What is litigation?
Litigation is the term typically used to describe all the legal steps involved in settling a controversy between two or more parties before, during and after the actual trial for either civil or criminal cases. Many attorneys who practice litigation handle many areas of civil law cases, as well as alternative dispute resolution methods of settlement like mediation and arbitration, as well as administrative trials and hearings.
Who gets involved with litigation?
Litigation can involve anyone—two individuals, an individual with a business, a business with another business, an individual with a government agency, a government agency with another government agency, and the list goes on. The parties involved in the dispute are called "litigants," a term most people have heard on shows like The People's Court and similar court proceedings that are shown on TV. Of course, in addition to the litigants, there usually are attorneys, a judge and typically a jury involved, depending on the case and whether or not the case goes to trial. Filing a law suit does not mean that ten minutes later you will be in front of a judge like you see on TV. I am a California lawyer, not an actor. When your case does get to court, you will find that I am a experienced litigator and have prepared your case for trial.
What if I filed a lawsuit, can I still settle out of court?
Yes, you can settle your case out of court even if you've already file the lawsuit. But, it's best to get the settlement in writing, for your protection. If you've already filed the lawsuit and decide to settle, the settlement agreements generally state that the suit will be dismissed "with prejudice," which means that it cannot be re-filed. If important issues are at stake, or a substantial amount of money is involved, it is a good idea to consult a litigation attorney or you may find that you've bargained away your rights.
Should I hire a Litigation Attorney?
Whether or not you plan on litigating, a litigation attorney would be able to determine what's the best approach for your case and advise you on the next steps to take. Even if you decide to settle out of court, a litigation attorney will help you get the settlement you deserve or otherwise assure that your legal rights are being protected. Call me and lets discuss your options.
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