My friend Gene Lee wrote a good post about how long discrimination lawsuits can take. He refers to statistics showing that from start to finish, the average lawsuit will take 22 months. That sounds about right for the San Antonio area, also. Here in South Texas, we can file the typical discrimination lawsuit in state or federal court. The length of litigation time is about the same for either venue.
As Gene explains, the discovery process will take months, sometimes years. In employment cases more than other cases, the relevant "evidence" is mostly in the hands of the employer. So, as one might expect, employers resist providing evidence whenever possible. "Discovery" is the process we use to obtain relevant evidence. Discovery includes written questions and requests for documents. It also includes depositions. Discovery is often the heart of the case for both sides in an employment suit.
Depositions are the biggest cost in any lawsuit. Gene Lee also put together a nice post about the costs of a lawsuit. As Gene explains, you do not have to depose every critical witness, but it sure helps to depose anyone and everyone.
And, of course, as Gene explains in both posts, after everything is done and you win, the employer side will almost always appeal in an employment case. Employers fare very well in appellate court. So, they have strong incentive to contest any jury wins. The appeal itself here in South Texas will require another 1-2 years to complete. If one must appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, that would take significantly longer. I recently saw an article about a party who actually sued the Texas Supreme Court because they had heard his appeal four years ago and still had not issued a ruling. Ouch!