Litigation Law Firm
Litigation is a general term used to describe the process of resolving conflicts and disputes through the legal system. In this respect, litigation can apply to a wide variety of disputes, ranging anywhere from a personal injury, a business dispute such as a breach of contract, or a simple traffic violation.
The process of litigation varies widely depending on the unique needs of each case and is usually facilitated by a lawyer from a litigation law firm.
Lawsuits are only one component of the litigation process.
A common misconception is that litigation and lawsuit are terms that can be used interchangeably, however this is not at all the truth. Litigation is a term used to describe the overall process of addressing a dispute by means of legal action.
Steps of the litigation process
- Investigation and Demands
- Demand Letters and Negotiation
- Out-of-Court Options: Dispute Resolution Alternatives
- Initial Motions
The litigation process begins at the very moment that a lawyer agrees to represent a client who has approached them with a dispute. Following a review of the potential case, given that the lawyer has accepted the case, an informal investigation of the facts will be initiated.
This investigation usually involves outlining the details of the case, and obtaining all documentation, proof and additional evidence that pertains to their client’s standing. This essential step serves as the foundation for the next step, sending a demand letter.
Demand Letters and Pre-Trial Negotiation
The legal representation of the client will work to draft and deliver documentation in the form of a demand letter to the offending party, effectively notifying them of the compensation amount they require. The letter outlines all information that was collected during the informal investigation in an attempt to convince the offending party that the case against them is strong and that their client would clearly win if the case happens to move on to trial.
After receipt and evaluation of the demand letter, the defending party will typically respond with the compensation amount they are prepared to provide. The ensuing correspondence may consist of multiple communications, counteroffers that are intended to negotiate a settlement amount. If a settlement amount is agreed upon, litigation ends and the case would not proceed to court.
In the event that a settlement cannot be agreed on, the plaintiff and the defendant may pursue an alternative dispute resolution in the form of either facilitation, mediation, or arbitration. An alternative dispute resolution is intended to avoid embarking upon the formal trial process. If efforts to reach an alternative resolution, the case may move to court.
Courtroom Litigation Processes
Discovery is a pre-trial investigation that is facilitated by the court in which both parties may reveal relevant documents or participate in depositions (structured interviews). Both sides rely upon their teams and court reporters to take a detailed account of information disclosed during depositions so that insights can be gathered about the opposing standpoint.
A formal presentation to the court that helps establish the facts of the case that is being disputed. In this stage of litigation, given the strength of their case, a lawyer may motion to dismiss the trial.
Given that a resolution was not met in any of the preceding steps of litigation, the case may move to trial. Trials are effectively arguments regarding facts that are under dispute and are facilitated by a judge and jury.
Following the trials process, either party may have an opportunity to appeal to a higher court if they are in any way dissatisfied with the outcome.
Brown Kiely, LLP is a law firm that specializes in business litigation and general litigation, including personal injury.