What is Litigation?
Turn on any tv show centered around the legal system and you’re likely to see images of flashy suits, sleek, wood-covered courtrooms, and judges banging their gavels yelling “order!” while two attorneys battle it out with their words on the courtroom floor.
While these representations of courtrooms and lawyers are glamourous and fun, litigation, the process of handling disputes in the court system, is a much more nuanced, strategic process than it may seem to be.
Litigation, while it may sound similar, is not the same thing as a trial. Litigation includes the entire process of resolving an action that is contested, and a judge is going to make a final decision between the parties unless the parties come to a settlement agreement before their trial date.
Overview of Litigation
Overall, Litigation can be simplified into this basic process:
- The plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit) files the complaint
- The parties meet with one another to discuss the possibility of settling the case before taking the case to trial. In addition, parties will discuss discovery, which is the process of handing over important information and documents to either side
- Each party has the chance to file motions which they would like on the other side
- Each party has the option to respond to these motions
- If there is no settlement, the parties will then proceed to a trial
- According to the outcome of the trial, the judge will enter a judgment which is a final decision
In order to begin the process of litigation, an attorney files what is called a complaint on your behalf. A complaint is a document that contains all of the issues which you as a plaintiff are asserting against the other party as well as other important information for the courtroom. Essentially a complaint is your “wish list” for what you would like the outcome of your case to be.
In order for an attorney or yourself to prepare to take an action to trial, both parties must gather information in order to prepare themselves for the trial. During this time where they are gathering information, parties will share information regarding the case such as documents, pictures, and other vital pieces of evidence.
Oftentimes, parties realize that this case can be resolved through a mutual agreement between the two parties. This agreement could include monetary payment or other forms of agreements. When this agreement or settlement is made, then the case does not continue forward to a trial, and the entire dispute is resolved.
This is the part in litigation that is most often shown on television and movies. The trial is when the two parties are now in a courtroom presenting their case to either a judge or to a jury in order to return a favorable outcome for their case. The trial can include hours of preparation, witnesses, and multiple pieces of evidence. After the trial has concluded, the judge will make a final judgment that is consistent with the decision brought by either the jury or the judge.
How do you start the process of Litigation?
Should you find yourself in a position where you are thinking about filing a complaint against another person for an action, there are many steps that need to be taken. Evidence needs to be collected, as well as a clear outline of what the cause of action is. As these issues can be very complex, an attorney well experienced in litigation will walk you through the process, taking litigation from something complicated and overwhelming to something manageable and understandable.
While litigation can be a complicated and overwhelming process for only one person, experienced attorneys, such as the attorneys at the Heidari Law Group will listen to you and help you through the process of drafting a strong complaint and representing you in meetings with the other party, always with your best interests at the forefront of their minds.
In addition, attorneys such as the ones at Heidari law group are experienced in settlement negotiations and understand the importance of listening to their clients’ needs and wants. Should a case go to trial, our attorneys have years of experience in the courtroom and in the trial.
The Heidari Law Group can help you every step of the litigation process. Whether you’re in California or Nevada, Heidari Law Group will be there to assist you. Heidari Law Group also has offices in Fresno, California, Sacramento, California, Los Angeles, California, Irvine, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Call for a free case evaluation today!
***Disclaimer: This blog is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this blog, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.