Many people are aware of the word litigation, which is the legal term for the process of going to court to settle a dispute. It may occur in front of a judge or a jury and a judge.
There are two main types of litigation: criminal and civil. Civil litigation refers to a business or individual taking legal action against another business or individual. It differs from criminal litigation, which refers to local, state or federal government prosecuting an individual or company for engaging in illegal activity.
Examples of civil litigation
There are various types of disputes that fall under civil litigation. Some examples include:
- Employment disputes
- Business disputes
- Personal injury claims
- Medical malpractice claims
- Divorce, custody or family law issues
- Landlord-tenant disputes
- Intellectual property disputes
Most civil litigation suits involve damages and payment for those damages, although the purpose of some cases is to get the court to resolve a dispute caused by one or both parties.
How to prepare for litigation
Each case is different, but one of the main aspects of preparation is to work with an attorney to gather and maintain evidence in paper and electronic form. It is critical not to destroy, alter, lose or create documents or other evidence. It is also essential to refrain from communicating with the other party. Each side’s attorneys should handle all communications unless legal representation advises otherwise.
Since attorneys handle the case, businesses or individuals involved in civil litigation should continue daily operations like usual and try not to allow the legal issue to negatively affect them.
What else to know
Just as plea bargaining with the prosecution is a part of many criminal cases, civil litigation cases also may not end with a judge’s ruling. Negotiation is standard, and settlements often occur during the pre-trail phase when each side builds its case. By compromising before trial, there is less stress involved, resolution comes quicker, and it is often less expensive for the client in the long run.