Find a lawyer willing to take the case. Lawyers want cases that they can win. Suing a church is not usually a winnable case. Realize that sometimes a lawyer who is willing to take a risky case may not be at the top of his or her profession. Not to be too pessimistic but these are the realities of the legal system sometimes.
Establish a legitimate claim. Frivolous lawsuits are not looked upon kindly in court. A claimant needs to establish causation and show legally pertinent emotional, physical or monetary damages.
Determine which legal claim to base the suit on. When suing anyone a person must decide exactly which law the church violated. Some of the possibilities include but are not limited to fraud, extortion, emotional distress, class action and sexual abuse. Each claim has its own merit but the claimant must determine on a case-by-case basis what legal statute to invoke.
Examine past cases that were successful. Looking at what strategies succeeded before will help a claimant understand the chances of winning their current suit. However not all past victories are indicative of future results; in every legal case there are so many factors that determine victory. For instance, a case can hinge on the judges sympathies, newly ruled cases and a jury's legislative leanings. Understanding the vagaries of the justice system is imperative in filing any lawsuit.