Litigation is a very common term used when we want to take a case to court. This case could be a criminal case, a civil case, or any other case that violates your legal rights. One can also describe litigation as the process of arguing a case in court. For instance if you got harassed by someone, you can start a litigation against the individual by taking the case to court. In that instance, the individual has not only violated your rights, he has caused you harm as well. Some litigation are settled in court while others are settled out of court with the help of a mediator who can be in the person of a litigation attorney. Sometimes, when a certain case isn’t quite severe, a wise litigation attorney would advice that his client settle the case outside the court to excessive spending and stress.
Litigation varies for each state and court. The city of Miami has its own litigation procedures and it may vary from that of Chicago or New York. So if you are about to file a lawsuit, ensure you do your homework about the litigation process of the state you reside in. Though it is always the assignment of your litigation lawyer to brief you on all that you need to know about the lawsuit you are filing and the possible risks and results.
The litigation process can be complex or it can be simple depending on the case. That is why you will need the help of a competent litigation attorney to walk you through the whole process and present your case to the judge in a way that compels him or her to rule the case in your favor.
The litigation process begins with the complainant taking the case to court. In the court, the complainant files a complaint stating all of the ways the defendant has either violated his or her legal rights or broken the law. The court doesn’t just accept what comes out of the complainant’s mouth without carrying out an intensive investigation. The facts presented by the complainant is thoroughly investigated, and if found to be true and the two parties are yet to settle their case outside court, it’ll go to trial. It is the duty of the judge to preside over the case and ensure that the law is well interpreted and that due process is followed by both parties.
Terms used in Litigation process
Just like other legal processes, there are some terms that are used during the litigation process. These terms are:
When you file a lawsuit against someone, he has to be aware of your actions and what his offences are. In court, you and the defendant will have to file initial papers which is also regarded as pleadings. Pleadings are documents that explains both sides of the story. The plaintiff will have the opportunity to state what happened, so will the defendant. It will all be drafted in the pleadings.
The complaint: Litigation starts when the complainant files a dispute with the court and presents a copy of the complaint to the court. In the dispute or complaint, the complainant states what the defendant did that harmed him or what he did that resulted in the violation of his legal rights.
The court then grants the defendants some time to reply to the allegations leveled against him by the plaintiff. In the reply, the defendant is to narrate his own side of the story. The defendant can also counter the lawsuit filed by the plaintiff, stating that it was the plaintiff that it was the plaintiff actions that caused him harm. On some occasions, the plaintiff always provide a reply to the counter-claims of the defendant.
Fees and Costs: Whoever wins the case will usually file a motion asking whoever loses to pay the cost incurred by the winning party in the process of defending or prosecuting the case.
If the losing party isn’t happy with the result he can appeal. The appeal process is all about requesting a higher court to look into the case. Both parties tender a summary of their arguments to the appellate court alongside evidence from the trial court.