Lawsuits are cases between parties brought in an attempt to enforce rights or obligations or to obtain financial compensation for damages caused by wrongdoing. These cases proceed through either state or federal courts in a structure governed by detailed rules designed to ensure fairness to both parties.
Rather than going to court, more people are choosing to settle disputes through arbitration or mediation. In certain cases, arbitration and mediation save time and money while achieving a satisfactory result; however, they are not the best choice for every case.
GetLegal.com’s Lawsuits and Disputes Law Center provides general legal information about the civil litigation process and the alternatives to civil litigation.
Civil litigation refers to non-criminal court cases brought by individuals or organizations dealing with private and civil rights.
The U.S. court system consists of district courts, appellate courts, specialized courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
A class action is a lawsuit filed by a group of people with the same or similar claims against one or more defendants.
After a judge or jury renders a decision, a party may have the right to appeal the decision to a higher court in an effort to have the decision changed.
Alternative dispute resolution is a way to resolve a case without going to court. Arbitration and mediation are two examples of alternative dispute resolution.
In mediation, a professional, neutral mediator facilitates negotiations between parties in an effort to reach a resolution without going to court. Decisions of a mediator are not binding on the parties.
Arbitration is a non-judicial and legally binding way to resolve a controversy between parties.
Last Update: Oct. 1, 2008