Litigation is the act of taking a case to court. In most cases, litigation involves civil lawsuits where one party sues the other party. However, the litigation process can also be applied to criminal law where laws have been broken. Litigation can apply to personal and business matters. Business owners benefit from understanding civil litigation, but individuals also benefit from knowing their rights if they are faced with litigation.
Hiring an Attorney
In personal and business litigation, the defendant and plaintiff usually hire attorneys. A business lawyer in Indiana, also called a “trial lawyer,” specializes in legal issues surrounding business law and can offer competent representation in court. Sometimes, individuals choose to represent themselves in court, which is a choice that should be made with caution. Small businesses must be represented by attorneys in court pursuant to Indiana law.
How Does Litigation Work?
The litigation process follows several steps. First, the plaintiff files a complaint to bring a case to court. The defendant is served with a summons. The summons notifies the defendant of the plaintiff’s action and establishes a deadline for the response. The first part of litigation is the discovery process, where the parties collect records, documentation, and other pertinent information. The court may set a trial date at this time. Parties may file motions with the court, which can be used for a variety of reasons. Some motions are procedural, which means that a party makes a request about some aspect of the court process. Some motions are substantive addressing be specific facts or laws of the case. At trial, the judge or a jury makes a decision upon hearing the case. If the decision is disputed by one of the parties for good reason, they can appeal the case at a higher court.
Sometimes, the parties prefer to settle disputes outside of the courtroom. One option is arbitration. An arbitrator hears both sides of the dispute and makes a decision. Arbitration is a private process that never reaches the courts. Unlike litigation trials, an arbitrator’s decision cannot be appealed.
Whether you are the plaintiff or defendant in litigation, a business lawyer in Indiana can help. Webster and Garino offer top-notch legal experience and expertise for your personal and business litigation matters.