Litigation is the process of taking legal action in civil cases. In many civil cases, litigation typically involves taking a legal issue before a court in order to have the matter legally resolved. This process usually involves hiring an attorney and the following of complex legal procedures. Litigation also typically refers to civil cases as there are different rules and procedures related to criminal cases.
The litigation process often involves following very specific rules. The rules that must be followed are different depending on which court system the case is filed in. For example, Federal Courts use a different set of rules of civil procedure than state courts. However, the process typically begins when one party files a complaint to initiate the lawsuit. The other party has a certain amount of time to provide an answer to avoid a default judgment after filing suit.
The case may then proceed in different ways. If a party hires an attorney, the attorney may reach out to the opposing party, or his or her legal counsel, and offer to negotiate a settlement in the case. If the case is settled, the underlying complaint is usually dismissed. The trial court may establish a scheduling order for when various aspects of the case must be resolved, such as when discovery must be finished and dates when the court can check on the status of the case. Discovery is the formal process in which the parties request information from the other party about the case. If either party presents a motion before the court, the attorneys may have to present oral arguments to support their motion or defend against it.
If the case is not resolved through negotiations or through a pretrial motion, it could proceed towards trial. It may be presented in front of a judge in a bench trial, or in front of a jury in a jury trial. After the trial, the verdict is announced.
The losing party involved in court litigation may choose to appeal the decision. This appeal is presented to a different court of law. The appellate procedure has a different focus than the case before the trial court and is generally based on some mistake being made at the lower level.
Not every legal dispute goes before a court. Parties may decide to use a form of alternative dispute resolution. Arbitration is one such method. This is a process in which parties present their case to a neutral or agreed upon arbitrator. The process is usually faster and more quickly resolved because it does not involve fully litigating the case. Mediation is another method of resolving disputes. Mediation involves a third-party neutral who helps the parties reach a solution to their legal dispute. The parties work together to reach a voluntary agreement on resolving their case.
Amar Esq. PLLC is a law firm located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Visit our firm’s website to learn more about the different types of litigation cases our firm handles.