Missouri Employment Law
By Attorney Tim Willoughby
St. Louis Missouri employment lawyer
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ARTICLES:

Timelines for normal and expedited Discrimination lawsuits in the Federal Courts

The timelines presented below are realistic for discrimination cases where an EEOC charge has to occur before a lawsuit gets filed. The timelines assume that the case will be heard in the Federal Courts, because that’s where most discrimination cases get heard in Missouri.

Persons with cases other than “discrimination” may have different timelines, and I have not written about those yet. But I can say here that cases in the Missouri State Court system might flow a bit faster or slower, depending on the type of case and what happens as the case unfolds.

At any time the case could settle, no matter where you are in the timeline. Settlement is controlled in large part by how reasonable the parties are willing to be considering the unique circumstances of the case at hand.

A few lessons we can take from these timelines . . .

Litigation is often time consuming and perhaps very expensive if you are paying hourly legal fees.

Lawyers have to be careful about what cases they take on, because they could be living with the case for a very long time.

Companies and Employees should both be reasonable and try to get their dispute resolved at the earliest opportunity.

Normal timeline of a Federal Discrimination Lawsuit that does not settle

Year 1 of Federal Discrimination Lawsuit

  • Year 1, Day 1 - A discriminatory termination occurs that brings you to see a lawyer
  • Year 1, Day 10 - An EEOC charge gets filed, as I discuss in my Discrimination article
  • Year 1, Day 180 - EEOC issues a “right to sue” letter (see Discrimination)
  • Year 1, Day 270 - A lawsuit gets filed
  • Year 1, Day 330 - Defendant “answers” the lawsuit
  • Year 1, Day 360 - Lawyers meet with the judge for the first time

Year 2 of Federal Discrimination Lawsuit

  • Year 2, Day 1 - “Discovery” of evidence commences. See Expenses for some details.
  • Year 2, Day 120 - Depositions begin. See Expenses for some details.
  • Year 2, Day 150 - Court-ordered settlement meeting (Mediation) occurs
  • Year 2, Day 210 - “Discovery” period ends
  • Year 2, Day 250 - The Company files motions to try to kill the case (Summary Judgment)
  • Year 2, Day 300 - First early Trial date, if the judge lets the case live on
  • Year 2, Day 330 - Post-trial motions filed to argue about trial results
  • Year 2, Day 360 - Judge rules on post-trial motions, perhaps ordering new trial, or approving of jury verdict

Year 3 of Federal Discrimination Lawsuit

  • Year 3, Day 1 - Formal appeal filed by the loser at trial
  • Year 3, Day 120 - All briefing has been completed at the Court of Appeals
  • Year 3, Day 180 - Oral argument at the Court of Appeals
  • Year 3, Day 300 - Court of Appeals issues its decision
  • Year 3, Day 310 - Loser further appeals
  • Year ??? - Maybe the Court of Appeals orders a new trial, so we start all over again

Expedited timeline of a Federal Discrimination Lawsuit that does not settle

Year 1 of Federal Discrimination Lawsuit (expedited)

  • Year 1, Day 1 - A discriminatory termination occurs that brings you to see a lawyer
  • Year 1, Day 10 - An EEOC charge gets filed, as I discuss in my Discrimination article
  • Year 1, Day 40 - EEOC issues a “right to sue” letter at your request, rather than investigate
  • Year 1, Day 50 - A lawsuit gets filed
  • Year 1, Day 85 - Defendant “answers” the lawsuit
  • Year 1, Day 115 - Lawyers meet with the judge for the first time
  • Year 1, Day 120 - “Discovery” of evidence commences. See Expenses for some details.
  • Year 1, Day 210 - Depositions begin. See Expenses for some details.
  • Year 1, Day 240 - Court-ordered settlement meeting (Mediation) occurs
  • Year 1, Day 300 - “Discovery” period ends
  • Year 1, Day 340 - The Company files motions to try to kill the case (Summary Judgment)

Year 2 of Federal Discrimination Lawsuit (expedited)

  • Year 2, Day 30 - First early Trial date, if the judge lets the case live on
  • Year 2, Day 60 - Post-trial motions filed to argue about trial results
  • Year 2, Day 90 - Judge rules on post-trial motions, perhaps ordering new trial, or approving of jury verdict
  • Year 2, Day 100 - Formal appeal filed by the loser at trial
  • Year 2, Day 220 - All briefing has been completed at the Court of Appeals
  • Year 2, Day 280 - Oral argument at the Court of Appeals

Year 3 of Federal Discrimination Lawsuit (expedited)

  • Year 3, Day 30 - Court of Appeals issues its decision
  • Year 3, Day 40 - Loser further appeals
  • Year ??? - Maybe the Court of Appeals orders a new trial, so we start all over again

CONCLUSION

As you can see from a timeline comparison, Federal Discrimination Lawsuits can take a long time whether expedited or not. That’s part of the reason why the parties in such cases have an incentive to try to settle. Plaintiff does not want to delay a resolution forever, and Defendant does not want to pay the high lawyer fees that a long case may require. If the parties are willing to be reasonable, much of the time the matter can get resolved amicably at some point before either side passes the point of no return.

Article written by | Tim Willoughby


***** END OF ARTICLE *****

Tim's Missouri Employment Law
is by Attorney Tim Willoughby

Tim is a St. Louis Missouri employment lawyer and a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). Visit NELA.org and the Missouri Bar Website (see the directory of lawyers).

Tim Willoughby, Attorney
(Licensed in Missouri)
11414 Gravois Rd., Suite 203
St. Louis, MO 63126
ph:    314-729-7750
fax:   314-729-7799

1.6 miles North of I-270 on Gravois.
... Near I-270 and I-44

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