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Civil litigation refers to any legal dispute between two or more parties that does not involve a criminal investigation. Typically, a party is seeking monetary relief for damages or a specific action to be taken, rather than criminal sanctions. Civil litigation encompasses the actual representation in Court, as well as all pre-trial and post-trial procedures.
A civil litigation trial may take many different forms depending on the type of case being submitted. Generally, there is a basic legal process that all litigation cases go through. First, a party files a Complaint in Court against another party. The defending party will be served with the Complaint and will be given an opportunity to answer the Complaint. After that, both parties may have an opportunity to “discover” what the other side intends to use as evidence. Then, a trial can be scheduled. The actual format of the trial varies depending on the type of case and the laws that govern those cases which determine whether a case is heard in a State or Federal Court.
It is also important to note that most general litigation cases which are filed settle outside of the Courtroom. There are different options such as taking a settlement rather than going to trial or using an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure, such as mediation. If you desire to file a Complaint, contact a civil litigation attorney who can help you navigate the process and decide what the best course of action is for you.